The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has begun imposing an application fee on all institutional providers to participate in the Medicare program, report AHA News Now and Part B News.
The fee, which will be $505 for calendar 2011, applies to all hospitals and other providers enrolling, re-enrolling or re-validating credentials for program participation, or adding a new program location. Payment is required upon submission of a completed CMS-855 application, and may be submitted through the pay.gov portal.
The fee is valid through the end of 2011, and will be adjusted each calendar year based on changes in the Consumer Price Index. Hardship exemptions are offered, but the burden of proof is murky, notes Part B News.
According to CMS officials, the imposition of an application fee is to help cover the costs of screening Medicare beneficiaries. The fee was included in the final rules of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to reduce fraud in Medicare, Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program.