Medicare to launch pay-for-performance demo for nursing homes

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services seeks nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities in Arizona, Mississippi, New York and Wisconsin to participate in a three-year pay-for-performance demonstration program. CMS will accept applications from Medicare-certified nursing homes and SNFs through May 1, and expects to announce the participants in June.


According to the CMS news release, participating facilities will be scored on quality measures related to nurse staffing, avoidable hospitalizations, patient outcomes and the scope and severity of deficiency citations received during inspections. Those with the highest scores or the greatest improvement in their score will be eligible for a performance payment.


Savings generated by improved performance, such as reducing the number of avoidable hospitalizations, will fund state pools from which payments will be made to qualified nursing homes. Nursing homes wishing to be in the demonstration will be randomly assigned to a demonstration group or a comparison group. Medicare officials anticipate that at least 100 nursing facilities in each state will apply to be part of this demonstration. The demonstration is expected to run from July 2009 through June 2012, at which time its effectiveness will be evaluated to inform possible changes to Medicare payment policy.


For more information or an application, visit


(Sources: AHA News Now, , April 2, 2009)