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Wage Index / Occupational Mix

Recent News

Availability and Revisions to Wage Index PUF

On Thursday, May 19, 2017, CMS released the preliminary FY 2019 Worksheet S-3, Parts II and III wage index PUF.  The FY 2019 IPPS wage index will be calculated based on Federal FY 2015 hospital cost reports; that is, cost reports with fiscal year begin (FYB) dates of on or after October 1, 2014 and on or before September 30, 2015. 

The file is available at: FY 2019 Wage Index Home Page, located on the CMS website.  The American Hospital Association also generally makes the wage index file available to individual State hospital associations.  The file excludes hospitals designated as CAHs as of May 2017. The FY 2015 wage data will be used in the development of the proposed FY 2019 wage index, to be published in the Federal Register in Spring, 2018.

Hospitals must review the file to confirm the inclusion and accuracy of their wage index data.  Hospitals may request revisions to their preliminary wage index data.  As the attached FY 2019 Hospital Wage Index Development Timetable indicates, all requests from hospitals for changes to their FY 2019 wage index data must be submitted to and received by their Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) by September 1, 2017. A hospital that wishes to revise its data must submit its request along with complete, appropriate, detailed supporting documentation to its MAC. Requests postmarked by the September 1, 2017 deadline, but not received until after the deadline, will not be accepted. MACs must receive the revision requests and supporting documentation by this date. 

Due July 3, 2017 - New CY 2016 Medicare Occupational Mix Survey Submission

Section 1886(d) (3) (E) of the Social Security Act requires CMS to collect data every three years on the occupational mix of employees for each short-term, acute care hospital participating in the Medicare program, in order to construct an occupational mix adjustment to the wage index. On December 28, 2015, CMS published a notice in the Federal Register (80 FR 80771) announcing a new occupational mix survey.  The new survey provides for the collection of hospital-specific wages and hours data for calendar year (CY) 2016 (that is, payroll periods ending between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2016). The CY 2016 Medicare occupational mix survey will be applied for 3 years beginning with the FY 2019 wage index, and for the FY 2020 and FY 2021 wage indexes as well. 

Hospitals must complete the CY 2016 occupational mix surveys and submit them on the Hospital Reporting Form, CMS 10079, to their MACs by July 3, 2017, via email attachment or overnight delivery. The CY 2016 Medicare occupational mix survey and instructions for hospitals can be found by visiting the CMS web page, 2016 Occupational Mix Survey Hospital Reporting Form CMS-10079 for the Wage Index Beginning FY 2019 .

Hospitals must have at least 11 months of CY 2016 data in order for the data to reflect seasonal variations in staffing levels; if the hospital does not have at least 11 months of CY 2016 data (e.g., due to a change of ownership or because it is a new hospital with a short reporting period), the hospital would not submit CY 2016 occupational mix data to its MAC.

On Wednesday, July 12, 2017, CMS will release the preliminary FY 2019 Occupational Mix Survey Data PUF, based on the preliminary CY 2016 Occupational Mix surveys. Hospitals must review the occupational mix file to confirm the inclusion and accuracy of their data. As the attached FY 2019 Hospital Wage Index Development Timetable indicates, all requests from hospitals for changes to their FY 2019 wage index data must be submitted to and received by their MACs by September 1, 2017. A hospital that wishes to revise its data must submit its request along with complete, appropriate, detailed supporting documentation to its MAC. Requests postmarked by the September 1, 2017 deadline, but not received until after the deadline, will not be accepted. To submit a revision request to your wage index or occupational mix data, you may either email the appropriate wage index contact (preferred), upload the request to Novitasphere Portal. See instructions for signing up for the portal here: (Jurisdiction H) (Jurisdiction L); or send the request by physical mail (address below). If submitting information through the Portal or by physical mail, we would appreciate that you also send a courtesy email informing the appropriate wage index contact.

If you have any questions, please contact one of the wage index coordinators listed below.

