Hospital Wage Index Timeline – Proposed FY 2018

Date: April 19, 2017

To: All PPS Hospitals

From: Ellen Corwin, Director

Subject: Availability of the Final Federal Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Wage Index Data Public Use Files and Deadline for Requesting Corrections to the Data

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will release the final FY 2018 wage index data public use files (PUFs) on April 28, 2017. The files are available for the limited purpose of identifying any potential data entry or transmission errors made by CMS or the A/B Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs), NOT for the initiation of new revision requests. The files include: 1) a file containing the Worksheet S-3 wage data from cost reports beginning during FY 2014 (that is, on or after October 1, 2013 and before October 1, 2014), and 2) a file containing the 2013 occupational mix survey data. Also, as noted in the letter to hospitals with regard to the January 30, 2017 PUF, we have added additional tabs containing the Worksheet S-3 wage data of hospitals deleted from master wage data file, and a tab containing the CY 2013 occupational mix data (if any) of hospitals deleted from the master occupational mix data file. Data that were incorrect in the January 30, 2017 wage data PUFs, but for which no revision request was received by the February 17, 2017 deadline, will not be considered for correction at this stage. Hospitals should promptly review their final wage index data files to ensure that their Worksheet S-3 wage and occupational mix data are accurate. All requests from hospitals for corrections to their FY 2018 wage index data files must be submitted to and received (i.e., not postmarked) by both their A/B MACs and CMS on or before May 30, 2017.

Hospitals are reminded that the average hourly wages and wage index values published in the proposed rule are based on data transmitted to CMS by late February. Therefore, the data in the proposed rule does not reflect the wage data to be used to calculate the final FY 2018 wage index. In addition, be aware that appeals filed in April 2017 are still pending, and are not reflected in the April 28, 2017 PUF. In order to ensure the hospital's wage data are accurately reflected in CMS' files prior to the calculation of the final FY 2018 wage index, hospitals must review the final wage index data PUFs posted on April 28, 2017.

Availability of the Final Wage Index PUFs

The two final FY 2018 wage index data PUFs will be posted on the Internet on April 28, 2017. The data will be used in the development of the final FY 2018 wage index, which will be published in the Federal Register by August 1, 2017. The final FY 2018 wage index data files will be available at CMS' Web site: https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare-Fee-for-Service-Payment/AcuteInpatientPPS/Wage-Index-Files-Items/FY2018-Wage-Index-Home-Page.html.

Alternatively, the American Hospital Association generally makes the wage data files available to individual State hospital associations. Hospitals may want to check with their State hospital associations to see if the associations have or will be receiving the files. CMS will notify the American Hospital Association, the Federation of American Hospitals, and the Association of American Medical Colleges regarding the release of the files.

We strongly encourage all hospitals to access the final FY 2018 wage index files and verify the accuracy of their data. The May 30, 2017 deadline will be hospitals' last opportunity to request corrections to their data files for the FY 2018 wage index.

Requesting Corrections to the Wage Index Data

As noted in the wage index development timetable (previously sent, and attached for your convenience), hospitals have the right to request corrections to their wage index data files if they can establish that the A/B MACS or CMS made a data entry or transmission error in the final FY 2018 wage index data files. A hospital requesting a correction must submit its request, by hard copy and email, along with complete, appropriate detailed documentation, to both its A/B MACS and CMS, no later than May 30, 2017. Per the attached wage index development timetable, send appeals to both:

Email: wageindexreview@cms.hhs.gov

AND Hard Copy:

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
c/o Wage Index, CMM/HAPG/DAC
Room C4-08-06
7500 Security Boulevard
Baltimore, Maryland 21244-1850

Refer to the attached wage index development timetable for complete information regarding submission of correction requests. Note that May 30, 2017 is the deadline for the MACs' and CMS' receipt of correction requests and supporting documentation from hospitals. Requests postmarked by May 30, 2017, but not received until after May 30, 2017, are unacceptable. Requests received via email after May 30, 2017 are unacceptable.

Neither the A/B MACs nor CMS will consider the following types of requests in conjunction with this process:

  • Requests for corrections to your wage data that was submitted too late to be included in the data transmitted by the MACs to CMS on or before April 5, 2017;
  • Requests for correction of errors that were not, but could have been, identified during the hospital's review of the wage index data files released on January 30, 2017; or,
  • Requests to revisit factual determinations or policy interpretations made by the A/B MACs or CMS during the wage data correction process prior to the April 2017 release of the final FY 2018 wage index files.

Data that were incorrect in the January 30, 2017 wage index public use files, but for which no revision request from the hospital was received by the A/B MACs as of the February 17, 2017 deadline will not be changed at this stage for inclusion in the wage index. Please note that, while MACs may make other revisions to hospitals' wage data at this time as part of the ongoing cost report settlement process, these changes will not be incorporated into the data to be used for the wage index.

The A/B MACs and CMS will review each request upon receipt and will determine whether or not the request meets the criteria for correction of the final wage index files. If a correction is necessary, the wage data will be revised accordingly and will be included in the final FY 2018 wage index, effective October 1, 2017. CMS will send each hospital a letter explaining CMS' decision regarding the hospital's correction request.

Due July 3, 2017: Requirement to Submit to Your MAC the Calendar Year 2016 Occupational Mix Survey

In a letter we sent to you in early February regarding the availability of the January 30, 2017 PUF, we informed you that hospitals must complete the new CY 2016 occupational mix surveys and submit them to their MACs, on the Excel hospital reporting form, by July 1, 2017, via email attachment or overnight delivery. However, CMS realized that July 1, 2017 is a Saturday. Therefore, CMS is correcting the hospital due date for submission of CY 2016 occupational mix surveys to be Monday, July 3, 2017.

We are informing you that hospitals must complete the CY 2016 occupational mix surveys and submit them to their MACs, on the Excel hospital reporting form, by Monday, July 3, 2017, via email attachment or overnight delivery. The CY 2016 Medicare occupational mix survey and instructions can be found at https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare-Fee-for-Service-Payment/AcuteInpatientPPS/Wage-Index-Files-Items/2016-Occupational-Mix-Survey-Hospital-Reporting-Form-CMS-10079-for-the-Wage-Index-Beginning-FY-2019.html

If you have any questions, please contact Barb Miers at 651-994-3907 or Barbara.miers@noridian.com.

ATTACHMENT:
FY 2018 Wage Index Development Timetable

Last Updated Jun 27, 2018