Cost Report Data Reports
The NAHC COST REPORT DATA COMPENDIUM is an in-depth analysis of Medicare cost reports filed by home health agencies since the beginning of the HH PPS payment system in October 2000. NAHC has acquired nearly 150,000 filed cost reports to develop this Compendium.
The Compendium is a valuable tool for providers of services, consultants, health policy planners, home care advocates, investors, and trade associations looking to gain an understanding of the financial status of home health agencies. However, it must be understood this tool is not intended to be used to affect the planning and delivery of care to individual patients. It must be further understood that while the methodology used by NAHC to conduct this analysis has been validated the cost report data used is unaudited.
II. DESCRIPTION OF THE DATABASE
Annually, all Medicare participating home health agencies file a cost report with the Medicare program. An abbreviated report is filed by low/no utilization home health agencies. This database excludes those abbreviated reports and contains only the full reports filed by home health agencies that are actively engaged in providing Medicare services.
Cost reports must be filed within five months of the close of the provider’s fiscal year. In most cases, the provider chooses the dates of its fiscal year. It is NAHC’s experience that approximately one-half of the HHAs choose a January 1 to December 31 fiscal year and that about 30% use a July 1 to June 30 year. The remainder are scattered throughout the calendar year.
The cost reports used in this Compendium come from the public use file maintained by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Cost reports contain a wealth of data. For purposes of this Compendium, NAHC used data on per unit costs, supply costs, service utilization, and Medicare PPS episodes. In addition, overall HHA cost and revenue data is used to calculate overall financial margins. The geographic location of the HHA and its categorization also is utilized.
In 2014 there were more than 12,500 Medicare participating HHAs. Considering that approximately 15% are low/no utilization HHAs, approximately 10,265 full cost reports were filed. Each year NAHC does not use a number of these reports because of anomalies and missing data. As a result, there is a variation in the number of cost reports used dependent on the item calculated.
This compendium presents results on the basis of Fiscal Year End Reports as well as results of certain specific fiscal years. A total of 9,302 reports after trimming unusable reports from 2014 were available at the time of the data analysis.