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RULE §355.8210Waiver Payments to Governmental Ambulance Providers for Uncompensated Charity Care

(a) Introduction. Beginning October 1, 2019, Texas Healthcare Transformation and Quality Improvement 1115 Waiver payments are available under this section for eligible governmental ambulance providers to help defray the uncompensated cost of charity care. Waiver payments to governmental ambulance providers for uncompensated care provided before October 1, 2019, are described in §355.8600 of this subchapter (relating to Reimbursement Methodology for Ambulance Services).

(b) Definitions.

  (1) Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)--The federal agency within the United States Department of Health and Human Services responsible for overseeing and directing Medicare and Medicaid, or its successor.

  (2) Certified public expenditure (CPE)--An expenditure certified by a governmental entity to represent its contribution of public funds in providing services that are eligible for federal matching Medicaid funds.

  (3) Charity care--Healthcare services provided without expectation of reimbursement to uninsured patients who meet the provider's charity-care policy. The charity-care policy should adhere to the charity-care principles of the Healthcare Financial Management Association Principles and Practices Board Statement 15 (December 2012). Charity care includes full or partial discounts given to uninsured patients who meet the provider's financial assistance policy. Charity care does not include bad debt, courtesy allowances, or discounts given to patients who do not meet the provider's charity-care policy or financial assistance policy.

  (4) Demonstration year--The 12-month period beginning October 1 for which the payments calculated under this section are made. Demonstration year one was October 1, 2011, through September 30, 2012.

  (5) Governmental entity--A state agency or a political subdivision of the state. A governmental entity includes a hospital authority, hospital district, city, county, or state entity.

  (6) HHSC--The Texas Health and Human Services Commission or its designee.

  (7) Public funds--Funds derived from taxes, assessments, levies, investments, and other public revenues within the sole and unrestricted control of a governmental entity. Public funds do not include gifts, grants, trusts, or donations, the use of which is conditioned on supplying a benefit solely to the donor or grantor of the funds.

  (8) Governmental ambulance provider--An ambulance provider that uses paid government employees to provide ambulance services. The ambulance services must be directly funded by a governmental entity. A private ambulance provider under contract with a governmental entity to provide ambulance services is not considered a governmental ambulance provider for the purposes of this section.

  (9) Uncompensated-care application--A form prescribed by HHSC to identify uncompensated costs for Medicaid-enrolled providers.

  (10) Uncompensated-care payments--Payments intended to defray the uncompensated costs of charity care as defined in paragraph (3) of this subsection.

  (11) Uninsured patient--An individual who has no health insurance or other source of third-party coverage for the services provided. The term includes an individual enrolled in Medicaid who received services that do not meet the definition of medical assistance in section 1905(a) of the Social Security Act (Medicaid services), if such inclusion is specified in the hospital's charity-care policy or financial assistance policy and the patient meets the hospital's policy criteria.

  (12) Waiver--The Texas Healthcare Transformation and Quality Improvement Program Medicaid demonstration waiver under §1115 of the Social Security Act.

(c) Eligibility.

  (1) A governmental ambulance provider must submit a written request for eligibility for supplemental payment in a form prescribed by HHSC to the HHSC Rate Analysis Department by a date specified each year by HHSC. An acceptable request must include:

    (A) an overview of the governmental agency;

    (B) a complete organizational chart of the governmental agency;

    (C) a complete organizational chart of the ambulance department within the governmental agency providing ambulance services;

    (D) an identification of the specific geographic service area covered by the ambulance department, by ZIP code;

    (E) copies of all job descriptions for staff types or job categories of staff who work for the ambulance department and an estimated percentage of time spent working for the ambulance department and for other departments of the governmental agency;

    (F) a primary contact person for the governmental agency who can respond to questions about the ambulance department; and

    (G) a signed letter documenting the governmental ambulance provider's voluntary contribution of non-federal funds.

  (2) If eligible, a governmental ambulance provider may begin to claim uncompensated-care costs related to services provided on or after the first day of the month after the request for eligibility is approved.

(d) Source of funding. The non-federal share of funding for payments under this section is limited to public funds from governmental entities. Prior to processing uncompensated-care payments for any payment period within a waiver demonstration year, HHSC will survey the governmental entities that provide public funds for the governmental ambulance providers in the pool to determine the amount of funding available to support payments from that pool.

(e) Payment frequency. HHSC will distribute uncompensated-care payments on a schedule to be determined by HHSC and posted on HHSC's website.

(f) Funding limitations.

  (1) Payments made under this section are limited by the amount of funds allocated to the provider's uncompensated-care pool for the demonstration year as described in §355.8212 of this division (relating to Waiver Payments to Hospitals for Uncompensated Charity Care). If payments for uncompensated care for the governmental ambulance provider pool attributable to a demonstration year are expected to exceed the amount of funds allocated to that pool by HHSC for that demonstration year, HHSC will reduce payments to providers in the pool as described in subsection (g)(3) of this section.