JH Wage Index/Occupational Mix

Location

Telephone

Email

Colorado
New Mexico
Texas

214-273-7032

June.Hansen@novitas-solutions.com

414-918-2670

Andrew.Maziasz@novitas-solutions.com

Arkansas
Louisiana
Mississippi
Oklahoma

904-363-5233

Jonathon.Abbott@novitas-solutions.com

904-363-5421

Brenda.Harley@novitas-solutions.com

JL Wage Index/Occupational Mix

Location

Telephone

Email

Pittsburgh

(412) 802-1903

Zachary.Palucka@novitas-solutions.com

Mechanicsburg

(717) 526-6274

Barbara.Shadle@novitas-solutions.com

Hunt Valley

(410) 891-5580

Ann-Marie.Persiani@novitas-solutions.com

Novitas Solutions Physical Mailing Address

 Novitas Solutions
 JL or JH Provider Audit & Reimbursement
 532 Riverside Avenue
 Jacksonville, FL 32202

Previous News Releases

Availability and Revisions to Wage Index PUFs

Released May 18, 2016

On Monday, May 16, 2016, CMS released the preliminary FY 2018 Worksheet S-3, Parts II and III wage index PUF. The FY 2018 IPPS wage index will be calculated based on Federal FY 2014 hospital cost reports; that is, cost reports with fiscal year begin (FYB) dates of on or after October 1, 2013 and on or before September 30, 2014.

The American Hospital Association also generally makes the wage index file available to individual State hospital associations. The file excludes hospitals designated as CAHs as of May 2016. The FY 2014 wage data will be used in the development of the proposed FY 2018 wage index, to be published in the Federal Register in spring, 2017. 

Hospitals must review the file to confirm the inclusion and accuracy of their wage index data. Hospitals may request revisions to their preliminary wage index data. As the FY 2018 Hospital Wage Index Development Timetable indicates, all requests from hospitals for changes to their FY 2018 wage index data must be submitted to and received by their Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) by September 2, 2016. A hospital that wishes to revise its data must submit its request along with complete, appropriate, detailed supporting documentation to its MAC. Requests postmarked by the September 2, 2016 deadline, but not received until after the deadline, will not be accepted. MACs must receive the revision requests and supporting documentation by this date.

On Monday, May 16, 2016, CMS also released the preliminary FY 2018 Occupational Mix Survey Data PUF, based on the CY 2013 Occupational Mix surveys. Hospitals must review the occupational mix file to confirm the inclusion and accuracy of their data. As the FY 2018 Hospital Wage Index Development Timetable indicates, all requests from hospitals for changes to their FY 2018 wage index data must be submitted to and received by their MACs by September 2, 2016. A hospital that wishes to revise its data must submit its request along with complete, appropriate, detailed supporting documentation to its MAC. Requests postmarked by the September 2, 2016 deadline, but not received until after the deadline, will not be accepted. 

If a hospital has not yet submitted a CY 2013 Occupational Mix Survey to its MAC, hospitals should download a spreadsheet to submit its CY 2013 Occupational Mix Survey Data to its MACs. Completed surveys, along with complete supporting documentation, shall be submitted to the MAC by September 2, 2016.

Subject: Availability of the Proposed Federal Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Wage Index Public Use Files (PUFs) and Deadline for Requesting Corrections to the Wage Index Data

Released January 28, 2016

On Friday, January 29, 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the proposed FY 2017 wage index PUFs. This letter addresses the criteria and process for hospitals to request corrections to their wage index data. All requests from hospitals for corrections to their FY 2017 wage index data must be submitted to and received by their Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) on or before February 16, 2016.

Availability of Wage Index PUFs

Two PUFs are available on CMS’s Web site on January 29, 2016. One PUF contains one spreadsheet of data with six tabs: first, a tab with a description of what is on the subsequent tabs, second, a tab with the Worksheet S-3, Parts II and III variable layout with an explanation of each variable from Form CMS-2552-10 that is used for the wage index, third, a tab that contains the Worksheet S-3 wage data (which includes Worksheet S-3, Parts II and III wage data from cost reporting periods beginning on or after October l, 2012 through September 30, 2013; that is, FY 2013 wage data), fourth, a tab that contains the occupational mix data (which includes data from the calendar year (CY) 2013 occupational mix survey, Form CMS-10079), and new for FY 2017: a fifth tab containing the Worksheet S-3 wage data of hospitals deleted from the third tab (that is, the hospitals on this fifth tab are considered “deleted” from the January 29, 2016 wage data PUF), and a sixth tab containing the CY 2013 occupational mix data (if any) of the deleted hospitals listed in the fifth tab. This PUF includes data for hospitals through January 28, 2016. The data in the third and fourth tabs is generally what will be used in the development of the proposed FY 2017 wage index, to be published in the Federal Register in the spring 2016. The second PUF displays a comparison of area average hourly wages for FY 2016 versus FY 2017 (preliminary).

The FY 2017 wage index PUFs will be available on the Internet at CMS’s home page. Alternatively, the American Hospital Association generally makes the wage index files available to individual State hospital associations. Hospitals may want to check with their State hospital association to see if they have or will be getting the files. CMS will notify the American Hospital Association, the Federation of American Health Systems, and the Association of American Medical Colleges of the release of the files.

