MEDICAID SUPPLEMENTAL PAYMENT PROGRAMS
Many of you are already participating in supplemental payment programs for Medicaid. These cost reporting programs continue to roll on with minimal interruptions through the COVID-19 crisis. While we have seen some deadline extensions for cost report submission in several states, we have not yet seen any significant delays in payments. Due to resource constraints, there are, however, some states that have temporarily delayed implementation of new programs. Still, we are encouraged that this funding source remains viable for many of you.
New emergency medical services (EMS) supplemental payment programs are being implemented each year. Earlier this year, we received the exciting news that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) approved the Florida Public Emergency Medical Transportation (PEMT) Managed Care Organization (MCO) Program. This program will consist of a net of up to nearly $34 million in new federal dollars available. The approval of this MCO supplemental payment program also sets the precedent for similar programs in other states that have a higher proportion of Medicaid under managed care, rather than the traditional fee-for-service (FFS) systems.
MEDICARE GROUND AMBULANCE COST DATA COLLECTION
CMS issued a blanket waiver to modify the reporting period for first-year selectees for Ground Ambulance Cost Data Collection. In a May 15 release, CMS granted first-year selectees—that were due to collect data beginning between January 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020—the opportunity to select a new continuous 12-month data collection period that begins between January 1, 2021, and December 31, 2021. This change was made in order to provide some flexibility to ambulance services so that they could focus on their operations and patient care during the current crisis.
While the reporting of cost data to CMS was delayed for one year, providers should still be preparing for this process. It will be important that providers are tracking lost revenues and identifying additional expenses related to the COVID-19 emergency. This information will need to be tracked and reported so that CMS can identify the true costs of patient care and, additionally, so that agencies can utilize this data in future COVID-related funding opportunities. From an operations perspective, this means that your front-line personnel should be clearly documenting all COVID-suspected and COVID-positive cases and, as feasible, the additional cost of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other supplies and time for caring for these patients.