Medicare, Medicaid & Medi-Cal cost report preparation [more]

Medicare & Medicaid patient billing services [more]

Bookkeeping & Payroll for healthcare providers [more]

Business & individual state and federal tax services [more]

Medicare Cost Report Preparation FAQ's

Do I need to file a Medicare cost report?

If your organization provides health care services to Medicare beneficiaries, it must file a Medicare cost report annually. If you fail to file your Medicare cost report, all interim payments since the beginning of the Medicare cost reporting period are deemed overpayments. Filing a Medicare cost report is also required when a provider goes out of business or changes ownership.

We did not provide services to Medicare beneficiaries last year. Do I still need to file a full cost report?

Yes and No, If you provided little or no covered services to Medicare beneficiaries, you do not need to fill a full cost report but you still need to file a report: a low Medicare utilization cost report (or LMU) or a signed “No Medicare Utilization” statement that no claims for Medicare payment will be filed for this reporting period. This statement must be sent with a completed certification page of the applicable cost report forms within 150 days following the close of the reporting period. Call us for details about the applicability of the LMU to your situation.

My agency is linked to a larger organization, do I need to fill a separate cost report?

Yes and No. The general rule is that chain organizations and groups of providers operating as cooperatives cannot file a combined or a consolidated Medicare cost report. However, if your organization is a provider-based (e.g.: hospital-based) Home Health Agency or Rural Health Clinic you do not need to fill separate cost reports. Your Medicare Cost report data can be combined with that of the provider. Note also that multi-facility institutions (aka complex providers) with only one provider number, or one provider number plus sub-provider numbers for their sub-cost-centers, can file a single Medicare cost report under their number (and the sub-provider numbers). Note that combining facilities or agencies in a single Medicare cost report generally requires that like rates be charged for like services -- or else, they need to be reported separately - so as not to generate incorrect cost-to-charge ratios. If you filed a combined Medicare cost report when you shouldn’t have, your intermediary can re-open the cost report within three years following its notification of program reimbursement.

What is my Medicare cost report due date?

Medicare Cost reports must be sent (postmarked) on or before the last day of the fifth month following the close of the cost reporting period (your accounting year), or 150 days after the last day of the cost reporting period if your fiscal year does not end at the end of a month.

What is the Medicare cost reporting period?

The Medicare Cost reporting period is your fiscal year. It has to be 12 successive calendar months or 13 four-week periods with an extra day (two for leap years) added to the last period to make it match with the end of the calendar year or month. Other Medicare Cost reporting periods are acceptable under certain conditions. Contact us for details.

Can I get a Medicare cost report extension?

Medicare cost report due date extensions can only be granted by CMS under extraordinary delaying circumstances that are beyond the control of the provider (e.g.: Hurricane Katrina). Otherwise, there are no exceptions, unless your contractor is late mailing your PS&R, beyond the 5 month due date. Under this particular circumstance, you have 30 days from the date you receive your PS&R to file your Medicare cost report (PS&R: Provider Statistical and Reimbursement Report).

Do I need to wait for my PS&R to file my Medicare cost report?

No you do not. You can use your own data to compile your cost report, provided that it matches the billing data provided to CMS throughout the reporting period.

What if my Medicare cost report is filed late?

If you do not timely file a complete and acceptable Medicare cost report, your Medicare payments will be suspended until a cost report is filed and considered acceptable. All interim payments received since the beginning of the Medicare cost reporting period are deemed overpayments.

How long does it take for a Medicare cost report to be settled?

Medicare cost reports are typically reviewed, accepted or rejected by CMS intermediaries within 30 days of cost report receipt date. A tentative settlement is then determined within the next 60 days. If a Medicare cost report is not selected for audit it is then usually settled within one year of the Medicare cost report acceptance.

What if My Medicare cost report is rejected by the Medicare Intermediary?

The rejection of your Medicare cost report by the intermediary will lead to the suspension of your payments starting on the day your Medicare cost report was due to be filed. Call us for details.

If we owe money to Medicare, to whom should the check be sent?

The check should be sent to your CMS intermediary. The check should not be sent along with the cost report submission.

Where do we start? Should I start by filling out your Medicare cost report checklist?

Yes, but give us a call first. Your particular circumstances may call for particular CMS cost report preparation recommendations.

Medicaid Cost Report Preparation FAQ's

Where do we start? Should I start by downloading and filling out your Medicaid cost report form?

Yes, but give us a call first as particular circumstances may call for particular cost report preparation recommendations.

What is my Medicaid cost report due date?

Medicaid Cost reports must be sent (postmarked) on or before March 31st.

Healthcare Accounting File Cabinet FAQ's

What is the difference between an online account and a File Cabinet?