Additional Tabs for Deleted Hospitals’ Worksheet S-3 and Occupational Mix Data

As noted above, CMS is including for the first time in the January 29 PUFs a fifth tab containing the Worksheet S-3 wage data of hospitals deleted from the third tab of Worksheet S-3 wage data, and a sixth tab with the occupational mix data (if any) of the deleted hospitals listed on the fifth tab. That is, the hospitals on the fifth and sixth tabs are considered “deleted” from the January 29, 2016 wage and/or occupational mix data PUF. Note that it is possible for a hospital’s Worksheet S-3 wage data not to be deleted and to be included on the third Worksheet S-3 wage data tab, but there may be something aberrant only about the hospital’s occupational mix data, in which case that hospital’s occupational mix data would appear on the sixth tab, indicating deletion only from the January 29, 2016 occupational mix PUF. If the hospital’s Worksheet S-3 wage and/or occupational mix data can be improved to the satisfaction of the MAC and CMS, the hospital’s data could be restored to subsequent PUFs for the FY 2017 wage index. Hospitals’ data are placed on the “deleted” tabs for different reasons. Please contact your MAC in order to document and revise your hospital’s data as appropriate.

Hospital Requests for Corrections to the Wage Index Data

As noted in the wage index development timetable (previously sent, and attached for your convenience), hospitals may request corrections to:

errors in the January 29 PUF due to CMS or MAC mishandling of the wage index data
MAC desk review adjustments included in the January 29 PUF

No newly initiated wage data revisions will be accepted by the MACs at this point, as it is too late in the process for the MACs to timely handle new data. A hospital that wishes to correct its data under these criteria must submit its request along with complete appropriate detailed documentation to the MAC’s office no later than February 16, 2016.

Note: February 16 is the deadline for the MACs’ receipt of correction requests from hospitals. Requests postmarked by February 16, but not received until after February 16, are unacceptable.

All hospitals are required to verify the accuracy of their wage data in the January 29 PUFs. The February 16 deadline is the final opportunity for hospitals to request corrections to their wage index data before we post the final wage index files on April 21. After the April 21 PUFs are posted, changes to the wage index data will be limited to only situations involving errors by CMS or the MACs that the hospital could not have known about before CMS’s release of the April 21 final PUFs.

If a hospital disagrees with the MAC’s resolution of a requested change, the hospital may appeal to CMS (via letter and electronic copy, and send a copy to the MAC) in an effort to resolve policy disputes. Any such appeal must be made by April 5, 2016, in order to allow time for consideration, and must clearly identify the policy issue involved. As specified in the FY 2017 wage index development timetable the hospital’s letter must be received by CMS (and a copy received by the MAC) by this date. Also, per the wage index timeline, hospitals shall send to CMS an electronic and a hard copy of the appeal with complete documentation supporting their request (see the FY 2017 wage index timeline for complete details). CMS will not consider matters pertaining to the adequacy of supporting documentation. MACs are in the best position to evaluate matters regarding the adequacy of cost data and cost finding, and these matters should be resolved earlier in the cost reporting process (the cost reporting periods ended nearly 2 years ago).

Availability of the Final FY 2017 Wage Index Development Timetable

Released August 5, 2015

The finalized FY 2017 Wage Index Development Timetable is now available. You were notified in mid-May 2015, that on Friday, May 15, 2015, CMS released the preliminary FY 2017 Worksheet S-3, Parts II and III wage index PUF. At that time, the FY 2017 Hospital Wage Index Development Timetable specified the date of October 15, 2015 as the tentative deadline for hospitals to request revisions to defined benefit plan pension data and to provide documentation to support that request. This date of October 15, 2015 for defined benefit plan pension data revision requests has now been finalized in the FY 2016 IPPS final rule, posted on CMS’ website. (Also note that in the FY 2016 IPPS final rule, CMS changed the 3-year average for reporting pension costs under the wage index, effective for the FY 2017 wage index and all subsequent FY wage indexes (the 3-year average would be based on pension contributions made during the base cost reporting period plus the prior two cost reporting years)). The finalized FY 2017 Hospital Wage Index Development Timetable indicates that all requests from hospitals for changes to their FY 2017 wage index data must be submitted to and received by their Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) by September 2, 2015 is. A hospital that wishes to revise its data must submit its request along with complete, appropriate, detailed supporting documentation to its MAC by this date. Requests postmarked by the September 2, 2015 deadline, but not received until after the deadline, will not be accepted. October 15, 2015 is the deadline for hospitals to request revisions to defined benefit pension plan data and to provide documentation to support that request. MACs must receive the revision requests and supporting documentation by this date. Requests to revise data of all other types of pension plans (such as defined contribution plans) must be received by the MACs no later than September 2, 2015.

