45 CFR Part 74, Appendix E to Part 74 - Principles for Determining Costs Applicable to Research and Development Under Grants and Contracts With Hospitals
Appendix E to Part 74—Principles for Determining Costs Applicable to Research and Development Under Grants and Contracts With Hospitals
i. purpose and scope
A. Objectives. This appendix provides principles for determining the costs applicable to research and development work performed by hospitals under grants and contracts with the Department of Health and Human Services. These principles are confined to the subject of cost determination and make no attempt to identify the circumstances or dictate the extent of hospital participation in the financing of a particular research or development project. The principles are designed to provide recognition of the full allocated costs of such research work under generally accepted accounting principles. These principles will be applicable to both proprietary and non-profit hospitals. No provision for profit or other increment above cost is provided for in these principles. However, this is not to be interpreted as precluding a negotiated fee between contracting parties when a fee is appropriate.
B. Policy guides. The successful application of these principles requires development of mutual understanding between representatives of hospitals and of the Department of Health and Human Services as to their scope, applicability and interpretation. It is recognized that:
1. The arrangements for hospital participation in the financing of a research and development project are properly subject to negotiation between the agency and the hospital concerned in accordance with such Government-wide criteria as may be applicable.
2. Each hospital, possessing its own unique combination of staff, facilities and experience, should be encouraged to conduct research in a manner consonant with its own institutional philosophies and objectives.
3. Each hospital in the fulfillment of its contractual obligations should be expected to employ sound management practices.
4. The application of the principles established herein shall be in conformance with the generally accepted accounting practices of hospitals.
5. Hospitals receive reimbursements from the Federal Government for differing types of services under various programs such as support of Research and Development (including discrete clinical centers) Health Services Projects, Medicare, etc. It is essential that consistent procedures for determining reimbursable costs for similar services be employed without regard to program differences. Therefore, both the direct and indirect costs of research programs must be identified as a cost center(s) for the cost finding and step-down requirements of the Medicare program, or in its absence the Medicaid program.
C. Application. All operating agencies within the Department of Health and Human Services that sponsor research and development work in hospitals will apply these principles and related policy guides in determining the costs incurred for such work under grants and cost-reimbursement type contracts and subcontracts. These principles will also be used as a guide in the pricing of fixed-price contracts and subcontracts.
ii. definitions of terms
A. Organized research means all research activities of a hospital that may be identified whether the support for such research is from a federal, non-federal or internal source.
B. Departmental research means research activities that are not separately budgeted and accounted for. Such work, which includes all research activities not encompassed under the term organized research, is regarded for purposes of this document as a part of the patient care activities of the hospital.
C. Research agreement means any valid arrangement to perform federally-sponsored research or development including grants, cost-reimbursement type contracts, cost-reimbursement type subcontracts, and fixed-price contracts and subcontracts.
D. Instruction and training means the formal or informal programs of educating and training technical and professional health services personnel, primarily medical and nursing training. This activity, if separately budgeted or identifiable with specific costs, should be considered as a cost objective for purposes of indirect cost allocations and the development of patient care costs.
E. Other hospital activities means all organized activities of a hospital not immediately related to the patient care, research, and instructional and training functions which produce identifiable revenue from the performance of these activities. If a non-related activity does not produce identifiable revenue, it may be necessary to allocate this expense using an appropriate basis. In such a case, the activity may be included as an allocable cost (See paragraph III D below.) Also included under this definition is any category of cost treated as “Unallowable,” provided such category of cost identifies a function or activity to which a portion of the institution's indirect cost (as defined in paragraph V. A.) are properly allocable.
F. Patient care means those departments or cost centers which render routine or ancillary services to in-patients and/or out-patients. As used in paragraph IX B.23, it means the cost of these services applicable to patients involved in research programs.
G. Allocation means the process by which the indirect costs are assigned as between:
1. Organized research,
2. Patient care including departmental research.
3. Instruction and training, and
4. Other hospital activities.
H. Cost center means an identifiable department or area (including research) within the hospital which has been assigned an account number in the hospital accounting system for the purpose of accumulating expense by department or area.
I. Cost finding is the process of recasting the data derived from the accounts ordinarily kept by a hospital to ascertain costs of the various types of services rendered. It is the determination of direct costs by specific identification and the proration of indirect costs by allocation.
J. Step down is a cost finding method that recognizes that services rendered by certain nonrevenue-producing departments or centers are utilized by certain other nonrevenue producing centers as well as by the revenue-producing centers. All costs of nonrevenue-producing centers are allocated to all centers which they serve, regardless of whether or not these centers produce revenue. Following the apportionment of the cost of the nonrevenue-producing center, that center will be considered closed and no further costs are apportioned to that center.
K. Scatter bed is a bed assigned to a research patient based on availability. Research patients occupying these beds are not physically segregated from nonresearch patients occupying beds. Scatter beds are geographically dispersed among all the beds available for use in the hospital. There are no special features attendant to a scatter bed that distinguishes it from others that could just as well have been occupied.
L. Discrete bed is a bed or beds that have been set aside for occupancy by research patients and are physically segregated from other hospital beds in an environment that permits an easily ascertainable allocation of costs associated with the space they occupy and the services they generate.
iii. basic considerations
A. Composition of total costs. The cost of a research agreement is comprised of the allowable direct costs incident to its performance plus the allocable portion of the allowable indirect costs of the hospital less applicable credits. (See paragraph III-E.)
B. Factors affecting allowability of costs. The tests of allowability of costs under these principles are:
1. They must be reasonable.
2. They must be assigned to research agreements under the standards and methods provided herein.
3. They must be accorded consistent treatment through application of those generally accepted accounting principles appropriate to the circumstances (See paragraph I-E.5.) and
4. They must conform to any limitations or exclusions set forth in these principles or in the research agreement as to types or amounts of cost items.
C. Reasonable costs. A cost may be considered reasonable if the nature of the goods or services acquired or applied, and the amount involved therefor reflect the action that a prudent person would have taken under the circumstances prevailing at the time the decision to incur the cost was made. Major considerations involved in the determination of the reasonableness of a cost are:
1. Whether or not the cost is of a type generally recognized as necessary for the operation of the hospital or the performance of the research agreement,
2. The restraints or requirements imposed by such factors as arm's length bargaining, federal and state laws and regulations, and research agreement terms and conditions,
3. Whether or not the individuals concerned acted with due prudence in the circumstances, considering their responsibilities to the hospital, its patients, its employees, its students, the Government, and the public at large, and
4. The extent to which the actions taken with respect to the incurrence of the cost are consistent with established hospital policies and practices applicable to the work of the hospital generally, including Government research.
D. Allocable costs. 1. A cost is allocable to a particular cost center (i.e., a specific function, project, research agreement, department, or the like) if the goods or services involved are chargeable or assignable to such cost center in accordance with relative benefits received or other equitable relationship. Subject to the foregoing, a cost is allocable to a research agreement if it is incurred solely to advance the work under the research agreement; or it benefits both the research agreement and other work of the hospital in proportions that can be approximated through use of reasonable methods; or it is necessary to the overall operation of the hospital and, in light of the standards provided in this chapter, is deemed to be assignable in part to organized research. Where the purchase of equipment or other capital items are specifically authorized under a research agreement, the amounts thus authorized for such purchases are allocable to the research agreement regardless of the use that may subsequently be made of the equipment or other capital items involved.
2. Any costs allocable to a particular research agreement under the standards provided in these principles may not be shifted to other research agreements in order to meet deficiencies caused by overruns or other fund considerations, to avoid restrictions imposed by law or by terms of the research agreement, or for other reasons of convenience.
E. Applicable credits. 1. The term applicable credits refers to those receipts or negative expenditure types of transactions which operate to offset or reduce expense items that are allocable to research agreements as direct or indirect costs as outlined in paragraph V-A. Typical examples of such transactions are: purchase discounts, rebates, or allowances; recoveries or indemnities on losses; sales of scrap or incidental services; tuition; adjustments of overpayments or erroneous charges; and services rendered to patients admitted to federally funded clinical research centers, primarily for care though also participating in research protocols.
