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The Center for Medicare Advocacy is grateful to CMS for responding to concerns we and others raised regarding changes to the skilled nursing facility (SNF) coverage standards in the Medicare Benefit Policy Manual. The policy changes, issued this September, misstated and limited nursing home (SNF) coverage and care available under Medicare. For example, the revisions as originally written stated that an individual must require "highly skilled" care for a "fairly brief time" – vague, more restrictive descriptions of care than those in the Medicare statute.

Fortunately, CMS has rescinded these limiting changes to the scope and purpose of Medicare’s SNF coverage. (See https://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Guidance/Transmittals/Downloads/R228BP.pdf). 

The revised MLN Matters article that reflects these revisions is now available on the CMS website at https://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Medicare-Learning-Network-MLN/MLNMattersArticles/Downloads/MM9748.pdf

The effective date for new transmittal R228BP is October 18, 2016.

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