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A Medicare cost report is a form that Medicare-reimbursable facilities use to report expenses. This facilitates transparency between Medicare, providers, and consumers. Consumers can determine how much their hospital and providers are claiming the cost of their services and how those costs trickle down to consumers. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) publish these reports with the raw data on their websites.
All Medicare-certified institutional providers are required to submit a report annually. Institutions that must include a report include hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, home health agencies, renal facilities, health clinics, hospice, and state and federally funded health agencies.
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Generally, the cost report includes information on the provider and the cost of their services. Provider information includes identifiable information like address and name. It also includes provider number, cost, and debts.
Medicare requires its reimbursable facilities to submit a cost report. A cost report is a report on a facility’s expenses, allowing Medicare to see how much their care really costs. In the long run, this is designed to make the system more efficient and to increase transparency to save money. While it can be confusing to understand the raw data at first, the reports can ultimately help you understand how provider costs trickle down to you as a consumer.