PEPPER for Skilled Nursing Homes to be Distributed August 30, 2013

What is the Program for Evaluating Payment Patterns Electronic Report (PEPPER)?

  • PEPPER is developed and distributed by TMF Health Quality Institute, under contract with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). 
  • National Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) claim data was analyzed to identify areas within the SNF Prospective Payment System (PPS) that could be at risk for improper Medicare payment.  PEPPER is a data report that contains a SNF’s Medicare claims data (obtained from the UB-04 claims submitted to the Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) or Fiscal Intermediary (FI)). 
  • PEPPER contains provider-specific Medicare data statistics for discharges or services vulnerable to improper payments.  Target areas were identified based on a review of literature regarding SNF payment vulnerabilities, review of the SNF PPS, analysis of claims data and coordination with CMS subject matter experts.  PEPPER can support a facility’s compliance efforts by identifying potential overpayments or underpayments. 
  • All SNFs that have sufficient data to generate a report will receive a PEPPER.  The report shows how a SNF’s data compares to aggregate jurisdiction, state and national statistics.  If the SNF’s target area percent is at/above the national 80th percentile or at/below the national 20th percentile, the SNF is identified as at risk for improper Medicare payments.  PEPPER is only available to the individual SNF.

SNFs that are part of a short-term acute care hospital will receive their PEPPER electronically via QualityNet, sent to the hospital QualityNet Administrator.  All other SNFs will receive their PEPPER in hard-copy format via United States Postal Service first class mail.  The envelope will appear as the image below, addressed to the CEO/Administrator.  If still unable to locate, submit a request for assistance via the Help Desk. is the official site for information, training and support.

Training & resources for Skilled Nursing Homes are now available on the website at

If you have questions about the PEPPER reports, you may submit questions on this website through the Help/Contact Us tab.

Please do not contact your state QIO or state survey agency for assistance with PEPPER.