2. In some instances, the amounts received from the Federal Government to finance hospital activities or service operations should be treated as applicable credits. Specifically, the concept of netting such credit items against related expenditures should be applied by the hospital in determining the rates or amounts to be charged to government research for services rendered whenever the facilities or other resources used in providing such services have been financed directly, in whole or in part, by federal funds. Thus, where such items are provided for or benefit a particular hospital activity, i.e., patient care, research, instruction and training, or other, they should be treated as an offset to the indirect costs apportioned to that activity. Where the benefits are common to all hospital activities they should be treated as a credit to the total indirect cost pool before allocation to the various cost objectives.
iv. direct costs
A. General. Direct costs are those that can be identified specifically with a particular cost center. For this purpose, the term cost center refers not only to the ultimate centers against which costs are finally lodged such as research agreements, but also to other established cost centers such as the individual accounts for recording particular objects or items of expense, and the separate account groupings designed to record the expenses incurred by individual organizational units, functions, projects and the like. In general, the administrative functions and service activities described in paragraph VI are identifiable as separate cost centers, and the expenses associated with such centers become eligible in due course for distribution as indirect costs of research agreements and other ultimate cost centers.
B. Application to research agreements. Identifiable benefit to the research work rather than the nature of the goods and services involved is the determining factor in distinguishing direct from indirect costs of research agreements. Typical of transactions chargeable to a research agreement as direct costs are the compensation of employees for the time or effort devoted to the performance of work under the research agreement, including related staff benefit and pension plan costs to the extent that such items are consistently accorded to all employees and treated by the hospital as direct rather than indirect costs (see paragraph V. B4b); the costs of materials consumed or expended in the performance of such work; and other items of expense incurred for the research agreement, such as extraordinary utility consumption. The cost of materials supplied from stock or services rendered by specialized facilities or other institutional service operations may be included as direct costs of research agreements provided such items are consistently treated by the institution as direct rather than indirect costs and are charged under a recognized method of costing or pricing designed to recover only the actual direct and indirect costs of such material or service and conforming to generally accepted cost accounting practices consistently followed by the institution.
v. indirect costs
A. General. Indirect costs are those that have been incurred for common or joint objectives, and thus are not readily subject to treatment as direct costs of research agreements or other ultimate or revenue producing cost centers. In hospitals such costs normally are classified but not necessarily restricted to the following functional categories: Depreciation; Administrative and General (including fringe benefits if not charged directly); Operation of Plant; Maintenance of Plant; Laundry and Linen Service; Housekeeping; Dietary; Maintenance of Personnel; and Medical Records and Library.
B. Criteria for distribution—1. Base period. A base period for distribution of indirect costs is the period during which such costs are incurred and accumulated for distribution to work performed within that period. The base period normally should coincide with the fiscal year established by the hospital, but in any event the base period should be so selected as to avoid inequities in the distribution of costs.
2. Need for cost groupings. The overall objective of the allocation process is to distribute the indirect costs described in paragraph VI to organized research, patient care, instruction and training, and other hospital activities in reasonable proportions consistent with the nature and extent of the use of the hospital's resources by research personnel, medical staff, patients, students, and other personnel or organizations. In order to achieve this objective with reasonable precision, it may be necessary to provide for selective distribution by establishing separate groupings of cost within one or more of the functional categories of indirect costs referred to in paragraph V-A. In general, the cost groupings established within a functional category should constitute, in each case, a pool of those items of expense that are considered to be of like character in terms of their relative contribution to (or degree of remoteness from) the particular cost centers to which distribution is appropriate. Each such pool or cost grouping should then be distributed individually to the related cost centers, using the distribution base or method most appropriate in the light of the guides set out in B3 below. While this paragraph places primary emphasis on a step-down method of indirect cost computation, paragraph VIII provides an alternate method which may be used under certain conditions.
3. Selection of distribution method. Actual conditions must be taken into account in selecting the method or base to be used in distributing to related cost centers the expenses assembled under each of the individual cost groups established as indicated under B2 above. Where a distribution can be made by assignment of a cost grouping directly to the area benefited, the distribution should be made in that manner. Care should be given, however, to eliminate similar or duplicative costs from any other distribution made to this area. Where the expenses under a cost grouping are more general in nature, the distribution to related cost centers should be made through use of a selected base which will produce results which are equitable to both the Government and the hospital. In general, any cost element or cost-related factor associated with the hospital's work is potentially adaptable for use as a distribution base provided:
a. It can readily be expressed in terms of dollars or other quantitative measure (total direct expenditures, direct salaries, manhours applied, square feet utilized, hours of usage, number of documents processed, population served, and the like); and
b. It is common to the related cost centers during the base period. The essential consideration in selection of the distribution base in each instance is that it be the one best suited for assigning the pool of costs to related cost centers in accord with the relative benefits derived; the traceable cause and effect relationship; or logic and reason, where neither benefit nor cause and effect relationship is determinable.
4. General consideration on cost groupings. The extent to which separate cost groupings and selective distribution would be appropriate at a hospital is a matter of judgment to be determined on a case-by-case basis. Typical situations which may warrant the establishment of two or more separate cost groups (based on account classification or analysis) within a functional category include but are not limited to the following:
a. Where certain items or categories of expense relate solely to one of the major divisions of the hospital (patient care, sponsored research, instruction and training, or other hospital activities) or to any two but not all, such expenses should be set aside as a separate cost grouping for direct assignment or selective distribution in accordance with the guides provided in B2 and B3 above.
b. Where any types of expense ordinary treated as indirect cost as outlined in paragraph V-A are charged to research agreements as direct costs, the similar type expenses applicable to other activities of the institution must through separate cost grouping be excluded from the indirect costs allocable to research agreements.
c. Where it is determined that certain expenses are for the support of a service unit or facility whose output is susceptible of measurement on a workload or other quantitative basis, such expenses should be set aside as a separate cost grouping for distribution on such basis to organized research and other hospital activities.
d. Where organized activities (including identifiable segments of organized research as well as the activities cited in paragraph II-E) provide their own purchasing, personnel administration, building maintenance, or housekeeping or similar service, the distribution of such elements of indirect cost to such activities should be accomplished through cost grouping which includes only that portion of central indirect costs (such as for overall management) which are properly allocable to such activities.
e. Where the hospital elects to treat as indirect charges the costs of pension plans and other staff benefits, such costs should be set aside as a separate cost grouping for selective distribution to related cost centers, including organized research.
f. Where the hospital is affiliated with a medical school or some other institution which performs organized research on the hospital's premises, every effort should be made to establish separate cost groupings in the Administrative and General or other applicable category which will reasonably reflect the use of services and facilities by such research. (See also paragraph VII-A.3)
5. Materiality. Where it is determined that the use of separate cost groupings and selective distribution are necessary to produce equitable results, the number of such separate cost groupings within a functional category should be held within practical limits, after taking into consideration the materiality of the amounts involved and the degree of precision attainable through less selective methods of distribution.
C. Administration of limitations on allowances for indirect costs. 1. Research grants may be subject to laws and/or administrative regulations that limit the allowance for indirect costs under each such grant to a stated percentage of the direct costs allowed. Agencies that sponsor such grants will establish procedures which will assure that:
a. The terms and amount authorized in each case conform with the provisions of paragraphs III, V and IX of these principles as they apply to matters involving the consistent treatment and allowability of individual items of cost; and
b. The amount actually allowed for indirect costs under each such research grant does not exceed the maximum allowable under the limitation or the amount otherwise allowable under these principles, whichever is the smaller.
2. Where the actual allowance for indirect costs on any research grant must be restricted to the smaller of the two alternative amounts referred to in C1 above, such alternative amounts should be determined in accordance with the following guides:
a. The maximum allowable under the limitation should be established by applying the stated percentage to a direct cost base which shall include all items of expenditure authorized by the sponsoring agency for inclusion as part of the total cost for the direct benefit of the work under the grant; and
b. The amount otherwise allowable under these principles should be established by applying the current institutional indirect cost rate to those elements of direct cost which were included in the base on which the rate was computed.
3. When the maximum amount allowable under a statutory limitation or the terms of a research agreement is less than the amount otherwise allocable as indirect costs under these principles, the amount not recoverable as indirect costs under the research agreement involved may not be shifted to other research agreements.
vi. identification and assignment of indirect costs
A. Depreciation or use charge. 1. The expenses under this heading should include depreciation (as defined in paragraph IX-B.9a) on buildings, fixed equipment, and movable equipment, except to the extent purchased through federal funds. Where adequate records for the recording of depreciation are not available, a use charge may be substituted for depreciation (See paragraph IX-B.)
