CMS Pushing Back Ambulance Cost Data Collection Program
CMS has just announced that it is modifying the data collection and data reporting period for ambulance services selected for Year One of the cost data collection program. The CMS guidance appeared contradictory – in one section, CMS indicated that ambulance services “can select” a 2021 reporting period instead of a 2020 reporting period. But in the next section CMS said that Year 1 ambulance services “will” now collect and report in Year 2. PWW sought further clarification, since the announcement was not clear as to whether ambulance services could still optionally report 2020 data if they wish to do so. CMS just responded to PWW and said , “to clarify, the waiver does not allow for optional collection. Year 1 sampled organizations will collect in 2021.”
This new CMS waiver means that the ambulance cost data collection program will not include any 2020 data – and agencies who were selected for Year 1 will not be able to report any of their 2020 cost data.
We will be discussing this late-breaking development during the “Reimbursement Update” and a special “bonus session” on CMS Ambulance Cost Data Collection during this week’s Virtual abc360 Conference – West. There is still time to sign up for Virtual abc360 West. The 2 ½ day Virtual abc360 conference kicks off on Wednesday May 20th. You can register HERE.
Here is the CMS announcement posted on the CMS web page “COVID-19 Emergency Declaration Blanket Waivers for Health Care Providers” which can be found HERE. The specific information can be found on Page 29 and is reproduced below:
Ambulance Services: Medicare Ground Ambulance Data Collection System (New since May 11 Release)
• CMS is modifying the data collection period and data reporting period, as defined at 42 CFR § 414.626(a), for ground ambulance organizations (as defined at 42 CFR § 414.605) that were selected by CMS under 42 CFR § 414.626(c) to collect data beginning between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020 (year 1) for purposes of complying with the data reporting requirements described at 42 CFR § 414.626.
• Under this modification, these ground ambulance organizations can select a new continuous 12-month data collection period that begins between January 1, 2021 and December 31, 2021, collect data necessary to complete the Medicare Ground Ambulance Data Collection Instrument during their selected data collection period, and submit a completed Medicare Ground Ambulance Data Collection Instrument during the data reporting period that corresponds to their selected data collection period.
• CMS is modifying this data collection and reporting period to increase flexibilities for ground ambulance organizations that would otherwise be required to collect data in 2020- 2021 so that they can focus on their operations and patient care. As a result of this modification, ground ambulance organizations selected for year 1 data collection and reporting will collect and report data during the same period of time that will apply to ground ambulance organizations selected by CMS under 42 CFR § 414.626(c) to collect data beginning between January 1, 2021 and December 31, 2021 (year 2) for purposes of complying with the data reporting requirements described at 42 CFR § 414.626.
Stay up to date with this and many other late breaking developments by signing up for abc360 Virtual!