§ 40-8-19. Rates of payment to nursing facilities.
(a) Rate reform.
(1) The rates to be paid by the state to nursing facilities licensed pursuant to chapter 17 of title 23, and certified to participate in Title XIX of the Social Security Act for services rendered to Medicaid-eligible residents, shall be reasonable and adequate to meet the costs that must be incurred by efficiently and economically operated facilities in accordance with 42 U.S.C. § 1396a(a)(13). The executive office of health and human services ("executive office") shall promulgate or modify the principles of reimbursement for nursing facilities in effect as of July 1, 2011, to be consistent with the provisions of this section and Title XIX, 42 U.S.C. § 1396 et seq., of the Social Security Act.
(2) The executive office shall review the current methodology for providing Medicaid payments to nursing facilities, including other long-term-care services providers, and is authorized to modify the principles of reimbursement to replace the current cost-based methodology rates with rates based on a price-based methodology to be paid to all facilities with recognition of the acuity of patients and the relative Medicaid occupancy, and to include the following elements to be developed by the executive office:
(i) A direct-care rate adjusted for resident acuity;
(ii) An indirect-care rate comprised of a base per diem for all facilities;
(iii) A rearray of costs for all facilities every three (3) years beginning October, 2015, that may or may not result in automatic per diem revisions;
(iv) Application of a fair-rental-value system;
(v) Application of a pass-through system; and
(vi) Adjustment of rates by the change in a recognized national nursing home inflation index to be applied on October 1st of each year, beginning October 1, 2012. This adjustment will not occur on October 1, 2013, or October 1, 2015, but will occur on April 1, 2015. The adjustment of rates will also not occur on October 1, 2017. Said inflation index shall be applied without regard for the transition factor in subsection (b)(2). For purposes of October 1, 2016, adjustment only, any rate increase that results from application of the inflation index to subparagraphs (a)(2)(i) and (a)(2)(ii) shall be dedicated to increase compensation for direct-care workers in the following manner: Not less than 85% of this aggregate amount shall be expended to fund an increase in wages, benefits, or related employer costs of direct-care staff of nursing homes. For purposes of this section, direct-care staff shall include registered nurses (RNs), licensed practical nurses (LPNs), certified nursing assistants (CNAs), certified medical technicians, housekeeping staff, laundry staff, dietary staff, or other similar employees providing direct-care services; provided, however, that this definition of direct-care staff shall not include: (i) RNs and LPNs who are classified as "exempt employees" under the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (29 U.S.C. § 201 et seq.); or (ii) CNAs, certified medical technicians, RNs, or LPNs who are contracted, or subcontracted, through a third-party vendor or staffing agency. By July 31, 2017, nursing facilities shall submit to the secretary, or designee, a certification that they have complied with the provisions of this subparagraph (a)(2)(vi) with respect to the inflation index applied on October 1, 2016. Any facility that does not comply with terms of such certification shall be subjected to a clawback, paid by the nursing facility to the state, in the amount of increased reimbursement subject to this provision that was not expended in compliance with that certification.
(b) Transition to full implementation of rate reform. For no less than four (4) years after the initial application of the price-based methodology described in subdivision (a)(2) to payment rates, the executive office of health and human services shall implement a transition plan to moderate the impact of the rate reform on individual nursing facilities. Said transition shall include the following components:
(1) No nursing facility shall receive reimbursement for direct-care costs that is less than the rate of reimbursement for direct-care costs received under the methodology in effect at the time of passage of this act; for the year beginning October 1, 2017, the reimbursement for direct-care costs under this provision will be phased out in twenty-five-percent (25%) increments each year until October 1, 2021, when the reimbursement will no longer be in effect. No nursing facility shall receive reimbursement for direct-care costs that is less than the rate of reimbursement for direct-care costs received under the methodology in effect at the time of passage of this act; and
(2) No facility shall lose or gain more than five dollars ($5.00) in its total, per diem rate the first year of the transition. An adjustment to the per diem loss or gain may be phased out by twenty-five percent (25%) each year; except, however, for the years beginning October 1, 2015, there shall be no adjustment to the per diem gain or loss, but the phase out shall resume thereafter; and
(3) The transition plan and/or period may be modified upon full implementation of facility per diem rate increases for quality-of-care related measures. Said modifications shall be submitted in a report to the general assembly at least six (6) months prior to implementation.
(4) Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, for the twelve-month (12) period beginning July 1, 2015, Medicaid payment rates for nursing facilities established pursuant to this section shall not exceed ninety-eight percent (98%) of the rates in effect on April 1, 2015.
(P.L. 1993, ch. 138, art. 20, § 1; P.L. 1996, ch. 100, art. 26, § 1; P.L. 1996, ch. 398, § 1; P.L. 1999, ch. 31, art. 22, § 1; P.L. 2000, ch. 127, § 1; P.L. 2000, ch. 343, § 1; P.L. 2001, ch. 77, art. 13, § 2; P.L. 2002, ch. 419, § 1; P.L. 2003, ch. 376, art. 41, § 1; P.L. 2004, ch. 595, art. 46, § 1; P.L. 2006, ch. 246, art. 15, § 1; P.L. 2007, ch. 73, art. 12, § 1; P.L. 2008, ch. 100, art. 37, § 1; P.L. 2008, ch. 475, § 8; P.L. 2009, ch. 5, art. 14, § 1; P.L. 2009, ch. 68, art. 23, § 1; P.L. 2010, ch. 23, art. 20, § 6; P.L. 2011, ch. 151, art. 14, § 1; P.L. 2012, ch. 304, § 1; P.L. 2012, ch. 327, § 1; P.L. 2013, ch. 144, art. 19, § 1; P.L. 2014, ch. 145, art. 18, § 1; P.L. 2015, ch. 141, art. 5, § 11; P.L. 2016, ch. 142, art. 7, § 2; P.L. 2017, ch. 302, art. 9, § 2.)