2. The expenses included in this category should be allocated to applicable cost centers in a manner consistent with the guides set forth in paragraph V-B, on a basis that gives primary emphasis to (a) space utilization with respect to depreciation on buildings and fixed equipment; and (b) specific identification of assets and their use with respect to movable equipment as it relates to patient care, organized research, instruction and training, and other hospital activities. Where such records are not sufficient for the purpose of the foregoing, reasonable estimates will suffice as a means for effecting distribution of the amounts involved.
B. Administration and general expenses. 1. The expenses under this heading are those that have been incurred for the administrative offices of the hospital including accounting, personnel, purchasing, information centers, telephone expense, and the like which do not relate solely to any major division of the institution, i.e., solely to patient care, organized research, instruction and training, or other hospital activities.
2. The expenses included in this category may be allocated on the basis of total expenditures exclusive of capital expenditures, or salaries and wages in situations where the results of the distribution made on this basis are deemed to be equitable both to the Government and the hospital; otherwise the distribution of Administration and General expenses should be made through use of selected bases, applied to separate cost groupings established within this category of expenses in accordance with the guides set out in paragraph V-B.
C. Operation of plant. 1. The expenses under this heading are those that have been incurred by a central service organization or at the departmental level for the administration, supervision, and provision of utilities (exclusive of telephone expense) and protective services to the physical plant. They include expenses incurred for such items as power plant operations, general utility costs, elevator operations, protection services, and general parking lots.
2. The expenses included in this category should be allocated to applicable cost centers in a manner consistent with the guides provided in paragraph V-B, on a basis that gives primary emphasis to space utilization. The allocations should be developed as follows:
a. Where actual space and related cost records are available or can readily be developed and maintained without significant change in the accounting practices, the amount distributed should be based on such records;
b. Where the space and related cost records maintained are not sufficient for purposes of the foregoing, a reasonable estimate of the proportion of total space assigned to the various costs centers normally will suffice as a means for effecting distribution of the amounts involved; or
c. Where it can be demonstrated that an area or volume or space basis of allocation is impractical or inequitable, other bases may be used provided consideration is given to the use of facilities by research personnel and others, including patients.
D. Maintenance of plant. 1. The expenses under this heading should include:
a. All salaries and wages pertaining to ordinary repair and maintenance work performed by employees on the payroll of the hospital;
b. All supplies and parts used in the ordinary repairing and maintaining of buildings and general equipment; and
c. Amounts paid to outside concerns for the ordinary repairing and maintaining of buildings and general equipment.
2. The expenses included in this category should be allocated to applicable cost centers in a manner consistent with the guides provided in paragraph V-B. on a basis that gives primary emphasis to space utilization. The allocations and apportionments should be developed as follows:
a. Where actual space and related cost records are available and can readily be developed and maintained without significant change in the accounting practices, the amount distributed should be based on such records;
b. Where the space and related cost records maintained are not sufficient for purposes of the foregoing, a reasonable estimate of the proportion of total space assigned to the various cost centers normally will suffice as a means for effecting distribution of the amounts involved; or
c. Where it can be demonstrated that an area or volume of space basis of allocation is impractical or inequitable, other basis may be used provided consideration is given to the use of facilities by research personnel and others, including patients.
E. Laundry and linen. 1. The expenses under this heading should include:
a. Salaries and wages of laundry department employees, seamstresses, clean linen handlers, linen delivery men, etc.;
b. Supplies used in connection with the laundry operation and all linens purchased; and
c. Amounts paid to outside concerns for purchased laundry and/or linen service.
2. The expense included in this category should be allocated to related cost centers in a manner consistent with the guides provided in paragraph V-B. on a basis that gives primary emphasis to actual pounds of linen used. The allocations should be developed as follows:
a. Where actual poundage and related cost records are available or can readily be developed and maintained without significant change in the accounting practices, the amount distributed should be based on such records;
b. Where it can be demonstrated that a poundage basis of allocation is impractical or inequitable other bases may be used provided consideration is given to the use of linen by research personnel and others, including patients.
F. Housekeeping. 1. The expenses under this heading should include:
a. All salaries and wages of the department head, foreman, maids, porters, janitors, wall washers, and other housekeeping employees;
b. All supplies used in carrying out the housekeeping functions; and
c. Amounts paid to outside concerns for purchased services such as window washing, insect extermination, etc.
2. The expenses included in this category should be allocated to related cost centers in a manner consistent with the guides provided in paragraph V-B. on a basis that gives primary emphasis to space actually serviced by the housekeeping department. The allocations and apportionments should be developed as follows:
a. Where actual space serviced and related cost records are available or can readily be developed and maintained without significant change in the accounting practices, the amount distributed should be based on such records;
b. Where the space serviced and related cost records maintained are not sufficient for purposes of the foregoing, a reasonable estimate of the proportion of total space assigned to the various cost centers normally will suffice as a means for effecting distribution of the amounts of housekeeping expenses involved; or
c. Where it can be demonstrated that the space serviced basis of allocation is impractical or inequitable, other bases may be used provided consideration is given to the use of housekeeping services by research personnel and others, including patients.
G. Dietary. 1. These expenses, as used herein, shall mean only the subsidy provided by the hospital to its employees including research personnel through its cafeteria operation. The hospital must be able to demonstrate through the use of proper cost accounting techniques that the cafeteria operates at a loss to the benefit of employees.
2. The reasonable operating loss of a subsidized cafeteria operation should be allocated to related cost centers in a manner consistent with the guides provided in paragraph V-B. on a basis that gives primary emphasis to number of employees.
H. Maintenance (housing) of personnel. 1. The expenses under this heading should include:
a. The salaries and wages of matrons, clerks, and other employees engaged in work in nurses' residences and other employees' quarters;
b. All supplies used in connection with the operation of such dormitories; and
c. Payments to outside agencies for the rental of houses, apartments, or rooms used by hospital personnel.
2. The expenses included in this category should be allocated to related cost centers in a manner consistent with the guides provided in paragraph V-B. on a basis that gives primary emphasis to employee utilization of housing facilities. The allocation should be developed as follows:
a. Appropriate credit should be given for all payments received from employees or otherwise to reduce the expense to be allocated;
b. A net cost per housed employee may then be computed; and
c. Allocation should be made on a departmental basis based on the number of housed employees in each respective department.
I. Medical records and library. 1. The expenses under this heading should include:
a. The salaries and wages of the records librarian, medical librarian, clerks, stenographers, etc.; and
b. All supplies such as medical record forms, chart covers, filing supplies, stationery, medical library books, periodicals, etc.
2. The expenses included in this category should be allocated to related cost centers in a manner consistent with the guides provided in paragraph V-B. on a basis that gives primary emphasis to a special time survey of medical records personnel. If this appears to be impractical or inequitable, other bases may be used provided consideration is given to the use of these facilities by research personnel and others, including patients.
vii. determination and application of indirect cost rate or rates
A. Indirect cost pools. 1. Subject to (2) below, indirect costs allocated to organized research should be treated as a common pool, and the costs in such common pool should be distributed to individual research agreements benefiting therefrom on a single rate basis.
2. In some instances a single rate basis for use on all government research at a hospital may not be appropriate since it would not take into account those different environmental factors which may affect substantially the indirect costs applicable to a particular segment of government research at the institution. For this purpose, a particular segment of government research may be that performed under a single research agreement or it may consist of research under a group of research agreements performed in a common environment. The environmental factors are not limited to the physical location of the work. Other important factors are the level of the administrative support required, the nature of the facilities or other resources employed, the scientific disciplines or technical skills involved, the organizational arrangements used, or any combination thereof. Where a particular segment of government research is performed within an environment which appears to generate a significantly different level of indirect costs, provision should be made for a separate indirect cost pool applicable to such work. An example of this differential may be in the development of a separate indirect cost pool for a clinical research center grant. The separate indirect cost pool should be developed during the course of the regular distribution process, and the separate indirect cost rate resulting therefrom should be utilized provided it is determined that:
a. Such indirect cost rate differs significantly from that which would have obtained under (1) above; and
b. The volume of research work to which such rate would apply is material in relation to other government research at the institution.
3. It is a common practice for grants or contracts awarded to other institutions, typically University Schools of Medicine, to be performed on hospital premises. In these cases the hospital should develop a separate indirect cost pool applicable to the work under such grants or contracts. This pool should be developed by a selective distribution of only those indirect cost categories which benefit the work performed by the other institution, within the practical limits dictated by available data and the materiality of the amounts involved. Hospital costs determined to be allocable to grants or contracts awarded to another institution may not be recovered as a cost of grants or contracts awarded directly to the hospital.