An online account lets you access your documents (e.g.: an online banking account). A File Cabinet system lets you access your documents as well as the documents held in other File Cabinets throughout your organization. Think of your electronic File Cabinet as a physical cabinet. Everybody has a file cabinet in his or her office to store the records for which he or she is responsible; and everybody can access documents in a co-worker's file cabinet if authorized to do so.

Do all documents exchanged with L. J. Beardsley Inc. need to go through the file cabinet?

No, the new security standards do not apply to all accounting documents, they vary from State to State and are evolving, so we can send your documents by mail or email if this is still legal in your State. Please advise if you wish that we do so. We have decided to store all our clients documents in their File Cabinets because it is safer, convenient for all, and cost effective. When it comes to what You send us, we recommend that you use your File Cabinet for documents that are confidential or for documents that we may need again in the future.

Do I need to register or do I simply need to log in? What do I need to do?

Unless somebody has registered you in our system, your File Cabinet is not ready. You need to register in our site to create your File Cabinet, and you need to click on the link in our confirmation email to activate it. Here is how you should proceed:

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How can I access a co-worker's File Cabinet?

The File Cabinets of the members of your organization can be accessed via a click on the File Cabinet link in the File Cabinet menu. Should a File Cabinet be missing from this list, please contact its owner to make sure that he or she has properly documented the "Account number" field in his or her "Contact Info" tab. Both of you should share the same account number. Please also note that accessing a File Cabinet does not mean that you will be able to access its content (see next FAQ). Here is how to navigate to another File Cabinet:

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There are no tabs in my co-worker's File Cabinet. How can I access her documents?

Contact your co-worker and ask her to grant you access to her File Cabinet's content. You can send her an email or private message right from her File Cabinet with a click on the "Messages" menu.

How can I let others see and access to my documents?

By default, the content of your File Cabinet can only be accessed by you, your accountant and the users you add to your guest list (i.e.: so a prerequisite is that these individuals are registered into our site and members of your organization). Click on the green "Connections" menu to open your File Cabinet to a co-worker:

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How can I restrict access to certain of my documents to certain of my co-workers?

While your File Cabinet can only be accessed by your accountant and the users you have added to your guest list, you may further restrict access to your documents by associating Connections Types to your Cabinet Tabs (categories of documents) and by associating guests to each of these Connections Types. Note that while multiple Connections Types can be associated to a single individual, only one Type of connection can be associated to a File Cabinet tab, so remember to always include us in the group that you have authorized to access a given tab (i.e.: if a tab can only be accessed by your "Central-office" staff, put us in the "Central-office" category.) If you do not, we will no longer be able to save documents in your cabinet. Here is how to proceed:


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New Business Startup FAQ's

What business entity should I select?

This depends entirely on you and on the nature of your business, and this can change as your business grows. There are now new and interesting types of legal entities to consider and most of them overlap. Hours of reading and internet research will leave you confused and undecided, so do not sweat over this. A quick conversation is all we need to find the right answer to this question.

Why bother to hire employees if I can hire contractors?

There are clear IRS guidelines defining what an employee is. Follow these guidelines to avoid back-taxes, penalties, and interests. While there are cost and productivity benefits in hiring contractors, there is no point in treating an employee as a contractor.

Can I deduct expenses incurred before my business is officially created?

Yes, up to $5,000 of startup expenses can be deducted over a period of 5 years. Any amounts above $5,000 can be deducted over a period of 15 years. In addition to the costs associated with investigating the creation, acquisition or establishment of an active trade or business, acceptable expenses include your incorporation fees, legal fees, accounting setup fees etc.

How should I keep track of my business expenses and payments?

It all depends on your volume of transactions. If you are dealing with large dollar amounts and large transaction volumes, you need to enter your new bills every day in your accounts payable system and check every day which of your bills are due to be paid on that day. If you have only a few dozen bills to pay each month, you may simply store your bills in a folder that you reopen every week or two to enter the bills into your accounting software. Print out the checks to pay the invoices that will soon be due and send the check just before the due date. The last step here is to file or scan the paid invoices for the bills that left the folder and were paid. If most of your expenses are paid in cash or upfront, you may store them into a folder until the end of the year, or you may email or scan them via a smart phone and send them to an online service that will analyze them and store them for you. You may rely on us to enter your receipts and payments in your system, or you may rely on us entirely.

Should I buy accounting software and if yes, which would you recommend?

We recommend our own Cloud-based Accounting Solution, an online accounting solution built and maintained by Thomson Reuters, one of the foremost accounting software companies. This Accounting is fully web-based and no software installation is required in your computer. Should a problem occur in your computer, your data is safe. One of the main benefits of this system is the fact that both client and accountant can access the system, with both having access to features relevant to their role. This keeps the system simple to use without negatively impacting its wealth of features. You may also use QuickBooks.

Will I be able to deduct my losses, if any?

Not all losses can be deducted.  You need to "materially participate" in your business activity for this to be applicable. This is a complicated matter. Consult us for details.