The FY 2017 IPPS wage index will be calculated based on Federal FY 2013 hospital cost reports; that is, cost reports with fiscal year begin (FYB) dates of on or after October 1, 2012 and on or before September 30, 2013. The preliminary file is available here at the CMS website. The FY 2013 wage data will be used in the development of the proposed FY 2017 wage index, to be published in the Federal Register in spring, 2016. Hospitals must review the file to confirm the inclusion and accuracy of their wage index data, and may request revisions to their preliminary wage index data by September 2, 2015 (or October 15, 2015 for defined benefit pension plans).

Also, as you were notified, on Friday, May 15, 2015, CMS released the preliminary FY 2017 Occupational Mix Survey Data PUF, based on the CY 2013 Occupational Mix surveys. Hospitals must review the occupational mix file to confirm the inclusion and accuracy of their data. As the FY 2017 Hospital Wage Index Development Timetable indicates, all requests from hospitals for changes to their FY 2017 wage index data must be submitted to and received by their MACs by September 2, 2015. A hospital that wishes to revise its data must submit its request along with complete, appropriate, detailed supporting documentation to its MAC. Requests postmarked by the September 2, 2015 deadline, but not received until after the deadline, will not be accepted.

Several Hospitals will receive special notice about their Occupational Mix Survey Data --As stated in the FY 2017 Hospital Wage Index Timetable; the preliminary FY 2017 Occupational Mix PUF consists of survey data that was included in the FY 2016 May 1, 2015 PUF. Please be aware that the occupational mix survey data for several hospital has been added to or revised in the FY 2016 final rule Occupational Mix PUF, posted on CMS’s website on July 31, 2015. Therefore, for purposes of the FY 2017 wage index, the impacted hospital’s preliminary occupational mix data is that which is included in the FY 2016 final rule Occupational Mix PUF posted on July 31, 2015, and is not the occupational mix data included in the preliminary FY 2017 Occupational Mix PUF posted on May 15, 2015. Refer to CMS’s website to locate the FY 2016 PUFs. Choose the link called FY 2016 Final Rule Wage Index Public Use Files , then open the file called FY_2016_Final_S3_and_OCCMIX_PUF.zip.

If a hospital has not yet submitted a CY 2013 Occupational Mix Survey to its MAC, a hospital must download a spreadsheet to submit its CY 2013 Occupational Mix Survey Data to its MACs from the CMS website. Submit the completed survey, along with complete supporting documentation, to the MAC by September 2, 2015.

Availability of the Preliminary Federal Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Wage Index Public Use Files (PUF), Deadline for Requesting Revisions to the Preliminary FY 2017 Wage Index Data, and FY 2017 Wage Index Development Timetable

Released May 19, 2015

For FY 2017, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have changed the Wage Index Development Timetable. As discussed in the FY 2015 IPPS final rule [79 FR 49987-49990, August 22, 2014], the Wage Index Development process now starts in May, with the posting of the preliminary worksheet S-3 PUF on May 15, 2015. Consequently, certain subsequent dates in the FY 2017 Wage Index Development process are also earlier than in previous years. See the FY 2017 Hospital Wage Index Development Timetable for complete details.

Availability and Revisions to Wage Index PUFs

On Friday, May 15, 2015, CMS released the preliminary FY 2017 Worksheet S-3, Parts II and III wage index PUF. The FY 2017 IPPS wage index will be calculated based on Federal FY 2013 hospital cost reports; that is, cost reports with fiscal year begin (FYB) dates of on or after October 1, 2012 and on or before September 30, 2013.

The American Hospital Association also generally makes the wage index file available to individual State hospital associations. The file excludes hospitals designated as CAHs as of May 2015. The FY 2013 wage data will be used in the development of the proposed FY 2017 wage index, to be published in the Federal Register in spring, 2016.

Hospitals must review the file to confirm the inclusion and accuracy of their wage index data. Hospitals may request revisions to their preliminary wage index data. As the FY 2017 Hospital Wage Index Development Timetable indicates, all requests from hospitals for changes to their FY 2017 wage index data must be submitted to and received by their Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) by September 2, 2015. A hospital that wishes to revise its data must submit its request along with complete, appropriate, detailed supporting documentation to its MAC. Requests postmarked by the September 2, 2015 deadline, but not received until after the deadline, will not be accepted.

