Utah Department of Administrative Services Office of Administrative Rules

Utah Administrative Code

The Utah Administrative Code is the body of all effective administrative rules as compiled and organized by the Division of Administrative Rules (see Subsection 63G-3-102(5); see also Sections 63G-3-701 and 702).

NOTE: For a list of rules that have been made effective since December 1, 2016, please see the codification segue page.

NOTE TO RULEFILING AGENCIES: Use the RTF version for submitting rule changes.

R414. Health, Health Care Financing, Coverage and Reimbursement Policy.

Rule R414-504. Nursing Facility Payments.

As in effect on December 1, 2016

Table of Contents

R414-504-1. Introduction.

(1) This rule adopts a case mix or severity based payment system, commonly referred to as RUGS (Resource Utilization Group System) for nursing facilities that are not ICF/MRs. This system reimburses facilities based on the case mix index of the facility. It also establishes rates for ICF/MR facilities.

(2) This rule is authorized by Utah Code sections 26-1-5, 26-18-3, and 26-35a.

R414-504-2. Definitions.

The definitions in R414-1-2 and R414-501-2 apply to this rule. In addition:

(1) "Behaviorally complex resident" means a long-term care resident with a severe, medically based behavior disorder, including traumatic brain injury, dementia, Alzheimer's, Huntington's Chorea, which causes diminished capacity for judgment, retention of information or decision-making skills, or a resident, who meets the Medicaid criteria for nursing facility level of care and who has a medically-based mental health disorder or diagnosis and has a high level resource use in the nursing facility not currently recognized in the case mix.

(2) "Case Mix Index" means a score assigned to each facility based on the average of the Medicaid patients' RUGS scores for that facility.

(3) "Facility Case Mix Rate" means the rate the Department issues to a facility for a specified period of time. This rate utilizes the case mix index for a provider, labor wage index application and other case mix related costs.

(4) "FCP" means the Facility Cost Profile report filed by the provider on an annual basis.

(5) "Minimum Data Set" (MDS) means a set of screening, clinical and functional status elements, including common definitions and coding categories, that form the foundation of the comprehensive assessment for all residents of long term care facilities certified to participate in Medicaid.

(6) "Nursing Costs" means the most current costs from the annual FCP report reported on lines 070-012 Nursing Admin Salaries and Wages; 070-013 Nursing Admin Tax and Benefits; 070-040 Nursing Direct Care Salaries and Wages; 070-041 Nursing Direct Care Tax and Benefits, and 070-050 Purchased Nursing Services.

(7) "Nursing facility" or "facility" means a Medicaid-participating NF, SNF, or a combination thereof, as defined in 42 USC 1396r (a) (1988), 42 CFR 440.150 and 442.12 (1993), and UCA 26-21-2(15).

(8) "Patient day" means the care of one patient during a day of service, excluding the day of discharge.

(9) "Property costs" means the fair rental value (FRV) established by this rule.

(10) "RUGS" means the 34 RUG identification system based on the Resource Utilization Group System established by Medicare to measure and ultimately pay for the labor, fixed costs and other resources necessary to provide care to Medicaid patients. Each "RUG" is assigned a weight based on an assessment of its relative value as measured by resource utilization.

(11) "RUGS score" means a total number based on the individual RUGS derived from a resident's physical, mental and clinical condition, which projects the amount of relative resources needed to provide care to the resident. RUGS is calculated from the information obtained through the submission of the MDS data.

(12) "Sole community provider" means a facility that is not an urban provider and is not within 30 paved road miles of another existing facility and is the only facility:

(a) within a city, if the facility is located within the incorporated boundaries of a city; or

(b) within the unincorporated area of the county if it is located in an unincorporated area.

(13)(a) "Urban provider" means a facility located in a county which has a population greater than 90,000 persons.

(b) "Rural provider" means a facility that is not an urban provider.

(14) "FRV Data Report" means a report that provides the Department with information relating to capital improvements to be included in the FRV calculation.

(15) "Banked beds" means beds that have been taken off-line by the provider, through the process defined by Utah Department of Health, Bureau of Facility Licensing, Certification, and Resident Assessment, to reduce the operational capacity of the facility, but does not reduce the licensed bed capacity.

(16) "Bed Addition" means, as used in the fair rental value calculation, a capitalized project that adds additional beds to the facility. This must be new and complete construction. An increase in total licensed beds and new construction costs support a claim of additional beds.

