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CMS Moves towards Electronic Filing of Medicare Cost Reports

04/16/2018 Dave Macke

In an effort by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to become more efficient and reduce the time and cost for healthcare providers on CS compliance issues, CME has adopted a new policy to allow for electronic signatures on Medicare Cost Reports. 

In the past, the CMS requirement for signature on the cost report is that it was required to be a “wet” signature, meaning original ink signature. Therefore Medicare providers had to sign the certification page and submit it along with some form of electronic file on CD or flash drive. Some Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) allowed for upload of cost reports to their portals but you still had to send in the signature page. Effective July 2, 2018, these individual MAC systems will no longer be an option.

Effective for Medicare Cost Reporting periods ending on or after December 31, 2017, CMS will allow electronic signatures on Medicare Cost Reports. There is a checkbox on the certification page. The cost report must be signed (electronically) by the Administrator or Chief Financial Officer.

The new web portal to upload electronic cost reports is called the Medicare Cost Report e-Filing (MCReF) system. This will be accessed through the CMS Enterprise Portal (EIDM). This is the same system where Part A providers obtain PS&R reports. The original intent is that only Security Officials (SO’s) or Backup Security Officials (BSO’s) will be able to upload electronic cost reports. CMS is considering a potential change to allow PS&R Users the ability to upload cost reports. This would be very beneficial for third party preparers such as consultants. All of the required supporting documentation such as financial statements, workpapers, etc. will also be uploaded into MCReF.

CMS has scheduled a webcast for Tuesday, May 1, 2018 at 1:00 pm to 2:30 ET to unveil the system and provide instruction on how to use it. Registration for the webcast is required but there is no charge.

There will be a question and answer session following the presentation. CMS is asking attendees to email questions in advance. We would like to have your questions submitted to your VonLehman team as well. Please send them to dmacke@vlcpa.com with the subject “Medicare Cost Report e-Filing System Webcast”. For detailed information about the webcast, please click HERE.

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