Note: per the proposed pension policy in the FY 2016 IPPS/LTCH PPS Proposed Rule, the tentative deadline in the timeline for all hospitals to request revisions to pension data and to provide documentation to support the request is October 15, 2015. MACs must receive the revision requests and supporting documentation by this date. (The policy and date for pension data revision requests will be finalized in the FY 2016 IPPS/LTCH PPS final rule, on or about August 1, 2015).

On Friday, May 15, 2015, CMS also released the preliminary FY 2017 Occupational Mix Survey Data PUF, based on the CY 2013 Occupational Mix surveys. Hospitals must review the occupational mix file to confirm the inclusion and accuracy of their data. As the FY 2017 Hospital Wage Index Development Timetable indicates, all requests from hospitals for changes to their FY 2017 wage index data must be submitted to and received by their MACs by September 2, 2015. A hospital that wishes to revise its data must submit its request along with complete, appropriate, detailed supporting documentation to its MAC. Requests postmarked by the September 2, 2015 deadline, but not received until after the deadline, will not be accepted.

If a hospital has not yet submitted a CY 2013 Occupational Mix Survey to its MAC, hospitals should download a spreadsheet to submit its CY 2013 Occupational Mix Survey Data to its MACs from http://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare-Fee-for-Service-Payment/AcuteInpatientPPS/Wage-Index-Files-Items/Medicare-Wage-Index-Occupational-Mix-Survey2013.html. Completed surveys, along with complete supporting documentation, shall be submitted to the MAC by September 2, 2015.

Availability of the Final Federal Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Wage Index Data Public Use Files and Deadline for Requesting Corrections to the Data

Released May 1, 2015

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the final FY 2016 wage index data public use files (PUFs) on May 1, 2015. The files are available for the limited purpose of identifying any potential data entry or transmission errors made by CMS or the A/B Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs), NOT for the initiation of new revision requests. The files include:

a file containing the Worksheet S-3 wage data from cost reports beginning during FY 2012 (that is, on or after October 1, 2011 and before October 1, 2012)
a file containing the 2013 occupational mix survey data. Data that were incorrect in the February 2015 wage data PUFs, but for which no revision request was received by the March 2, 2015 deadline, will not be considered for correction at this stage. Hospitals should promptly review their final wage index data files to ensure that their Worksheet S-3 wage and occupational mix data are accurate. All requests from hospitals for corrections to their FY 2016 wage index data files must be submitted to and received (i.e., not postmarked) by both their A/B MACs and CMS on or before June 1, 2015.

Hospitals are reminded that the average hourly wages and wage index values published in the proposed rule are based on data transmitted to CMS by late February. Therefore, the data in the proposed rule does not reflect the wage data to be used to calculate the final FY 2016 wage index. In addition, be aware that any appeals filed in April 2015 are still pending, and are not reflected in the May 1, 2015 PUF. In order to ensure the hospital’s wage data are accurately reflected in CMS’ files prior to the calculation of the final FY 2016 wage index, hospitals must review the final wage index data PUFs posted on May 1, 2015.

Availability of the Final Wage Index PUFs

The two final FY 2016 wage index data PUFs were posted on the Internet on May 1, 2015. The data will be used in the development of the final FY 2016 wage index, which will be published in the Federal Register by August 1, 2015. The final FY 2016 wage index data files are available at CMS’ Web site.

Alternatively, the American Hospital Association generally makes the wage data files available to individual State hospital associations. Hospitals may want to check with their State hospital associations to see if the associations have or will be receiving the files. CMS will notify the American Hospital Association, the Federation of American Hospitals, and the Association of American Medical Colleges regarding the release of the files.

We strongly encourage all hospitals to access the final FY 2016 wage index files and verify the accuracy of their data. The June 1, 2015 deadline will be hospitals’ last opportunity to request corrections to their data files for the FY 2016 wage index.

Requesting Corrections to the Wage Index Data

As noted in the wage index development timetable (previously sent, and attached for your convenience), hospitals have the right to request corrections to their wage index data files if they can establish that the A/B MACS or CMS made a data entry or transmission error in the final FY 2016 wage index data files. A hospital requesting a correction must submit its request, by hard copy and email, along with complete, appropriate detailed documentation, to both its A/B MACS and CMS, no later than June 1, 2015. Per the attached wage index development timetable, send appeals to:

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
c/o Wage Index, CMM/HAPG/DAC
Room C4-08-06
7500 Security Boulevard
Baltimore, Maryland 21244-1850

 Email: wageindexreview@cms.hhs.gov

Refer to the wage index development timetable located on the Novitas website for complete information regarding submission of correction requests. Note that June 1 is the deadline for the MACs’ and CMS’ receipt of correction requests and supporting documentation from hospitals. Requests postmarked by June 1, 2015, but not received until after June 1, are unacceptable. Requests received via email after June 1, 2015 is unacceptable.

