How to Apply Your Memory Skills in the Matching Game to Cost Reports

From a very early age, the importance of memory and matching is taught, especially through the use of games such as “Concentration.” The game involved flipping over two cards and trying to find a match. If there were no matches, you flipped the cards back down and it was someone else’s turn or you tried two other cards. The simplest versions had pictures of objects and the more complicated might have numbers, words, colors or some combination.

For Medicare cost reporting, the concept of matching is applied to clinical items or services. In preparing your cost report, the expectation is that clinical service expenses, revenues, and associated statistics will be disclosed on the same cost center (or line).

The importance of this is not widely known, but the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) does use the cost report and related patient claims to develop standard payment rates for inpatient and outpatient services, as well as other reimbursement related items such as outlier adjustments and various indices.

Tip #30:

Ensure costs, charges and statistics are properly matched across the entirety of the cost report worksheets (CMS Pub 15-1, Section 2203).

Further guidance can be found on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) website:

Provider Reimbursement Manual 15-1

Questions? Please contact Marie White at 612.253.6546 or