B. The distribution base. Preferably, indirect costs allocated to organized research should be distributed to applicable research agreements on the basis of direct salaries and wages. However, where the use of salaries and wages results in an inequitable allocation of costs to the research agreements, total direct costs or a variation thereof, may be used in lieu of salaries and wages. Regardless of the base used, an indirect cost rate should be determined for each of the separate indirect cost pools developed pursuant to paragraph VII-A. The rate in each case should be stated as the percentage which the amount of the particular indirect cost pool is of the total direct salaries and wages (or other base selected) for all research agreements identified with such a pool.
C. Negotiated lump sum for overhead. A negotiated fixed amount in lieu of indirect costs may be appropriate for self-contained or off-campus research activities where the benefits derived from a hospital's indirect services cannot be readily determined. Such amount negotiated in lieu of indirect costs will be treated as an offset to the appropriate indirect cost pool after allocation to patient care, organized research, instruction and training, and other hospital activities. The base on which such remaining expenses are allocated should be appropriately adjusted.
D. Predetermined overhead rates. The utilization of predetermined fixed overhead rates may offer potential advantages in the administration of research agreements by facilitating the preparation of research budgets and permitting more expeditious close out of the agreements when the work is completed. Therefore, to the extent allowed by law, consideration may be given to the negotiation of predetermined fixed rates in those situations where the cost experience and other pertinent factors available are deemed sufficient to enable the Government and the hospital to reach a reasonable conclusion as to the probable level of the indirect cost rate for the ensuing accounting period.
viii. simplified method for small institutions
A. General. 1. Where the total direct cost of all government-sponsored research and development work at a hospital in a year is minimal, the use of the abbreviated procedure described in paragraph VIII-B below may be acceptable in the determination of allowable indirect costs. This method may also be used to initially determine a provisional indirect cost rate for hospitals that have not previously established a rate. Under this abbreviated procedure, data taken directly from the institution's most recent annual financial report and immediately available supporting information will be utilized as a basis for determining the indirect cost rate applicable to research agreements at the institution.
2. The rigid formula approach provided under the abbreviated procedure has limitations which may preclude its use at some hospitals either because the minimum data required for this purpose are not readily available or because the application of the abbreviated procedure to the available data produces results which appear inequitable to the Government or the hospital. In any such case, indirect costs should be determined through use of the regular procedure rather than the abbreviated procedure.
3. In certain instances where the total direct cost of all government-sponsored research and development work at the hospital is more than minimal, the abbreviated procedure may be used if prior permission is obtained. This alternative will be granted only in those cases where it can be demonstrated that the step-down technique cannot be followed.
B. Abbreviated procedure. 1. Total expenditures as taken from the most recent annual financial report will be adjusted by eliminating from further consideration expenditures for capital items as defined in paragraph IX-B.4 and unallowable costs as defined under various headings in paragraph IX and paragraph III-E.
2. Total expenditures as adjusted under the foregoing will then be distributed among (a) expenditures applicable to administrative and general overhead functions, (b) expenditures applicable to all other overhead functions, and (c) expenditures for all other purposes. The first group shall include amounts associated with the functional categories, Administration and General, and Dietary, as defined in paragraph VI. The second group shall include Depreciation, Operation of Plant, Maintenance of Plant, and Housekeeping. The third group—expenditures for all other purposes—shall include the amounts applicable to all other activities, namely, patient care, organized research, instruction and training, and other hospital activities as defined under paragraph II-E. For the purposes of this section, the functional categories of Laundry and Linen, Maintenance of Personnel, and Medical Records and Library as defined in paragraph VI shall be considered as expenditures for all other purposes.
3. The expenditures distributed to the first two groups in paragraph VIII-B.2 should then be adjusted by those receipts or negative expenditure types of transactions which tend to reduce expense items allocable to research agreements as indirect costs. Examples of such receipts or negative expenditures are itemized in paragraph III-E.1.
4. In applying the procedures in paragraphs VIII-B.1 and B.2, the cost of unallowable activities such as Gift Shop, Investment Property Management, Fund Raising, and Public Relations, when they benefit from the hospital's indirect cost services, should be treated as expenditures for all other purposes. Such activities are presumed to benefit from the hospital's indirect cost services when they include salaries of personnel working in the hospital. When they do not include such salaries, they should be eliminated from the indirect cost rate computation.
5. The indirect cost rate will then be computed in two stages. The first stage requires the computation of an Administrative and General rate component. This is done by applying a ratio of research direct costs over total direct costs to the Administrative and General pool developed under paragraphs VIII-B.2 and B.3 above. The resultant amount—that which is allocable to research—is divided by the direct research cost base. The second stage requires the computation of an All Other Indirect Cost rate component. This is done by applying a ratio of research direct space over total direct space to All Other Indirect Cost pool developed under paragraphs VIII-B.2 and B.3 above. The resultant amount—that which is allocable to research—is divided by the direct research cost base.
The total of the two rate components will be the institution's indirect cost rate. For the purposes of this section, the research direct cost or space and total direct cost or space will be that cost or space identified with the functional categories classified under Expenditures for all other purposes under paragraph VIII-B.2.
ix. general standards for selected items of cost
A. General. This section provides standards to be applied in establishing the allowability of certain items involved in determining cost. These standards should apply irrespective of whether a particular item of cost is properly treated as direct cost or indirect cost. Failure to mention a particular item of cost in the standards is not intended to imply that it is either allowable or unallowable; rather, determination as to allowability in each case should be based on the treatment or standards provided for similar or related items of cost. In case of discrepancy between the provisions of a specific research agreement and the applicable standards provided, the provisions of the research agreement should govern. However, in some cases advance understandings should be reached on particular cost items in order that the full costs of research be supported. The extent of allowability of the selected items of cost covered in this section has been stated to apply broadly to many accounting systems in varying environmental situations. Thus, as to any given research agreement, the reasonableness and allocability of certain items of costs may be difficult to determine, particularly in connection with hospitals which have medical school or other affiliations. In order to avoid possible subsequent disallowance or dispute based on unreasonableness or nonallocability, it is important that prospective recipients of federal funds particularly those whose work is predominantly or substantially with the Government, seek agreement with the Government in advance of the incurrence of special or unusual costs in categories where reasonableness or allocability are difficult to determine. Such agreement may also be initiated by the Government. Any such agreement should be incorporated in the research agreement itself. However, the absence of such an advance agreement on any element of cost will not in itself serve to make that element either allowable or unallowable. Examples of costs on which advance agreements may be particularly important are:
1. Facilities costs, such as;
c. Use charges for fully depreciated assets
d. Idle facilities and idle capacity
e. Plant reconversion
f. Extraordinary or deferred maintenance and repair
g. Acquisition of automatic data processing equipment.
2. Preaward costs
3. Non-hospital professional activities
5. Support services charged directly (computer services, printing and duplicating services, etc.)
6. Employee compensation, travel, and other personnel costs, including;
a. Compensation for personal service, including wages and salaries, bonuses and incentives, premium payments, pay for time not worked, and supplementary compensation and benefits, such as pension and retirement, group insurance, severance pay plans, and other forms of compensation
b. Morale, health, welfare, and food service and dormitory costs
c. Training and education costs
d. Relocation costs, including special or mass personnel movement
B. Selected items—1. Advertising costs. The term advertising costs means the costs of advertising media and corollary administrative costs. Advertising media include magazines, newspapers, radio and television programs, direct mail, exhibits, and the like. The only advertising costs allowable are those which are solely for;
a. The recruitment of persons required for the performance by the institution of obligations arising under the research agreement, when considered in conjunction with all other recruitment costs as set forth in paragraph IX-B.34.
b. The procurement of scarce items for the performance of the research agreement; or
c. The disposal of scrap or surplus materials acquired in the performance of the research agreement.
Costs of this nature, if incurred for more than one research agreement or for both research agreement work and other work of the institution, are allowable to the extent that the principles in paragraphs IV and V are observed.
2. Bad debts. Losses arising from uncollectible accounts and other claims and related collection and legal costs are unallowable except that a bad debt may be included as a direct cost of the research agreement to the extent that it is caused by a research patient and approved by the awarding agency. This inclusion is only intended to cover the situation of the patient admitted for research purposes who subsequently or in conjunction with the research receives clinical care for which a charge is made to the patient. If, after exhausting all means of collecting these charges, a bad debt results, it may be considered an appropriate charge to the research agreement.
