Medicare Medi-cal Cost Reports[/caption]If you were to remodel your house tomorrow, would you hire the plumber to do the electric work? Would you ask the painter to install your new roof? More importantly, would you ever ask your administrative assistant to make a home care visit? Similarly, the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) who prepared your tax return or business financial statements might not be the best person to do your Medicare Cost Report. I recommend considering the following several factors when deciding who will create your next cost report.

1. Specialization & Experience
Cost report preparation requires a tremendous amount of industry-specific expertise on very detailed and important aspects of the Medicare payment system. CPAs may do one or two cost reports per year. A cost report preparation firm, however, will typically develop many more cost reports each year than a small CPA firm, and must stake its future business and reputation on the accurate execution of these reports. Firms such as BUSYCPA will prepare more cost reports in one year than most local CPA firms will prepare in the entire history of their firm.

2. Industry Knowledge
Most cost report preparation firms will benefit (and so will you) by having more than one home health industry client. They also will benefit by belonging to national and state home health care associations. Ask your local CPA firm if they are a member of ANY home health care organization.

3. Education
Few of the continuing education programs offered by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) or the state CPA societies address the needs or concerns of the home health care industry, particularly the cost report. Has your CPA attended a national or state home health care industry conference? Have they attended a program on the Medicare Cost Report?