Home Care Cost Report Webinar Identifies Common Errors

Situation Report | May 24, 2021

Last week, the state Department of Health (DOH) and its contractor, KPMG, held a webinar to discuss lessons learned from the Home Care Cost Report process. 

The materials will be posted in the web-based tool within the “Instructions” tab. They are also here.

DOH highlighted common issues and errors that were identified throughout the 2019 Home Care Cost Report submission and audit process. The goal was to identify areas of the cost report that may have been unclear during the submission and audit process and clarify how to properly report each item so that providers can increase their compliance in future cost report years. 

DOH and KPMG reviewed supporting documentation, general cost reporting, reporting of contracted services, reporting program administration costs, and more. 

Some of the errors reviewed included: 

  • Supporting documentation was not sufficient enough to allow audit teams to reconcile the information reported on the cost report or make a determination regarding the completeness and accuracy of the data.
  • Some errors included providing hard-coded Excel files (no formula links) and not providing clear explanations for how the cost report numbers tied back to supporting documentation (e.g., general ledger and trial balance).
  • Some agencies did not provide a clear allocation methodology crosswalk to explain the allocation percentages being used.
  • There were many instances where agencies submitted their cost reports and/or supporting documentation past the deadlines set by DOH.
  • Many agencies did not have any cost report policies and procedures in place related to the cost report preparation and submission process.
  • There were many instances where agencies did not provide complete and accurate responses to the General Questionnaire items and/or inquiries sent by the KPMG audit team and/or respond timely.

DOH also reviewed common errors on specific schedules. 

DOH reiterated that the providers who were selected for audit for the 2019 Home Care Cost Report were not penalized for the audit findings they received. Instead, these findings were meant to serve as lessons learned for future cost report years. 

DOH also advised that while it is acceptable to hire vendors to support the Home Care Cost Report submission and audit, the provider is ultimately responsible for accurate and timely submissions. 

Lastly, DOH said that providers should look for an announcement soon about the 2020 Home Care Cost Report.

DOH and KPMG will be deploying updates to the web-based tool to streamline the cost report submission and audit process in future cost report years. These updates include the following:  

  • Additional edit checks, which will prevent providers from submitting the cost report until the values in Column 004 on Schedule 3 (Program Administration) and Column 004 on Schedule 4 (Program Administration) are equal.
  • Prohibiting data entry in Schedule 4 cells: KPMG and DOH will be “graying out” the red cells on Schedule 4 of the Home Care Cost Report. This will prevent providers from entering data in the cells that data should not be entered in.