Department of Health and Human Services

Office of Inspector General -- AUDIT

"Review of Tulane Medical Centerís Reported Fiscal Year 2005 Wage Data," (A-01-08-00518)

July 14, 2008


PDF File Complete Text of Report is available in PDF format (673 kb). Copies can also be obtained by contacting the Office of Public Affairs at 202-619-1343.


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:

Tulane Medical Center (the Hospital) reported unsupported and unallowable costs totaling $298,000 in its fiscal year (FY) 2005 Medicare cost report.  Under the inpatient prospective payment system for acute-care hospitals, CMS adjusts the Medicare base rate paid to participating hospitals by the wage index applicable to the statistical area in which hospitals are located.  CMS calculates wage indexes based on hospitalsí wage data reported 4 years earlier.  Our correction of the Hospitalís error decreased the average hourly wage rate from $35.69 to $35.59.  If the Hospital does not revise the wage data in its FY 2005 cost report, the FY 2009 wage index for the Hospitalís statistical area will be overstated, which will result in overpayments to all of the hospitals that use this wage index.

We recommended that the Hospital submit a revised FY 2005 Medicare cost report to the fiscal intermediary and implement procedural improvements.  In comments on our draft report, the Hospital provided information on actions taken to implement our recommendations.