  (2) Payments made under this section are limited by the availability of funds identified in subsection (d) of this section. If sufficient funds are not available for all payments for which all governmental ambulance providers are eligible, HHSC will reduce payments as described in subsection (h)(2) of this section.

(g) Uncompensated-care payment amount.

  (1) Cost reports. Governmental ambulance providers that are eligible for supplemental payments must submit an annual cost report for ground, water, and air ambulance services delivered to individuals who meet the provider's charity-care policy.

    (A) The cost report form will be specified by HHSC. Providers certify through the cost report process their total actual federal and non-federal costs and expenditures for the cost reporting period.

    (B) Cost reports must be completed for the full demonstration year for which payments are being calculated. HHSC may require a newly eligible provider to submit a partial-year cost report for their first year of eligibility. The beginning date for the partial-year cost report is the provider's first day of eligibility for supplemental payments as determined by HHSC. The ending date of the partial-year cost report is the last day of the demonstration year that encompasses the cost report beginning date.

    (C) The cost report is due on or before March 31 of the year following the cost reporting period ending date and must be certified in a manner specified by HHSC.

      (i) If March 31 falls on a federal or state holiday or weekend, the due date is the first working day after March 31.

      (ii) A provider may request in writing an extension of up to 30 days after the due date to submit a cost report. HHSC will respond to all written requests for extensions, indicating whether the extension is granted. HHSC must receive a request for extension before the cost report due date. A request for extension received after the due date is considered denied.

      (iii) A provider whose cost report is not received by the due date or the HHSC-approved extended due date is ineligible for supplemental payments for the federal fiscal year.

      (iv) The individual who completes the cost report on behalf of the provider ("the preparer") must complete the state-sponsored cost report training every other year for the odd-year cost report in order to receive credit to complete both that odd-year cost report and the following even-year cost report. If a new preparer wishes to complete an even-year cost report and has not completed the previous odd-year cost report training, to receive training credit to complete the even-year cost report, the preparer must complete an even-year cost report training. No exemptions from the cost report training requirements will be granted.

    (D) A cost report documents the provider's actual allowable charity-care costs for delivering ambulance services in accordance with the applicable state and federal regulations. Because the cost report is used to determine supplemental payments, a provider must submit a complete and acceptable cost report to be eligible for a supplemental payment.

    (E) The uncompensated-care payment is contingent upon the governmental ambulance provider's CPEs related to charity-care services. There are two CPE forms that must be submitted with each cost report:

      (i) The cost report certification form formally acknowledges that the cost report is true, correct, and complete, and was prepared in accordance to all applicable rules and regulations.

      (ii) The certification of funds form acknowledges that the claimed expenditures are allocable and allowable to the State Medicaid program under Title XIX of the Social Security Act, and in accordance with all procedures, instructions, and guidance issued by the single state agency and in effect during the cost report federal fiscal year.

  (2) Calculation. An ambulance provider's annual maximum uncompensated-care payment amount is calculated as follows:

    (A) As detailed in the cost report instructions, a provider must report their charges associated with charity-care services provided to uninsured patients and any payments attributable to those services.

    (B) A provider's total allowable reported costs for ambulance services are allocated to uninsured charity-care patients based on the ratio of charges for uninsured charity-care patients to the charges for all patients. Only allocable expenditures related to uninsured charity care as defined in subsection (b)(3) of this section will be included in calculating the uncompensated-care payment.

    (C) The result of subparagraph (B) of this paragraph will be reduced by any related payments reported on the cost report to determine the provider's annual maximum uncompensated-care payment amount.

  (3) Reduction to stay within the governmental ambulance provider uncompensated-care pool allocation amount. Prior to processing uncompensated-care payments for any payment period within a waiver demonstration year, HHSC will determine if such a payment would cause total uncompensated-care payments for the demonstration year for the governmental ambulance provider pool to exceed the allocation amount for the pool and will reduce the maximum uncompensated-care payment amounts for each provider in the pool by the same percentage as required to remain within the pool allocation amount.

(h) Recoupment.

  (1) In the event of an overpayment identified by HHSC or a disallowance by CMS of federal financial participation related to a provider's receipt or use of payments under this section, HHSC may recoup an amount equivalent to the amount of the federal share of the overpayment or disallowance.

  (2) Payments under this section may be subject to adjustment for payments made in error, including, without limitation, adjustments under §371.1711 of this title (relating to Recoupment of Overpayments and Debts), 42 CFR Part 455, and Chapter 403 of the Texas Government Code. HHSC may recoup an amount equivalent to any such adjustment.

  (3) HHSC may recoup from any current or future Medicaid payments as follows:

    (A) HHSC will recoup from the provider against which any overpayment was made or disallowance was directed.

    (B) If, within 30 days of the provider's receipt of HHSC's written notice of recoupment, the provider has not paid the full amount of the recoupment or entered into a written agreement with HHSC to do so, HHSC may withhold any or all future Medicaid payments from the provider until HHSC has recovered an amount equal to the amount overpaid or disallowed.

Source Note: The provisions of this §355.8210 adopted to be effective January 10, 2019, 44 TexReg 230

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