Medicare cost reports are due five months after your facility’s fiscal year end.
For most facilities, who “close their books” on December 31, cost reports are due on May 31, which is five months after December 31.
Facilities who have different fiscal year ends would count five months from the close of their books.
If your due date falls out on a weekend/ legal holiday, then the cost report is due the first business day following the weekend/ holiday.
Your financial intermediary (MAC), will send you a letter with your cost report due date, but make sure to be proactive! If you happen not to receive the letter – check with your intermediary instead of risking missing the deadline.
There are penalties for late filing, the most immediate of which is that Medicare payments are stopped until the cost report is received and accepted by the MAC. Acceptance of a received cost report can be up to thirty days from the time the MAC gets the cost report. (Provider Reimbursement Manual II, Section 140)
If your cost report is mailed on time, payments will not be stopped while your MAC reviews it. Should your MAC decide that your cost report needs to be rejected, if you filed early, you will be given a grace period of the amount of days your cost report was received before the deadline. (Provider Reimbursement Manual II, Section 130.4) This means that if your intermediary got your cost report ten days before it was due, you will get ten days to re-file your rejected cost report before payments get stopped.
As a precaution, at Progressive Provider Services, we always recommend sending your cost report via courier rather than regular mail, so that you will be able to track the date and time that your intermediary received it. You should save the delivery confirmation as proof that your cost report was sent on time.