Neither the A/B MACs nor CMS will consider the following types of requests in conjunction with this process:

• Requests for corrections to your wage data that was submitted too late to be included in the data transmitted by the MACs to CMS on or before April 8, 2015;
• Requests for correction of errors that were not, but could have been, identified during the hospital’s review of the wage index data files released in February 2015; or,
• Requests to revisit factual determinations or policy interpretations made by the A/B MACs or CMS during the wage data correction process prior to the May 2015 release of the final FY 2016 wage index files.

Data that were incorrect in the February 2015 wage index public use files, but for which no revision request from the hospital was received by the A/B MACs as of the March 2, 2015 deadline will not be changed at this stage for inclusion in the wage index. Please note that, while MACs may make other revisions to hospitals’ wage data at this time as part of the ongoing cost report settlement process, these changes will not be incorporated into the data to be used for the wage index.
 
The A/B MACs and CMS will review each request upon receipt and will determine whether or not the request meets the criteria for correction of the final wage index files. If a correction is necessary, the wage data will be revised accordingly and will be included in the final FY 2016 wage index, effective October 1, 2015. CMS will send each hospital a letter explaining CMS’ decision regarding the hospital’s correction request.

Availability of the Proposed Federal Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Wage Index Public Use Files (PUFs) and Deadline for Requesting Corrections to the Wage Index Data

Released February 16, 2015

On Friday, February 13, 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the proposed FY 2016 wage index PUFs. This letter addresses the criteria and process for hospitals to request corrections to their wage index data. All requests from hospitals for corrections to their FY 2016 wage index data must be submitted to and received by their Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) on or before March 2, 2015.

Availability of Wage Index PUFs

Two PUFs are available on CMS’s Web site on February 13, 2015. One PUF contains three spreadsheets of data: the Worksheet S-3 wage data (which includes Worksheet S-3, Parts II and III wage data from cost reporting periods beginning on or after October l, 2011 through September 30, 2012; that is, FY 2012 wage data) is included in 1 spreadsheet; the occupational mix data (which includes data from the calendar year (CY) 2013 occupational mix survey, Form CMS-10079) is included in the 2nd spreadsheet. This PUF includes data for all hospitals in CMS’s database through February 12, 2015. The data in the PUF will be used in the development of the proposed FY 2016 wage index, to be published in the Federal Register in spring 2015. The second PUF displays a comparison of area average hourly wages for FY 2015 versus FY 2016 (preliminary).

The FY 2016 wage index PUFs will be available on the Internet at CMS’s home page.

Alternatively, the American Hospital Association generally makes the wage index files available to individual State hospital associations. Hospitals may want to check with their State hospital association to see if they have or will be getting the files. CMS will notify the American Hospital Association, the Federation of American Health Systems, and the Association of American Medical Colleges of the release of the files.

Hospital Requests for Corrections to the Wage Index Data

As noted in the wage index development timetable (previously sent, and attached for your convenience), hospitals may request corrections to:

errors in the February PUF due to CMS or MAC mishandling of the wage index data, and
MAC desk review adjustments included in the February PUF. No newly initiated wage data revisions will be accepted by the MACs at this point, as it is too late in the process for the MACs to timely handle new data. A hospital that wishes to correct its data under these criteria must submit its request along with complete appropriate detailed documentation to the MAC’s office no later than March 2, 2015. Note that March 2 is the deadline for the MACs’ receipt of correction requests from hospitals. Requests postmarked by March 2, but not received until after March 2, are unacceptable.

All hospitals are required to verify the accuracy of their wage data in the February PUFs. The March 2 deadline is the final opportunity for hospitals to request corrections to their wage index data before we post the final wage index files in May. After the May PUFs are posted, changes to the wage index data will be limited to only situations involving errors by CMS or the MACs that the hospital could not have known about before CMS’s release of the May final PUFs.
 
If a hospital disagrees with the MAC’s resolution of a requested change, the hospital may contact CMS (via letter, and send a copy to the MAC) in an effort to resolve policy disputes. Any such contacts must be made by April 15, 2015, in order to allow time for consideration, and must clearly identify the policy issue involved. As specified in the FY 2016 wage index development timetable (attached for your convenience), the hospital’s letter must be received by CMS (and a copy received by the MAC) by this date. Also, per the wage index timeline, hospitals shall send to CMS an electronic and a hard copy of the appeal with complete documentation supporting their request (see the FY 2016 wage index timeline for complete details). CMS will not consider matters pertaining to the adequacy of supporting documentation. MACs are in the best position to evaluate matters regarding the adequacy of cost data and cost finding, and these matters should be resolved earlier in the cost reporting process (the cost reporting periods ended nearly 2 years ago).

