What Is A PI File?

The Print Image file is a compressed text file that contains the printed worksheets of the Medicare Cost Report. With the PI file, an auditor can view the cost report pages on a computer screen. The PI file has a three line encryption of a little over 70 characters at the end of the electronic file which gets printed to the Medicare cost report signature page.


SAMPLE ECR FILE (select lines only for illustration)

1           1   065555200800120083663G31P00120091412008274
1           7       16:50
2A000000  00100000000100CAP REL COSTS – BLDGS & FIXTURES
2A000000  00200000000200CAP REL COSTS – MOVABLE EQUIPMENT
3S200000  004000030010/15/1990
3S700004  0010000301              36
3A000000  0040000100          316282
4           1       It2kTR.hL3ml:LNF5cqckxrljVCfm0
4           1 1     q:APi0HwokBQNhPNYWYX1Ov68LC6A.
4           1 2     JPPE08t.hP0dler9


The Type 1 record had identifying information on the provider number, start and end date of the cost report, cost report software vendor code, date cost report was created, and date of cost report software update. (2008274 means this software release meets CMS specifications of the 274th day of 2008, which is Sept. 20, 2008.   The second line of this records shows the military time when the ECR was generated.


Type 2 records show labels used for cost centers and overhead allocation statistics (square feet, time spent, etc.)  The third line of the above says the Worksheet A line 1 will be used for Capital Related Costs (property costs) of the Building. The fourth line of the above says the Worksheet A line 2 will be used for Capital Related Costs of the Equipment.


Type 3 records show input in the cost report and the cost report location. The fifth line of the above says that Worksheet S-2 line 4 column 3 shows the Medicare certification date as 10/15/1990. The sixth line says that Worksheet S-7 Part IV line 1 column 3.01 shows 36 Medicare days falling under the RUG category found at line 1. The seventh line says that Worksheet A line 4 column 1 shows costs of $316,282.

Type 4 records have the three lines of encryption code that are generated based upon the lines above it in the text file .  Since the encryption code is printed to the Medicare cost report signature file, the signor is attesting that the correct ECR is the one that would generate the same encryption code that is printed here on the Signature Page. If any information of the text file would get altered, then the Type 4 encryption code would be different when the encryption code is rerun by the Fiscal Intermediary, and it would be known that the text file has been altered and cannot be relied upon.