(a) A hospital may elect to reduce coinsurance for any or all APC groups on a calendar year basis. A hospital may not elect to reduce copayment amounts for some, but not all, services within the same group.
(b) A hospital must notify its fiscal intermediary of its election to reduce coinsurance no later than -
(1) June 1, 2000, for coinsurance elections for the period July 1, 2000 through December 31, 2000; or
(2) December 1 preceding the beginning of each subsequent calendar year.
(c) The hospital's election must be properly documented. It must specifically identify the APCs to which it applies and the copayment amount (within the limits identified below) that the hospital has selected for each group.
(d) The election of reduced coinsurance remains in effect unchanged during the year for which the election was made.
(e) In electing reduced coinsurance, a hospital may elect a copayment amount that is less than that year's wage-adjusted copayment amount for the group but not less than 20 percent of the APC payment rate as determined under § 419.32 or, in the case of payments calculated under § 419.43(h), not less than 20 percent of the APC payment rate as determined under § 419.43(h).
(f) The hospital may advertise and otherwise disseminate information concerning the reduced level of coinsurance that it has elected. All advertisements and information furnished to Medicare beneficiaries must specify that the coinsurance reductions advertised apply only to the specified services of that hospital and that coinsurance reductions are available only for hospitals that choose to reduce coinsurance for hospital outpatient services and are not allowed in any other ambulatory settings or physician offices.