With the expenses that medical facilities face, receiving proper reimbursement from Medicare is essential. Doing so means making sure to file Medicare cost reports accurately, thoroughly and on time. The process is far from trivial, though, and an error in filing can cost your facility greatly. To make filing the report easier and quicker, keep these tips in mind.
Barring unusual circumstances, cost reports are due five months following the end of the facility’s calendar year—for most facilities, this places the due date at May 31st. With little room for error, beginning the filing process at the earliest opportunity goes a long way in ensuring a report that is both timely and correct. Filing an amended report is not always possible, and when it is, you want to have plenty of time necessary to review and correct the report.
The requirements for filing cost reports—including the necessary forms and the regulations surrounding them—change on a yearly basis, and this can make reports difficult for hospitals and other medical facilities. Fortunately, all Medicare cost reporting software must be compliant with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which means that they remain updated on each year’s rules for cost reports. Using such software is one of the strongest ways to make sure that your paperwork remains compliant as well.
Using the Chargemaster
Managing the chargemaster—a hospital’s compendium of products and services provided—remains important for proper accounting even on its own. However, it also makes for a vital tool when preparing a cost report as well, since it’s referenced for generating patients’ bills. Collaboration between personnel responsible for the chargemaster and for the cost report helps keep the records straight.
Due diligence, preparation and professional insight go a long way in making sure that Medicare cost reports get completed and submitted on time to qualify for reimbursement and avoid possible lawsuits.
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