2016 Wage Index Development Timetable

Released August 12, 2014

For FY 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have changed the Wage Index Development Timetable. CMS finalized changes to the FY 2016 Wage Index timetable in the FY 2015 IPPS final rule, issued by CMS on August 2, 2014. (To read the wage index discussion in the FY 2015 IPPS final rule, please refer to CMS-1607-F).

The FY 2016 Wage Index Development process starts in May 2014, with the posting of the preliminary worksheet S-3 PUF on May 23, 2014 (previously posted in September/October and known as the October PUF). Consequently, certain subsequent dates in the FY 2016 Wage Index Development process are also earlier than in previous years. Please pay careful attention to the new posting dates, due dates, and deadlines. See the finalized FY 2016 Wage Index Development Timetable for complete details.

2016 Wage Index Development Timetable

In addition, hospitals who have not yet submitted CY 2013 occupational mix survey data to their MACs by the July 1, 2014 deadline must submit CY 2013 occupational mix surveys, with complete supporting documentation, by the deadline to request revisions to a hospital’s wage and occupational mix data, which is October 6, 2014. After this deadline, MACs will begin their desk review of the wage and occupational mix data. In order for a hospital to preserve its appeal rights on the occupational mix survey data that it submits, the occupational mix survey data must be desk reviewed.

Hospitals may download a spreadsheet to submit their CY 2013 Occupational Mix Survey Data to their MACs.

Fiscal Year 2015/2016 Information
Availability of the Preliminary Federal Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Wage Index Public Use Files (PUF), Deadline for Requesting Revisions to the Preliminary FY 2016 Wage Index Data, and FY 2016 Wage Index Development Timetable

For FY 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have changed the Wage Index Development Timetable. As discussed in a previous letter sent to all hospitals a few weeks ago, CMS proposed significant changes to the FYs 2016 and FY 2017 Wage Index Development Timetables. Based on that proposal, the FY 2016 Wage Index Development process now starts in May, with the posting of the preliminary worksheet S-3 PUF on May 23, 2014 (previously posted in September/October and known as the October PUF). Consequently, certain subsequent dates in the FY 2016 Wage Index Development process are also earlier than in previous years. In addition, for FY 2016, CMS is not simultaneously posting the preliminary Worksheet S-3, Parts II and III cost report data and the occupational mix data. Please pay careful attention to the new posting dates, due dates, and deadlines. See the attached tentative timeline for complete details.

Availability and Revisions to Wage Index PUFs

On Friday, May 23, 2014, CMS released the preliminary FY 2016 Worksheet S-3, Parts II and III wage index PUF. The FY 2016 IPPS wage index will be calculated based on Federal FY 2012 hospital cost reports; that is, cost reports with fiscal year begin (FYB) dates of on or after October 1, 2011 and on or before September 30, 2012. 

The American Hospital Association also generally makes the wage index file available to individual State hospital associations. The file excludes hospitals designated as CAHs as of May 2014. The FY 2012 wage data will be used in the development of the proposed FY 2016 wage index, to be published in the Federal Register in Spring, 2015.

Hospitals must review the file to confirm the inclusion and accuracy of their wage index data. Hospitals may request revisions to their preliminary wage index data. As proposed in the FY 2015 IPPS Proposed Rule, all requests from hospitals for changes to their FY 2016 wage index data must be submitted to and received by their Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) by Early October 2014. A hospital that wishes to revise its data must submit its request along with complete, appropriate, detailed supporting documentation to its MAC. Requests postmarked by the Early October 2014 deadline, but not received until after the deadline, will not be accepted. See below concerning details about final FY 2016 Wage Index Deadlines.

As discussed in the FY 2015 IPPS Proposed Rule, around mid- July 2014, CMS will release the preliminary CY 2013 Occupational Mix Survey Data PUF for the FY 2016 wage index. Hospitals must review the occupational mix file to confirm the inclusion and accuracy of their data. Hospitals may request revisions to their preliminary occupational mix data. As proposed in the FY 2015 IPPS Proposed Rule, all requests from hospitals for changes to their CY 2013 occupational mix data must be submitted to and received by their MACs by Early October 2014. Requests postmarked by the Early October 2014 deadline, but not received until after the deadline, will not be accepted. See below concerning details about final FY 2016 Wage Index Deadlines.

