Preparing the Medicare cost report can be compared to herding cats—you have to gather a lot of data from a lot of people in a short period of time, with rules that seem to be constantly changing. So the odds of “getting it right” the first time are not very good.
The same argument applies to the audit or review of the cost report. In any given year, the Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) receive over 40,000 reports from different provider types—and all of these must be finalized in some fashion.
CMS recognizes the challenges of doing this and has included regulations that allow for the finalized cost report to be reopened. The same regulation allows a hospital to request a reopening if they determine something was not properly reported the first time. We recommend you read this regulation and know the process to follow if this situation arises.
A settled cost report (NPR) can be reopened up to three years after its issuance (Pub. 15-1, §Section 2931.1)
Further guidance can be found on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) web
Questions? Please contact Marie White at 612.253.6546 or firstname.lastname@example.org.