At PPS, we are extremely pleased with our latest software development, which we couldn’t wait to share with our many satisfied cost report software customers.
CMS has given their approval for us to produce the mandatory PI (“Picture Image”) files as PDFs. (For more information on PI files, see our blog on ECR and PI files.)
What this means for our software users is an expedited ECR creation process. When you click that “Create ECR” button (or menu option, from software with a menubar,) you will be pleased at the amount of time saved. Your intermediary will like it, too, because the PI file is much easier to read as a PDF.
The steps to ECR creation are the same as always:
- Fill in all required information
- Clear all Level I edits and make sure Level II edits are justifiable
- Click the “Create ECR” button
With the change to PDF files, instead of your PI file ending in a .15A or .15A1 extension this year, it will end with a .15A.pdf or .15A1.pdf extension. Your computer will recognize it as a PDF file, and your intermediary can view it with a standard PDF viewer.
A word of caution: Should you choose to open your PI file to view it, make sure to close without saving changes. Saving the pdf after opening the file will change the original encryption which is needed for acceptance of the cost report. This may cause your cost report to be rejected.
Please note: due to Excel nuances, this process is only compatible with Excel 2007 and higher. We have tested the pdf creation process on several versions of Excel with success, using versions of Excel 2007 and higher. For earlier versions of Excel which are supported by our software, or if your system does not allow the pdf creation, the ECR & PI files will still be created using the original process. The file will then end with a .15 or .15A extension without the “.pdf”. The steps outlined above are the same, regardless of which version of Excel or operating system you are using.