3. Bonding costs. a. Bonding costs arise when the Government requires assurance against financial loss to itself or others by reason of the act or default of the hospital. They arise also in instances where the hospital requires similar assurance.
Included are such types as bid, performance, payment, advance payment, infringement, and fidelity bonds.
b. Costs of bonding required pursuant to the terms of the research agreement are allowable.
c. Costs of bonding required by the hospital in the general conduct of its business are allowable to the extent that such bonding is in accordance with sound business practice and the rates and premiums are reasonable under the circumstances.
4. Capital expenditures. The costs of equipment, buildings, and repairs which materially increase the value or useful life of buildings or equipment should be capitalized and are unallowable except as provided for in the research agreement.
5. Civil defense costs. Civil defense costs are those incurred in planning for, and the protection of life and property against the possible effects of enemy attack. Reasonable costs of civil defense measures (including costs in excess of normal plant protection costs, first-aid training and supplies, fire-fighting training, posting of additional exit notices and directions, and other approved civil defense measures) undertaken on the institution's premises pursuant to suggestions or requirements of civil defense authorities are allowable when distributed to all activities of the institution. Capital expenditures for civil defense purposes will not be allowed, but a use allowance or depreciation may be permitted in accordance with provisions set forth elsewhere. Costs of local civil defense projects not on the institution's premises are unallowable.
6. Communication costs. Costs incurred for telephone services, local and long distance telephone calls, telegrams, radiograms, postage, and the like are allowable.
7. Compensation for personal services— a. General. Compensation for personal services covers all remuneration paid currently or accrued to employees of the hospital for services rendered during the period of performance under government research agreements. Such remuneration includes salaries, wages, staff benefits (see paragraph IX-B.10), and pension plan costs (see paragraph IX-B.25). The costs of such remuneration are allowable to the extent that the total compensation to individual employees is reasonable for the services rendered and conforms to the established policy of the institution consistently applied, and provided that the charges for work performed directly on government research agreements and for other work allocable as indirect costs to sponsored research are determined and supported as hereinafter provided. For non-profit, non-proprietary institutions, where federally supported programs constitute less than a preponderance of the activity at the institution the primary test of reasonableness will be to require that the institution's compensation policies be applied consistently both to federally-sponsored and non-sponsored activities alike. However, where special circumstances so dictate a contractual clause may be utilized which calls for application of the test of comparability in determining the reasonableness of compensation.
b. Payroll distribution. Amounts charged to organized research for personal services, regardless of whether treated as direct costs or allocated as indirect costs, will be based on hospital payrolls which have been approved and documented in accordance with generally accepted hospital practices. In order to develop necessary direct and indirect allocations of cost, supplementary data on time or effort as provided in paragraph (c) below, normally need be required only for individuals whose compensation is properly chargeable to two or more research agreements or to two or more of the following broad functional categories: (1) Patient care; (2) organized research; (3) instruction and training; (4) indirect activities as defined in paragraph V-A; or (5) other hospital activities as defined in paragraph II-E.
c. Reporting time or effort. Charges for salaries and wages of individuals other than members of the professional staff will be supported by daily time and attendance and payroll distribution records. For members of the professional staff, current and reasonable estimates of the percentage distribution of their total effort may be used as support in the absence of actual time records. The term professional staff for purposes of this section includes physicians, research associates, and other personnel performing work at responsible levels of activities. These personnel normally fulfill duties, the competent performance of which usually requires persons possessing degrees from accredited institutions of higher learning and/or state licensure. In order to qualify as current and reasonable, estimates must be made no later than one month (though not necessarily a calendar month) after the month in which the services were performed.
d. Preparation of estimates of effort. Where required under paragraph (c) above, estimates of effort spent by a member of the professional staff on each research agreement should be prepared by the individual who performed the services or by a responsible individual such as a department head or supervisor having first-hand knowledge of the services performed on each research agreement. Estimates must show the allocation of effort between organized research and all other hospital activities in terms of the percentage of total effort devoted to each of the broad functional categories referred to in (b) above. The estimate of effort spent on a research agreement may include a reasonable amount of time spent in activities contributing and intimately related to work under the agreement, such as preparing and delivering special lectures about specific aspects of the ongoing research, writing research reports and articles, participating in appropriate research seminars, consulting with colleagues with respect to related research, and attending appropriate scientific meetings and conferences. The term “all other hospital activities” would include departmental research, administration, committee work, and public services undertaken on behalf of the hospital.
e. Application of budget estimates. Estimates determined before the performance of services, such as budget estimates on a monthly, quarterly, or yearly basis do not qualify as estimates of effort spent.
f. Non-hospital professional activities. A hospital must not alter or waive hospital-wide policies and practices dealing with the permissible extent of professional services over and above those traditionally performed without extra hospital compensation, unless such arrangements are specifically authorized by the sponsoring agency. Where hospital-wide policies do not adequately define the permissible extent of consultantships or other non-hospital activities undertaken for extra pay, the Government may require that the effort of professional staff working under research agreements be allocated as between (1) hospital activities, and (2) non-hospital professional activities. If the sponsoring agency should consider the extent of non-hospital professional effort excessive, appropriate arrangements governing compensation will be negotiated on a case by case basis.
g. Salary rates for part-time appointments. Charges for work performed on government research by staff members having only part-time appointments will be determined at a rate not in excess of that for which he is regularly paid for his part-time staff assignment.
8. Contingency provisions. Contributions to a contingency reserve or any similar provisions made for events the occurrence of which cannot be foretold with certainty as to time, intensity, or with an assurance of their happening, are unallowable.
9. Depreciation and use allowances. a. Hospitals may be compensated for the use of buildings, capital improvements and usable equipment on hand through depreciation or use allowances. Depreciation is a charge to current operations which distributes the cost of a tangible capital asset, less estimated residual value, over the estimated useful life of the asset in a systematic and logical manner. It does not involve a process of valuation. Useful life has reference to the prospective period of economic usefulness in the particular hospital's operations as distinguished from physical life. Use allowances are the means of allowing compensation when depreciation or other equivalent costs are not considered.
b. Due consideration will be given to government-furnished research facilities utilized by the institution when computing use allowances and/or depreciation if the government-furnished research facilities are material in amount. Computation of the use allowance and/or depreciation will exclude both the cost or any portion of the cost of grounds, buildings and equipment borne by or donated by the Federal Government, irrespective of where title was originally vested or where it presently resides, and secondly, the cost of grounds. Capital expenditures for land improvements (paved areas, fences, streets, sidewalks, utility conduits, and similar improvements not already included in the cost of buildings) are allowable provided the systematic amortization of such capital expenditures has been provided in the institution's books of accounts, based on reasonable determinations of the probable useful lives of the individual items involved, and the share allocated to organized research is developed from the amount thus amortized for the base period involved.
c. Normal depreciation on a hospital's plant, equipment, and other capital facilities, except as excluded by (d) below, is an allowable element of research cost provided that the amount thereof is computed:
1. Upon the property cost basis used by the hospital for Federal Income Tax purposes (See section 167 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954); or
2. In the case of non-profit or tax exempt organizations, upon a property cost basis which could have been used by the hospital for Federal Income Tax purposes, had such hospital been subject to the payment of income tax; and in either case
3. By the consistent application to the assets concerned of any generally accepted accounting method, and subject to the limitations of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 as amended, including—
i. The straight line method;
ii. The declining balance method, using a rate not exceeding twice the rate which would have been used had the annual allowance been computed under the method described in (i) above;
iii. The sum of the years-digits method; and
iv. Any other consistent method productive of an annual allowance which, when added to all allowances for the period commencing with the use of the property and including the current year, does not during the first two-thirds of the useful life of the property exceed the total of such allowances which would have been used had such allowances been computed under the method described in (ii) above.
d. Where the depreciation method is followed, adequate property records must be maintained. The period of useful service (service life) established in each case for usable capital assets must be determined on a realistic basis which takes into consideration such factors as type of construction, nature of the equipment used, technological developments in the particular research area, and the renewal and replacement policies followed for the individual items or classes of assets involved. Where the depreciation method is introduced for application to assets acquired in prior years, the annual charges therefrom must not exceed the amounts that would have resulted had the depreciation method been in effect from the date of acquisition of such assets.
e. Depreciation on idle or excess facilities shall not be allowed except on such facilities as are reasonably necessary for standby purposes.
f. Where an institution elects to go on a depreciation basis for a particular class of assets, no depreciation, rental or use charge may be allowed on any such assets that would be viewed as fully depreciated; provided, however, that reasonable use charges may be negotiated for any such assets if warranted after taking into consideration the cost of the facility or item involved, the estimated useful life remaining at time of negotiation, the actual replacement policy followed in the light of service lives used for calculating depreciation, the effect of any increased maintenance charges or decreased efficiency due to age, and any other factors pertinent to the utilization of the facility or item for the purpose contemplated.
g. Hospitals which choose a depreciation allowance for assets purchased prior to 1966 based on a percentage of operating costs in lieu of normal depreciation for purposes of reimbursement under Pub. L. 89-97 (Medicare) shall utilize that method for determining depreciation applicable to organized research.
