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Physician Time Studies for Medicare/Medicaid Cost Reports

For those of you struggling to calculate the impact of physician time studies, let me first outline where the physician time studies are used on the Medicare cost report. If you refer to the A-8-2 on the 2552-10, you will find that the instructions state the following:

Except as provided in paragraph (d) of this section, each provider that incurs physician compensation costs must allocate those costs, in proportion to the percentage of total time that is spent in furnishing each category of services, among— (1) Physician services to the provider; (2) Physician services to patients; and (3) Activities of the physician, such as funded research, that are not paid under either Part A or Part B of Medicare.

Time spent on provider-related activities is included on Worksheet A for cost-finding. Time spent on professional-related activities is excluded. Some refer to the first category as Part A time and the second category as Part B time.

To adequately complete A-8-2, you will need physicians to complete two time studies in two non-consecutive quarter for two straights weeks. The time study should show how the physician allocated her time. By example, below is a worksheet summarizing how your results would look.

Physician-Time-Studies-Example

Physician-Time-Studies-Example

What you see here is that the physician completed two time studies, but only spent 30% of her time on Part a duties. Thus, when allocating her salary and time, only $30,000 and 660 hours are provider-related.

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