I would like to clarify my comments printed in the article "Making a federal case" (Oct. 12, p. 4) regarding the practice of creating dual Medicare cost reports. They were in response to questions about whether healthcare organizations maintain two separate sets of books-a real set and a second set used to file reports with government agencies.
I indicated that in my experience, hospitals do not maintain two sets of books, or general ledgers, but use the data from general ledgers in various ways depending on the reporting needs. When I was asked about cost reports, I said "it was hard to imagine that somebody would develop two different cost reports"-one that is real and one filed with the government with the intent to estimate the value of fraudulent claims. Only the comment in quotation marks was printed in the article.
I had also told the reporter that hospitals use various techniques for the standard practice of estimating the difference between what they believe they should be paid and what the government has paid on an interim basis.
Your readers could have misinterpreted my remarks without the context in which they were given.
Healthcare Financial Management Association