In December, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released its report, Payments for Certain Long-Term Care Hospitals that Specialize in Spinal Cord Treatment. This report was mandated under the 21st Century Cures Act, which created a temporary exception to the application of the Medicare LTCH site neutral provisions for two spinal cord specialty hospitals: Craig Hospital in Englewood, CO and Shepherd Center in Atlanta, GA.
Under the 21st Century Cures Act, the GAO was charged with determining the impact of this exception. In its review, GAO found that the exception positively impacted payment for the two facilities. Further, Medicare payments were likely to decrease once the exception expires in fiscal year 2020.