Sanford, which has 44 hospitals, adds the Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society and its 200-plus post-acute, skilled-nursing, hospice, assisted-living, rehabilitation and home-health facilities to its network.
The CMS is seeking to improve quality of care at nursing homes via a new safety training effort.
The CMS wants to make sure it's using the right quality measures to track care given by home health agencies, which costs the agency around $18 billion every year.
There will be fewer independent post-acute providers as they struggle to raise the additional capital to comply with evolving regulatory regimes, care coordination and new payment systems, according to a new report from Welltower.
Occupancy at SNFs across the United States reached a record low of 81.7% in the second quarter of 2018, down from 83.1% over the same period last year as policy changes take hold and competition ramps up.
Private equity firms increasingly see post-acute providers as lucrative investments, buying skilled-nursing and senior-housing facilities from REITs that are willing to sell because of the sectors' financial struggles.
The CMS will give post-acute care providers more than $900 million in collective raises next year, including a 2.4% increase for skilled-nursing facilities and 1.3% for inpatient rehab centers.
ProMedica bought the bankrupt post-acute provider HCR ManorCare for about $1.4 billion through a complex deal that involves changing HCR's for-profit facilities into not-for-profit assets.
The CMS is considering paying home health agencies for remote patient monitoring. In all, the CMS is proposing a 2.1% or $400 million increase in Medicare payments for home health agencies. That's a change from the 0.4% or $80 million cut from last year.
Sanford Health will merge with Good Samaritan Society, mirroring other health systems that have made a play for long-term care providers to try to better coordinate care once patients leave the hospital.
Signature HealthCare agreed to pay more than $30 million to settle allegations that the skilled-nursing provider submitted false claims to Medicare for unnecessary rehabilitation services.
Rehabilitation hospitals say a proposed change to how the CMS will reimburse them for care could lead to underpayment because the new system pulls patient data from an untested source.