The operating costs to be used are the lower of the hospital's 1965 operating costs or the hospital's current year's allowable costs. The percent to be applied is 5 percent starting with the year 1966-67, with such percentage being uniformity reduced by one-half percent each succeeding year. The allowance based on operating costs is in addition to regular depreciation on assets acquired after 1965. However, the combined amount of such allowance on pre-1966 assets and the allowance for actual depreciation on assets acquired after 1965 may not exceed 6 percent of the hospital's allowable cost for the current year. After total depreciation has been computed, allocation methods are used to determine the share attributable to organized research.
For purposes of this section, Operating Costs means the total costs incurred by the hospital in operating the institution, and includes patient care, research, and other activities. Allowable Costs means operating costs less unallowable costs as defined in these principles; by the application of allocation methods to the total amount of such allowable costs, the share attributable to Federally-sponsored research is determined.
A hospital which elects to use this procedure under Pub. L. 89-97 and subsequently changes to an actual depreciation basis on pre-1966 assets in accordance with the option afforded under the Medicare program shall simultaneously change to an actual depreciation basis for organized research.
Where the hospital desires to change to actual depreciation but either has no historical cost records or has incomplete records, the determination of historical cost could be made through appropriate means involving expert consultation with the determination being subject to review and approval by the Department of Health and Human Services.
h. Where the use allowance method is followed, the use allowance for buildings and improvements will be computed at an annual rate not exceeding two percent of acquisition cost. The use allowance for equipment will be computed at an annual rate not exceeding six and two-thirds percent of acquisition cost of usable equipment in those cases where the institution maintains current records with respect to such equipment on hand. Where the institution's records reflect only the cost (actual or estimated) of the original complement of equipment, the use allowance will be computed at an annual rate not exceeding ten percent of such cost. Original complement for this purpose means the complement of equipment initially placed in buildings to perform the functions currently being performed in such buildings; however, where a permanent change in the function of a building takes place, a redetermination of the original complement of equipment may be made at that time to establish a new original complement. In those cases where no equipment records are maintained, the institution will justify a reasonable estimate of the acquisition cost of usable equipment which may be used to compute the use allowance at an annual rate not exceeding six and two-thirds percent of such estimate.
i. Depreciation and/or use charges should usually be allocated to research and other activities as an indirect cost.
10. Employee morale, health, and welfare costs and credits. The costs of house publications, health or first-aid benefits, recreational activities, employees' counseling services, and other expenses incurred in accordance with the hospital's established practice or custom for the improvement of working conditions, employer-employee relations, employee morale, and employee performance, are allowable. Such costs will be equitably apportioned to all activities of the hospital. Income generated from any of these activities will be credited to the cost thereof unless such income has been irrevocably set over to employee welfare organizations.
11. Entertainment costs. Except as pertains to 10 above, costs incurred for amusement, social activities, entertainment, and any items relating thereto, such as meals, lodging, rentals, transportation, and gratuities are unallowable.
12. Equipment and other facilities. The cost of equipment or other facilities are allowable on a direct charge basis where such purchases are approved by the sponsoring agency concerned or provided for by the terms of the research agreement.
13. Fines and penalties. Costs resulting from violations of, or failure of the institution to comply with federal, state and local laws and regulations are unallowable except when incurred as a result of compliance with specific provisions of the research agreement, or instructions in writing from the awarding agency.
14. Insurance and indemnification. a. Costs of insurance required or approved and maintained pursuant to the research agreement are allowable.
b. Costs of other insurance maintained by the hospital in connection with the general conduct of its activities are allowable subject to the following limitations: (1) Types and extent and cost of coverage must be in accordance with sound institutional practice; (2) costs of insurance or of any contributions to any reserve covering the risk of loss of or damage to government owned property are unallowable except to the extent that the Government has specifically required or approved such costs; and (3) costs of insurance on the lives of officers or trustees are unallowable except where such insurance is part of an employee plan which is not unduly restricted.
c. Contributions to a reserve for an approved self-insurance program are allowable to the extent that the types of coverage, extent of coverage, and the rates and premiums would have been allowed had insurance been purchased to cover the risks. Such contributions are subject to prior approval of the Government.
d. Actual losses which could have been covered by permissible insurance (through an approved self-insurance program or otherwise) are unallowable unless expressly provided for in the research agreement, except that costs incurred because of losses not covered under nominal deductible insurance coverage provided in keeping with sound management practice as well as minor losses not covered by insurance such as spoilage, breakage and disappearance of small hand tools which occur in the ordinary course of operations are allowable.
15. Interest, fund raising and investment management costs. a. Costs incurred for interest on borrowed capital or temporary use of endowment funds, however represented, are unallowable.
b. Costs of organized fund raising, including financial campaigns, endowment drives, solicitation of gifts and bequests, and similar expenses incurred solely to raise capital or obtain contributions are not allowable.
c. Costs of investment counsel and staff and similar expenses incurred solely to enhance income from investments are not allowable.
d. Costs related to the physical custody and control of monies and securities are allowable.
16. Labor relations costs. Costs incurred in maintaining satisfactory relations between the hospital and its employees, including costs of labor management committees, employees' publications, and other related activities are allowable.
17. Losses on research agreements or contracts. Any excess of costs over income under any agreement or contract of any nature is unallowable. This includes, but is not limited to, the hospital's contributed portion by reason of cost-sharing agreements, under-recoveries through negotiation of flat amounts for overhead, or legal or administrative limitations.
18. Maintenance and repair costs. a. Costs necessary for the upkeep of property (including government property unless otherwise provided for), which neither add to the permanent value of the property nor appreciably prolong its intended life, but keep it in an efficient operating condition, are to be treated as follows:
1. Normal maintenance and repair costs are allowable;
2. Extraordinary maintenance and repair costs are allowable, provided they are allocated to the periods to which applicable for purposes of determining research costs.
b. Expenditures for plant and equipment, including rehabilitation thereof, which according to generally accepted accounting principles as applied under the hospital's established policy, should be capitalized and subjected to depreciation, are allowable only on a depreciation basis.
19. Material costs. Costs incurred for purchased materials, supplies and fabricated parts directly or indirectly related to the research agreement, are allowable. Purchases made specifically for the research agreement should be charged thereto at their actual prices after deducting all cash discounts, trade discounts, rebates, and allowances received by the institution. Withdrawals from general stores or stockrooms should be charged at their cost under any recognized method of pricing stores withdrawals conforming to sound accounting practices consistently followed by the hospital. Incoming transportation charges are a proper part of material cost. Direct material cost should include only the materials and supplies actually used for the performance of the research agreement, and due credit should be given for any excess materials retained or returned to vendors. Due credit should be given for all proceeds or value received for any scrap resulting from work under the research agreement. Where government donated or furnished material is used in performing the research agreement, such material will be used without charge.
20. Memberships, subscriptions and professional activity costs. a. Costs of the hospital's membership in civic, business, technical and professional organizations are allowable.
b. Costs of the hospital's subscriptions to civic, business, professional and technical periodicals are allowable.
c. Costs of meetings and conferences, when the primary purpose is the dissemination of technical information, are allowable. This includes costs of meals, transportation, rental of facilities, and other items incidental to such meetings or conferences.
21. Organization costs. Expenditures such as incorporation fees, attorneys' fees, accountants' fees, brokers' fees, fees to promoters and organizers in connection with (a) organization or reorganization of a hospital, or (b) raising capital, are unallowable.
