Materials from Medicare Area Wage Index Webinar Available for Review
Posted on June 20, 2019
The MHA hosted a webinar June 19 with consulting firm Comprehensive Reimbursement, Inc. (CRI) to assist hospitals in reviewing their preliminary data that will be used by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to develop the fiscal year (FY) 2021 Medicare area wage index (AWI) which takes effect Oct. 1, 2020. Any revisions to wage or occupational mix data must be submitted to the Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) no later than Sept. 3. No additional requests for changes will be accepted after that date.
The webinar provided an overview of the latest interpretations by the CMS, MACs, etc., for ensuring that data is accurately reported. In addition, the MHA and CRI hosted conference calls for hospitals located in each core based statistical area (CBSA) to focus on opportunities for improving their wage index.
For the FY 2021 wage index, the CMS is using data reported on Medicare cost reports for hospital fiscal years beginning during federal fiscal year 2017. Since the CMS updates hospital data that is used to develop the Medicare AWI annually, it is vital that hospitals complete a thorough review process every year. A small change in the data can have a significant impact on Medicare payments, since the wage index is used to adjust payments for inpatient, outpatient and all post-acute care services.
A recording and materials are available from the June 19 webinar, allowing members to review them. Members with questions on accessing these should contact Crystal Mitchell at the MHA, while members with questions regarding the Medicare wage index should contact Vickie Kunz at the MHA.
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