Hospitals may download a spreadsheet to submit their CY 2013 Occupational Mix Survey Data to their MACs. CMS will finalize any changes to the FY 2016 Wage Index Timetable in the FY 2015 IPPS Final Rule (to be issued on or about August 1, 2014). CMS plans on releasing on the internet a final FY 2016 Wage Index Development Timetable (with actual dates including the October 2014 deadline referenced above) after publication of the FY 2015 IPPS Final Rule.

FY 2016 Hospital Wage Index Development Timetable - Tentative
(May 2014 through September 2015)

Availability of the Final Federal Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 Wage Index Data Public Use Files and Deadline for Requesting Corrections to the Data

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the final FY 2015 wage index data public use files (PUFs) on May 2, 2014. The files are available for the limited purpose of identifying any potential data entry or transmission errors made by CMS or the fiscal intermediaries, not for the initiation of new revision requests. The files include a file containing the following:

Worksheet S-3 wage data from cost reports beginning during FY 2011 (that is, on or after October 1, 2010 and before October 1, 2011),
2010 occupational mix survey data. Data that were incorrect in the February 2014 wage data PUFs, but for which no revision request was received by the March 3, 2014 deadline, will not be considered for correction at this stage. Hospitals should promptly review their final wage index data files to ensure that their Worksheet S-3 wage and occupational mix data are accurate. All requests from hospitals for corrections to their FY 2015 wage index data files must be submitted to and received (i.e., not postmarked) by both their Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) and CMS on or before June 2, 2014.

Changes to the FYs 2016 and FY 2017 Wage Index Development Timetables

On Wednesday, April 30, 2014, CMS issued the FY 2015 IPPS proposed rule which is available for download on the internet at https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2014-10067.pdf. In that proposed rule (CMS-1607-P), CMS proposed significant changes to the FYs 2016 and FY 2017 Wage Index Development Timetables. We are alerting you to these proposed changes now, so that you may plan and comment on this proposal accordingly. The public comment period for the FY 2015 IPPS proposed rule closes by June 30, 2014. Comments may be submitted four different ways as indicated in the proposed rule. You may (and we encourage you to) submit electronic comments at http://www.regulations.gov by entering “CMS 1607” in the search box, and then clicking on “Comment Now”.

As in the FY 2015 IPPS proposed rule, we have pasted the proposed changes for FYs 2016 and 2017 in the tables below, side by side with the existing timetable, so that you may read the proposed changes in the context of the existing timetable. Under the proposed changes for FYs 2016 and 2017, although we are not providing exact dates for the FYs 2016 and 2017 wage index timetable, we note that, with every change listed below, we intend to provide hospitals and MACs with the same or somewhat more time than under the current timetable to complete reviews and request revisions. We note that some changes for FY 2016 are effective beginning in May 2014, which would give hospitals more time to review the preliminary FY 2016 wage index and occupational data. If finalized, these changes would be applicable to the FYs 2016 and 2017 wage index. Please see the following tables:

Availability of Proposed FY 2015 Wage Index PUFs

Two PUFs will be available on CMS’s Web site on or about February 20, 2014. One PUF contains three spreadsheets of data: the Worksheet S-3 wage data (which includes Worksheet S-3, Parts II and III wage data from cost reporting periods beginning on or after October l, 2010 through September 30, 2011; that is, FY 2011 wage data) is included in 1 spreadsheet; the occupational mix data (which includes data from the calendar year (CY) 2010 occupational mix survey, Form CMS-10079) is included in the 2nd spreadsheet. This PUF includes data for all hospitals in CMS’s database through February 19, 2014. The data in the PUF will be used in the development of the proposed FY 2015 wage index, to be published in the Federal Register in spring 2014. The second PUF displays a comparison of area average hourly wages for FY 2014 versus FY 2015 (preliminary).

Notice of the Federal Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 Wage Index Timetable 

FY 2015 Hospital Wage Index Development Timetable

(September 2013 through September 2014)

Note: For FY 2015, CMS has changed the Wage Index Development Timetable. The FY 2015 Wage Index Development process now starts in September, with the posting of the September PUF (previously posted in October and known as the October PUF). Consequently, certain subsequent dates in the FY 2015 Wage Index Development process are also earlier than in previous years. Please pay careful attention to the new due dates and deadlines. 

See the revised 2015 Wage Index Timetable

Additional Wage Index/Occupational Mix Resources


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Last modified:  07/25/2017