(a) Principle. A provider of services that customarily furnishes an individual items or services that are more expensive than the items or services determined to be necessary in the efficient delivery of needed health services described in § 413.30, may charge an individual entitled to benefits under Medicare for such more expensive items or services even though not requested by the individual. The charge, however, may not exceed the amount by which the cost of (or, if less, the customary charges for) such more expensive items or services furnished by such provider in the second cost reporting period immediately preceding the cost reporting period in which such charges are imposed exceeds the applicable limit imposed under the provisions of § 413.30. This charge may be made only if -
(1) The contractor determines that the charges have been calculated properly in accordance with the provisions of this section;
(2) The services are not emergency services as defined in paragraph (d) of this section;
(3) The admitting physician has no direct or indirect financial interest in such provider;
(4) CMS has provided notice to the public through notice in a newspaper of general circulation servicing the provider's locality and such other notice as the Secretary may require, of any charges the provider is authorized to impose on individuals entitled to benefits under Medicare on account of costs in excess of the costs determined to be necessary in the efficient delivery of needed health services under Medicare; and
(5) The provider has, in the manner described in paragraph (e) of this section, identified such charges to such individual or person acting on his behalf as charges to meet the costs in excess of the costs determined to be necessary in the efficient delivery of needed health services under Medicare.
(b) Provider request to charge beneficiaries for costs in excess of limits.
(1) If a provider's actual costs (or, if less, the customary charges) in the second preceding cost period exceed the prospective limits established for such costs, the contractor will, at the provider's request, validate in advance the charges that may be made to the beneficiaries for the excess.
(2) If a provider does not have a second preceding cost period and is a new provider as defined in § 413.30(e), the provider, subject to validation by the contractor, will estimate the current cost of the service to which a limit is being applied. Such amount will be adjusted to an amount equivalent to costs in the second preceding year by use of a factor to be developed based on estimates of cost increases during the preceding two years and published by SSA or CMS. The amount thus derived will be used in lieu of the second preceding cost period amount in determining the charge to the beneficiary.
(3) To obtain consideration of such a request, the provider must submit to the contractor a statement indicating the chagre for which it is seeking validation and providing the data and method used to determine the amount. Such statement should include the -
(i) Provider's name and number;
(ii) Identity of class and prospective cost limit for the class in which the provider has been included;
(iii) Amount of charge and cost period in which the charge is to be imposed;
(iv) Cost and customary charge for items and services furnished to beneficiaries; and
(v) Cost period ending date of the second reporting period immediately preceding the cost period in which the charge is to be imposed. The contractor may request such additional information as it finds necessary with respect to the request.
(c) Provider charges -
(1) Establishing the charges. If the actual cost incurred (or, if less, the customary charges) in the prior period determined under paragraph (a) of this section exceeds the limits applicable to the pertinent period, the provider may charge the beneficiary to the extent costs in the second preceding cost reporting period (or the equivalent when there is no second preceding period) exceed the current cost limits. (Data from the most recently submitted appropriate cost report will be used in determining the actual cost.) For example, if a limit of $58 per day is applied to the cost of general routine services for the provider's cost reporting period starting in calendar year 1975 and if the provider's actual general routine cost in the second preceding reporting period, that is, the reporting period starting in calendar year 1973, was $60 per day, the provider (after first having obtained contractor validation and subject to the considerations and requirements specified in paragraph (a) of this section) may charge Medicare Part A beneficiaries up to $2 per day for general routine services.
(2) Adjusting cost. Program reimbursement for the costs to which limits imposed under § 413.30 are applied in any cost reporting period will not exceed the lesser of the provider's actual cost or the limits imposed under § 413.30. If program reimbursement for items or services to which such limits are applied plus the charges to beneficiaries for such items or services imposed under this section exceed the provider's actual cost for such items or services, program payment to the provider will be reduced to the extent program payment plus charges to the beneficiaries exceed actual cost. If the provider's actual cost for general routine services in 1975 was $57,000, the cost limit was $58,000, and billed charges to Medicare Part A beneficiaries were $2,000, the provider would receive $55,000 from the program ($57,000 actual cost minus the $2,000 in charges to the beneficiaries).
(d) Definition of emergency services. For purposes of paragraph (a)(2) of this section, emergency services are those hospital services that are necessary to prevent the death or serious impairment of the health of the individual, and which, because of the threat to the life or health of the individual, necessitate the use of the most accessible hospital (as determined under § 424.106 of this chapter) available and equipped to furnish such services. If an individual has been admitted to such hospital as an inpatient because of an emergency, the emergency will be deemed to continue until it is safe from a medical standpoint to move the individual to another hospital or other institution or to discharge him.
(e) Identification of charges to individual. For purposes of paragraph (a)(5) of this section, a provider must give or send to the individual or his representative, a schedule of all items and services that the individual might need and for which the provider imposes charges under this section, and the charge for each. Such schedule must specify that the charges are necessary to meet the costs in excess of the costs determined to be necessary in the efficient delivery of needed health services under Medicare and include such other information as CMS considers necessary to protect the individual's rights under this section. The provider, in arranging for the individual's admission, first service, or start of care, must give or send this schedule to the individual or his representative when arrangements are being made for such services or if this is not feasible, as soon thereafter as is practicable but no later than at the initiation of services.