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Wage Index Survey: What Hospitals Need to Know

In this environment of uncertainty, it is important for hospitals to optimize all reimbursement opportunities while staying in compliance with Federal Regulations.

One way that hospitals can identify additional reimbursement opportunities is by reviewing their Hospital Wage Index Survey. Since the calculation is complex, it is important for hospitals to understand how the data reported impacts their Medicare reimbursement.

Based on our experience, we have identified some areas of the Wage Index Survey that we can assist your hospital during your next Wage Index review.

Contract Labor

Identifying all allowable contract labor can have a significant impact on a hospital’s reimbursement. We recommend a detail review of expenses to make sure contract labor cost are identified and reported accurately.

Employee Benefits

Understanding which employee benefit expenses are allowable and how to account for these expenses on the survey can be extremely difficult and complex. Making sure your hospital is reporting all allowable employee benefit expenses can have a large impact on the average hourly wage.

Physicians

We have found many errors and omissions in reporting physician related dollars and hours on the wage index survey. Reporting these appropriately between allowable and non-allowable and salaried versus contract can have a significant impact on the Wage Index Survey calculations.

Hours

Payroll reports, especially employee hours, represent a significant portion of the wage index survey. Knowing which pay codes and hours to report on the survey will impact the final wage index factor and hospital reimbursement.

Home Office
Facilities that are part of larger organizations working with Home Office reports may have additional opportunities due to the complexities of these reports. Correctly identifying the Home Office information used on the hospitals wage index survey may add value.

Our team at Blue and Co., LLC can also assist in answering questions about how CMS uses the Wage Index Survey and how it impacts Medicare reimbursement.

For more information regarding this topic, please contact Kyle Smith or Carolyn Chaplin.

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