(17) "Bed Replacement" means, as used in the fair rental value calculation, a capitalized project that furnishes a bed in the place of another, previously existing, bed. Room remodeling is not a replacement of beds. This must be new and complete construction.

(18) "Major Renovation" means, as used in the fair rental value calculation, a capitalized project with a cost equal to or greater than $500 per licensed bed. A renovation extends the life, increases the productivity, or significantly improves the safety (such as by asbestos removal) of a facility as opposed to repairs and maintenance which either restore the facility to, or maintain it at, it's normal or expected service life. Vehicle costs are not a major renovation capital expenditure.

R414-504-3. Principles of Facility Case Mix Rates and Other Payments.

The following principles apply to the payment of freestanding and provider based nursing facilities for services rendered to nursing care level I, II, and III Medicaid patients, as defined in Rule R414-502. This rule does not affect the system for reimbursement for intensive skilled Medicaid patient add-on amounts.

(1) Approximately 59% of total payments in aggregate to nursing facilities for nursing care level I, II and III Medicaid patients are based on a prospective facility case mix rate. In addition, these facilities shall be paid a flat basic operating expense payment equal to approximately 29% of the total payments. The balance of the total payments will be paid in aggregate to facilities as required by Section R414-504-3 based on other authorized factors, including property and behaviorally complex residents, in the proportion that the facility qualifies for the factor.

(2) Each quarter, the Department shall calculate a new case mix index for each nursing facility. The case mix index is based on three months of MDS assessment data. The newly calculated case mix index is applied to a new rate at the beginning of a quarter according to the following schedule:

(a) January, February and March MDS assessments are used for July 1 rates.

(b) April, May and June MDS assessments are used for October 1 rates.

(c) July, August and September MDS assessments are used for January 1 rates.

(d) October, November and December MDS assessments are used for April 1 rates.

(3) MDS data is used in calculating each facility's case mix index. This information is submitted by each facility and, as such, each facility is responsible for the accuracy of its data. The Department may exclude inaccurate or incomplete MDS data from the calculation.

(4) MDS assessments for recipients who are eligible for the "Intensive Skilled" add-on are excluded from the case mix calculation. A facility with less than 20 percent of its total census days as Medicaid days, as reported on its FCP or FRV data report, is excluded from the state case mix average. The state average case mix index is used to set the rate for that facility.

(5) A facility may apply for a special add-on rate for behaviorally complex residents by filing a written request with the Division of Health Care Financing. The Department may approve an add-on rate if an assessment of the acuity and needs of the patient demonstrates that the facility is not adequately reimbursed by the RUGS score for that patient. The rate is added on for the specific resident's payment and is not subsumed as part of the facility case mix rate. Utah's Bureau of Health Facility Licensure, Certification and Resident Assessment will make the determination as to qualification for any additional payment. The Division of Health Care Financing shall determine the amount of any add-on.

(6) Property costs are paid separately from the RUGS rate.

(7) Reimbursement for nursing home rates is in accordance with Attachment 4.19-D of the Utah Medicaid State Plan, which is incorporated by reference in Rule R414-1.

(8) A sole community provider that is financially distressed may apply for a payment adjustment above the case mix index established rate. The maximum increase will be 7.5% above the average of the most recent Medicaid daily rate for all Medicaid residents in all freestanding nursing facilities in the state. The maximum duration of this adjustment is for no more than a total of 12 months per facility in any five-year period.

(a) The application shall propose what the adjustment should be and include a financial review prepared by the facility documenting:

(i) the facility's income and expenses for the past 12 months; and

(ii) specific steps taken by the facility to reduce costs and increase occupancy.

(b) Financial support from the local municipality and county governing bodies for the continued operation of the facility in the community is a necessary prerequisite to an acceptable application. The Department, the facility and the local governing bodies may negotiate the amount of the financial commitment from the governing bodies, but in no case may the local commitment be less than 50% of the state share required to fund the proposed adjustment. Any continuation of the adjustment beyond 6 months requires a local commitment of 100% of the state share for the rate increase above the base rate. The applicant shall submit letters of commitment from the applicable municipality or county, or both, committing to make an intergovernmental transfer for the amount of the local commitment.

(i) If the governmental agency receives donations in order to provide the financial contribution, it must document that the donations are "bona fide" as set forth in 42 CFR 433.54.