22. Other business expenses. Included in this item are such recurring expenses as registry and transfer charges resulting from changes in ownership of securities issued by the hospital, cost of shareholders meetings preparation and publication of reports to shareholders, preparation and submission of required reports and forms to taxing and other regulatory bodies, and incidental costs of directors and committee meetings. The above and similar costs are allowable when allocated on an equitable basis.
23. Patient care. The cost of routine and ancillary or special services to research patients is an allowable direct cost of research agreements.
a. Routine services shall include the costs of the regular room, dietary and nursing services, minor medical and surgical supplies and the use of equipment and facilities for which a separate charge is not customarily made.
b. Ancillary or special services are the services for which charges are customarily made in addition to routine services, such as operating rooms, anesthesia, laboratory, BMR-EKG, etc.
c. Patient care, whether expressed as a rate or an amount, shall be computed in a manner consistent with the procedures used to determine reimbursable costs under Pub. L. 89-97 (Medicare Program) as defined under the “Principles Of Reimbursement For Provider Costs” published by the Social Security Administration of the Department of Health and Human Services. The allowability of specific categories of cost shall be in accordance with those principles rather than the principles for research contained herein. In the absence of participation in the Medicare program by a hospital, all references to the Medicare program in these principles shall be construed as meaning the Medicaid program.
i. Once costs have been recognized as allowable, the indirect costs or general service center's cost shall be allocated (stepped- down) to special service centers, and all patient and nonpatient costs centers based upon actual services received or benefiting these centers.
ii. After allocation, routine and ancillary costs shall be apportioned to scatter-bed research patients on the same basis as is used to apportion costs to Medicare patients, i.e. using either the departmental method or the combination method, as those methods are defined by the Social Security Administration; except that final settlement shall be on a grant-by-grant basis. However, to the extent that the Social Security Administration has recognized any other method of cost apportionment, that method generally shall also be recognized as applicable to the determination of research patient care costs.
iii. A cost center must be established on Medicare reimbursement forms for each discrete-bed unit grant award received by a hospital. Routine costs should be stepped-down to this line item(s) in the normal course of stepping-down costs under Medicare/Medicaid requirements. However, in stepping-down routine costs, consideration must be given to preventing a step-down of those costs to discrete-bed unit line items that have already been paid for directly by the grant, such as bedside nursing costs. Ancillary costs allocable to research discrete-bed units shall be determined and proposed in accordance with Section 23.c.ii.
d. Where federally sponsored research programs provide specifically for the direct reimbursement of nursing, dietary, and other services, appropriate adjustment must be made to patient care costs to preclude duplication and/or misallocation of costs.
24. Patent costs. Costs of preparing disclosures, reports and other documents required by the research agreement and of searching the art to the extent necessary to make such invention disclosures are allowable. In accordance with the clauses of the research agreement relating to patents, costs of preparing documents and any other patent costs, in connection with the filing of a patent application where title is conveyed to the Government, are allowable. (See also paragraph IX-B.36.)
25. Pension plan costs. Costs of the hospital's pension plan which are incurred in accordance with the established policies of the institution are allowable, provided such policies meet the test of reasonableness and the methods of cost allocation are not discriminatory, and provided appropriate adjustments are made for credits or gains arising out of normal and abnormal employee turnover or any other contingencies that can result in forfeitures by employees which inure to the benefit of the hospital.
26. Plan security costs. Necessary expenses incurred to comply with government security requirements including wages, uniforms and equipment of personnel engaged in plant protection are allowable.
27. Preresearch agreement costs. Costs incurred prior to the effective date of the research agreement, whether or not they would have been allowable thereunder if incurred after such date, are unallowable unless specifically set forth and identified in the research agreement.
28. Professional services costs. a. Costs of professional services rendered by the members of a particular profession who are not employees of the hospital are allowable subject to (b) and (c) below when reasonable in relation to the services rendered and when not contingent upon recovery of the costs from the Government. Retainer fees to be allowable must be reasonably supported by evidence of services rendered.
b. Factors to be considered in determining the allowability of costs in a particular case include (1) the past pattern of such costs, particularly in the years prior to the award of government research agreements on the institution's total activity; (2) the nature and scope of managerial services expected of the institution's own organizations; and (3) whether the proportion of government work to the hospital's total activity is such as to influence the institution in favor of incurring the cost, particularly where the services rendered are not of a continuing nature and have little relationship to work under government research agreements.
c. Costs of legal, accounting and consulting services, and related costs incurred in connection with organization and reorganization or the prosecution of claims against the Government are unallowable. Costs of legal, accounting and consulting services, and related costs incurred in connection with patent infringement litigation are unallowable unless otherwise provided for in the research agreement.
29. Profits and losses on disposition of plant equipment, or other assets. Profits or losses of any nature arising from the sale or exchange of plant, equipment, or other capital assets, including sales or exchange of either short- or long-term investments, shall be excluded in computing research agreement costs.
30. Proposal costs. Proposal costs are the costs of preparing bids or proposals on potential government and non-government research agreements or projects, including the development of technical data and cost data necessary to support the institution's bids or proposals. Proposal costs of the current accounting period of both successful and unsuccessful bids and proposals normally should be treated as indirect costs and allocated currently to all activities of the institution, and no proposal costs of past accounting periods will be allocable in the current period to the government research agreement. However, the institution's established practices may be to treat proposal costs by some other recognized method. Regardless of the methods used, the results obtained may be accepted only if found to be reasonable and equitable.
31. Public information services costs. Costs of news releases pertaining to specific research or scientific accomplishment are unallowable unless specifically authorized by the sponsoring agency.
32. Rearrangement and alteration costs. Costs incurred for ordinary or normal rearrangement and alteration of facilities are allowable. Special rearrangement and alteration costs incurred specifically for a project are allowable only as a direct charge when such work has been approved in advance by the sponsoring agency concerned.
33. Reconversion costs. Costs incurred in the restoration or rehabilitation of the institution's facilities to approximately the same condition existing immediately prior to commencement of government research agreement work, fair wear and tear excepted, are allowable.
34. Recruiting costs. a. Subject to (b), (c), and (d) below, and provided that the size of the staff recruited and maintained is in keeping with workload requirements, costs of “help wanted” advertising, operating costs of an employment office necessary to secure and maintain an adequate staff, costs of operating an aptitude and educational testing program, travel costs of employees while engaged in recruiting personnel, travel costs of applicants for interviews for prospective employment, and relocation costs incurred incident to recruitment of new employees are allowable to the extent that such costs are incurred pursuant to a well managed recruitment program. Where an institution uses employment agencies, costs not in excess of standard commercial rates for such services are allowable.
b. In publications, costs of help wanted advertising that includes color, includes advertising material for other than recruitment purposes, or is excessive in size (taking into consideration recruitment purposes for which intended and normal institutional practices in this respect) are unallowable.
c. Costs of help wanted advertising, special emoluments; fringe benefits, and salary allowances incurred to attract professional personnel from other institutions that do not meet the test of reasonableness or do not conform with the established practices of the institution are unallowable.
d. Where relocation costs incurred incident to recruitment of a new employee have been allowed either as an allocable direct or indirect cost, and the newly hired employee resigns for reasons within his control within twelve months after hire, the institution will be required to refund or credit such relocations costs as were charged to the Government.
35. Rental costs (including sale and lease-back of facilities). a. Rental costs of land, building, and equipment and other personal property are allowable if the rates are reasonable in light of such factors as rental costs of comparable facilities and market conditions in the area, the type, life expectancy, condition, and value of the facilities leased, options available, and other provisions of the rental agreement. Application of these factors, in situations where rentals are extensively used, may involve among other considerations comparison of rental costs with the amount which the hospital would have received had it owned the facilities.
b. Charges in the nature of rent between organizations having a legal or other affiliation or arrangement such as hospitals, medical schools, foundations, etc., are allowable to the extent such charges do not exceed the normal costs of ownership such as depreciation, taxes, insurance, and maintenance, provided that no part of such costs shall duplicate any other allowed costs.
c. Unless otherwise specifically provided in the agreement, rental costs specified in sale and lease-back agreements incurred by hospitals through selling plant facilities to investment organizations such as insurance companies or to private investors, and concurrently leasing back the same facilities are allowable only to the extent that such rentals do not exceed the amount which the hospital would have received had it retained legal title to the facilities.
