The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have recently released their final rules for their data collection process. As you may have previously read, CMS plans to collect data from EMS agencies, which bill for at least one Medicare fee-for-service transport each year. The data that CMS will gather will mostly focus on the costs, revenues, and utilization information that EMS agencies incur when providing EMS care to Medicare beneficiaries. CMS anticipates using a web-enabled form to collect this information from agencies. 
 
According to CMS’ posting in the Federal Register, the data collection process will begin on January 1. EMS agencies selected for participation will need to gather their data throughout 2020 and then report the information that CMS requests by May 31, 2021. In the case of agencies that operate based on a non-calendar operational year (i.e., a fiscal year or another calendar), agencies will have five months from the close of their operational calendar to provide their data to CMS. Beginning in 2022, CMS will assess a 10% reduction in payment for agencies that do not comply with cost reporting. 
 
CMS also published a list of agencies selected to participate in cost reporting next year. Make sure to review this list to see if your agency has been selected.
 
The IAFC EMS Section is excited to announce that they will be partnering with PCG Health, a national healthcare consulting group, to provide cost reporting-focused educational materials to the fire service. As part of this partnership, the EMS Section and PCG Health plans to provide a webinar series in 2020 to share information and best practices on how to prepare for cost reporting. In the meantime, any agencies who have been selected should contact their Medicare Administrative Contractor if they have specific questions. 
 
The IAFC urges all members who are selected to participate in this process to provide the requested data to CMS. The IAFC hopes that the data from this process will be used to improve the accuracy of the Medicare Ambulance Fee Schedule.
 

Evan Davis is the strategic manager of the Government Relations Department of the IAFC

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