(c) The Department may conduct its own independent financial review of the facility prior to making a decision whether to approve a different payment rate.

(d) If the Department determines that the facility is in imminent peril of closing, it may make an interim rate adjustment for up to 90 days.

(e) The Department's determination shall be based on maintaining access to services and maintaining economy and efficiency in the Medicaid program.

(f) If the facility desires an adjustment for more than 90 days, it must demonstrate that:

(i) the facility has taken all reasonable steps to reduce costs, increase revenue and increase occupancy;

(ii) despite those reasonable steps the facility is currently losing money and forecast to continue losing money; and

(iii) the amount of the approved adjustment will allow the facility to meet expenses and continue to support the needs of the community it serves, without unduly enriching any party.

(g) If the Department approves an interim or other adjustment, it shall notify the facility when the adjustment is scheduled to take effect and how much contribution is required from the local governing bodies. Payment of the adjustment is contingent on the facility obtaining a fully executed binding agreement with local governing bodies to pay the contribution to the Department.

(h) The Department may withhold or deny payment of the interim or other adjustment if the facility fails to obtain the required agreement prior to the scheduled effective date of the adjustment.

(9) A provider may challenge the rate set pursuant to this rule using the appeal in Rule R410-14. This applies to which rate methodology is used as well as to the specifics of implementation of the methodology. A provider must exhaust administrative remedies before challenging rates in any other forum.

(10) In developing payment rates, the Department may adjust urban and non-urban rates to reflect differences in urban and non-urban labor costs. The urban labor costs reimbursement cannot exceed 106% of the non-urban labor costs. Labor costs are as reported on the most recent FCP but do not include FCP-reported management, consulting, director, and home office fees.

(11) The Department reimburses swing beds, transitional care unit beds, and small health care facility beds that are used as nursing facility beds, using the prior calendar year state-wide average of the daily nursing facility rate.

(12) Withholding of Title XIX payments

(a) The Department may withhold Title XIX payments from providers if:

(i) there is a shortage in a resident trust account managed by the facility;

(ii) the facility fails to submit a complete and accurate FCP as required by Utah State Plan Attachment 4.19-D, Section 332;

(iii) the facility fails to submit timely, accurate Minimum Data Set (MDS) data;

(iv) the facility owes money to the Division of Health Care Financing because of an overpayment, nursing care facility assessment, civil money penalty, or other offset; or

(v) the facility fails to respond within ten business days to requests for information relating to desk review or audit findings relating to the facility's submitted FCP or FRV Data Report.

(b) For ongoing operations, the Department will provide notice before withholding payments. The Department and provider may negotiate a repayment schedule acceptable to the Department for monies owed to the Department listed in subsection (a)(iv). The repayment schedule may not exceed 180 days.

(c) When the Department rescinds withholding of payments to a facility, it will resume payments according to the regular claims payment cycle.

R414-504-4. Quality Improvement Incentive.

Reimbursement for Nursing Home Quality Improvement Incentives is in accordance with Attachment 4.19-D of the Utah Medicaid State Plan, which is incorporated by reference in Rule R414-1.

R414-504-5. Reimbursement for Intermediate Care Facilities for the Mentally Retarded.

The following principles apply to the payment of community-based intermediate care facilities for the mentally retarded (ICF/MRs) that are licensed under Utah Code 26-21-13.5:

(1) The Department pays approximately 93% of the aggregate payments to ICF/MRs based on a prospective flat rate established in Utah State Plan Attachment 4.19-D. The Department pays the balance as a property cost component calculated by the Fair Rental Value system pursuant to R414-504-3.

(2) Reimbursement for the ICF/MR Quality Improvement Incentive is in accordance with Attachment 4.19-D of the Utah Medicaid State Plan, which is incorporated by reference in Rule R414-1.



Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment

July 1, 2011

Notice of Continuation

November 14, 2012

Authorizing, Implemented, or Interpreted Law

26-1-5; 26-18-3; 26-35a

Additional Information


For questions regarding the content or application of rules under Title R414, please contact the promulgating agency (Health, Health Care Financing, Coverage and Reimbursement Policy). A list of agencies with links to their homepages is available at http://www.utah.gov/government/agencylist.html or from http://www.rules.utah.gov/contact/agencycontacts.htm.