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CMS Revises Uncompensated Care Worksheet

Beginning in fiscal year (FY) 2017, hospitals submitting Medicare cost reports must follow new instructions issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in a transmittal to providers.

The transmittal announced changes to the Medicare cost report and the corresponding instructions. Of particular interest to essential hospitals, CMS revised the Worksheet S-10, which hospitals use to report uncompensated care data.

While many of the changes to the Worksheet S-10 are typographical in nature, the revised version of the cost report changes the instructions for lines 20 to 23 pertaining to charity care costs. For cost reporting periods beginning on or after Oct. 1, 2016, hospitals must enter the total charity care charges written off in the cost reporting period, rather than the charges for charity care services provided during the cost reporting period.

In comments to CMS, America’s Essential Hospitals previously called on the agency to revise charity care reporting to reflect the date charges are written off as charity care, as opposed to the date the services are provided. CMS indicated that it would be making this change in the FY 2017 Inpatient Prospective Payment System final rule.

Essential hospitals should review the changes to both the cost report worksheets and the corresponding instructions, which contain new worksheets and directions pertaining to costs for hospital-based federally qualified health centers.

Contact Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at eomalley@essentialhospitals.org or 202.585.0127 with questions.

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About the Author

Shahid Zaman is a senior policy analyst at America's Essential Hospitals.