Long-Term Care

CMS affirms that SNFs can charge Medicare bed holds

Billing Alert for Long-Term Care, October 1, 2008

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Since CMS transitioned to an online manual system, the ability to bill Medicare beneficiaries when a skilled nursing facility (SNF) holds a bed during a leave of absence (LOA) basically has been an unwritten rule, says Elizabeth Malzahn, manager at FR&R Healthcare Consulting, Inc., in Deerfield, IL. “The instructions didn’t make it into the Internet-only manual, so the only ref-erence available was in the defunct paper manual,” she says.

However, SNFs now have some up-to-date directions. Transmittal 1522 clarifies the rules for charging Medicare bed holds “in language people can actually understand,” Malzahn says.

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