(a)General rule. MA plans must provide coverage of posthospital extended care services to Medicare enrollees through a home skilled nursing facility if the enrollee elects to receive the coverage through the home skilled nursing facility, and if the home skilled nursing facility either has a contract with the MA organization or agrees to accept substantially similar payment under the same terms and conditions that apply to similar skilled nursing facilities that contract with the MA organization.
(b)Definitions. In this subpart, home skilled nursing facility means—
(1) The skilled nursing facility in which the enrollee resided at the time of admission to the hospital preceding the receipt of posthospital extended care services;
(2) A skilled nursing facility that is providing posthospital extended care services through a continuing care retirement community in which the MA plan enrollee was a resident at the time of admission to the hospital. A continuing care retirement community is an arrangement under which housing and health-related services are provided (or arranged) through an organization for the enrollee under an agreement that is effective for the life of the enrollee or for a specified period; or
(3) The skilled nursing facility in which the spouse of the enrollee is residing at the time of discharge from the hospital.
(4) If an MA organization elects to furnish SNF care in the absence of a prior qualifying hospital stay under § 422.101(c), then that SNF care is also subject to the home skilled nursing facility rules in this section. In applying the provisions of this section to coverage under this paragraph, references to a hospitalization, or discharge from a hospital, are deemed to refer to wherever the enrollee resides immediately before admission for extended care services.
(c)Coverage no less favorable. The posthospital extended care scope of services, cost-sharing, and access to coverage provided by the home skilled nursing facility must be no less favorable to the enrollee than posthospital extended care services coverage that would be provided to the enrollee by a skilled nursing facility that would be otherwise covered under the MA plan.
(d)Exceptions. The requirement to allow an MA plan enrollee to elect to return to the home skilled nursing facility for posthospital extended care services after discharge from the hospital does not do the following:
(1) Require coverage through a skilled nursing facility that is not otherwise qualified to provide benefits under Part A for Medicare beneficiaries not enrolled in the MA plan.
(2) Prevent a skilled nursing facility from refusing to accept, or imposing conditions on the acceptance of, an enrollee for the receipt of posthospital extended care services.