36. Royalties and other costs for use of patents. Royalties on a patent or amortization of the cost of acquiring a patent or invention or rights thereto necessary for the proper performance of the research agreement and applicable to tasks or processes thereunder are allowable unless the Government has a license or the right to free use of the patent, the patent has been adjudicated to be invalid, or has been administratively determined to be invalid, the patent is considered to be unenforceable, or the patent has expired.
37. Severance pay. a. Severance pay is compensation in addition to regular salaries and wages which is paid by a hospital to employees whose services are being terminated. Costs of severance pay are allowable only to the extent that such payments are required by law, by employer-employee agreement, by established policy that constitutes in effect an implied agreement on the institution's part, or by circumstances of the particular employment.
b. Severance payments that are due to normal, recurring turnover, and which otherwise meet the conditions of (a) above may be allowed provided the actual costs of such severance payments are regarded as expenses applicable to the current fiscal year and are equitably distributed among the institution's activities during that period.
c. Severance payments that are due to abnormal or mass terminations are of such conjectural nature that allowability must be determined on a case-by-case basis. However, the Government recognizes its obligation to participate to the extent of its fair share in any specific payment.
38. Specialized service facilities operated by a hospital. a. The costs of institutional services involving the use of highly complex and specialized facilities such as electronic computers and reactors are allowable provided the charges therefor meet the conditions of (b) or (c) below, and otherwise take into account any items of income or federal financing that qualify as applicable credits under paragraph III-E.
b. The costs of such hospital services normally will be charged directly to applicable research agreements based on actual usage or occupancy of the facilities at rates that (1) are designed to recover only actual costs of providing such services, and (2) are applied on a nondiscriminatory basis as between organized research and other work of the hospital including commercial or accommodation sales and usage by the hospital for internal purposes. This would include use of such facilities as radiology, laboratories, maintenance men used for a special purpose, medical art, photography, etc.
c. In the absence of an acceptable arrangement for direct costing as provided in (b) above, the costs incurred for such institutional services may be assigned to research agreements as indirect costs, provided the methods used achieve substantially the same results. Such arrangements should be worked out in coordination with all government users of the facilities in order to assure equitable distribution of the indirect costs.
39. Special administrative costs. Costs incurred for general public relations activities, catalogs, alumni activities, and similar services are unallowable.
40. Staff and/or employee benefits. a. Staff and/or employee benefits in the form of regular compensation paid to employees during periods of authorized absences from the job such as for annual leave, sick leave, military leave and the like are allowable provided such costs are absorbed by all hospital activities including organized research in proportion to the relative amount of time or effort actually devoted to each.
b. Staff benefits in the form of employer contributions or expenses for Social Security taxes, employee insurance, Workmen's Compensation insurance, the Pension Plan (see paragraph IX-B.25), hospital costs or remission of hospital charges to the extent of costs for individual employees or their families, and the like are allowable provided such benefits are granted in accordance with established hospital policies, and provided such contributions and other expenses whether treated as indirect costs or an increment of direct labor costs are distributed to particular research agreements and other activities in a manner consistent with the pattern of benefits accruing to the individuals or groups of employees whose salaries and wages are chargeable to such research agreements and other activities.
41. Taxes. a. In general, taxes which the hospital is required to pay and which are paid or accrued in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, and payments made to local governments in lieu of taxes which are commensurate with the local government services received are allowable except for (1) taxes from which exemptions are available to the hospital directly or which are available to the hospital based on an exemption afforded the Government and in the latter case when the sponsoring agency makes available the necessary exemption certificates, (2) special assessments on land which represent capital improvements, and (3) Federal Income Taxes.
b. Any refund of taxes, interest, or penalties, and any payment to the hospital of interest thereon attributable to taxes, interest or penalties, which were allowed as research agreement costs will be credited or paid to the Government in the manner directed by the Government provided any interest actually paid or credited to a hospital incident to a refund of tax, interest, and penalty will be paid or credited to the Government only to the extent that such interest accrued over the period during which the hospital had been reimbursed by the Government for the taxes, interest, and penalties.
42. Transportation costs. Costs incurred for inbound freight, express, cartage, postage and other transportation services relating either to goods purchased, in process, or delivered are allowable. When such costs can readily be identified with the items involved, they may be charged directly as transportation costs or added to the cost of such items. Where identification with the material received cannot readily be made, inbound transportation costs may be charged to the appropriate indirect cost accounts if the institution follows a consistent equitable procedure in this respect. Outbound freight, if reimbursable under the terms of the research agreement, should be treated as a direct cost.
43. Travel costs. a. Travel costs are the expenses for transportation, lodging, subsistence, and related items incurred by employees who are in travel status on official business of the hospital. Such costs may be charged on an actual basis, on a per diem or mileage basis in lieu of actual costs incurred, or on a combination of the two provided the method used is applied to an entire trip and not to selected days of the trip, and results in charges consistent with those normally allowed by the institution in its regular operations.
b. Travel costs are allowable subject to (c) and (d) below when they are directly attributable to specific work under a research agreement or when they are incurred in the normal course of administration of the hospital or a department or research program thereof.
c. The difference in cost between first class air accommodations and less than first class air accommodations is unallowable except when less than first class air accommodations are not reasonably available to meet necessary mission requirements such as where less than first class accommodations would (1) require circuitous routing, (2) require travel during unreasonable hours, (3) greatly increase the duration of the flight, (4) result in additional costs which would offset the transportation savings, or (5) offer accommodations which are not reasonably adequate for the medical needs of the traveler.
d. Costs of personnel movements of a special or mass nature are allowable only when authorized or approved in writing by the sponsoring agency or its authorized representative.
44. Termination costs applicable to contracts. a. Contract terminations generally give rise to the incurrence of costs or to the need for special treatment of costs which would not have arisen had the contract not been terminated. Items peculiar to termination are set forth below. They are to be used in conjunction with all other provisions of these principles in the case of contract termination.
b. The cost of common items of material reasonably usable on the hospital's other work will not be allowable unless the hospital submits evidence that it could not retain such items at cost without sustaining a loss. In deciding whether such items are reasonably usable on other work of the institution, consideration should be given to the hospital's plans for current scheduled work or activities including other research agreements. Contemporaneous purchases of common items by the hospital will be regarded as evidence that such items are reasonably usable on the hospital's other work. Any acceptance of common items as allowable to the terminated portion of the contract should be limited to the extent that the quantities of such items on hand, in transit, and on order are in excess of the reasonable quantitative requirement of other work.
c. If in a particular case, despite all reasonable efforts by the hospital, certain costs cannot be discontinued immediately after the effective date of termination, such costs are generally allowable within the limitations set forth in these principles, except that any such costs continuing after termination due to the negligent or willful failure of the hospital to discontinue such costs will be considered unacceptable.
d. Loss of useful value of special tooling and special machinery and equipment is generally allowable, provided (1) such special tooling, machinery or equipment is not reasonably capable of use in the other work of the hospital; (2) the interest of the Government is protected by transfer of title or by other means deemed appropriate by the contracting officer; and (3) the loss of useful value as to any one terminated contract is limited to that portion of the acquisition cost which bears the same ratio to the total acquisition cost as the terminated portion of the contract bears to the entire terminated contract and other government contracts for which the special tooling, special machinery or equipment was acquired.
e. Rental costs under unexpired leases are generally allowable where clearly shown to have been reasonably necessary for the performance of the terminated contract, less the residual value of such leases, if (1) the amount of such rental claimed does not exceed the reasonable use value of the property leased for the period of the contract and such further period as may be reasonable; and (2) the hospital makes all reasonable efforts to terminate, assign, settle, or otherwise reduce the cost of such lease. There also may be included the cost of alterations of such leased property, provided such alterations were necessary for the performance of the contract and of reasonable restoration required by the provisions of the lease.
f. Settlement expenses including the following are generally allowable: (1) Accounting, legal, clerical, and similar costs reasonably necessary for the preparation and presentation to contracting officers of settlement claims and supporting data with respect to the terminated portion of the contract and the termination and settlement of subcontracts; and (2) reasonable costs for the storage, transportation, protection, and disposition of property provided by the Government or acquired or produced by the institution for the contract.
g. Subcontractor claims including the allocable portion of claims which are common to the contract and to other work of the contractor are generally allowable.
45. Voluntary services. The value of voluntary services provided by sisters or other members of religious orders is allowable provided that amounts do not exceed that paid other employees for similar work. Such amounts must be identifiable in the records of the hospital as a legal obligation of the hospital. This may be reflected by an agreement between the religious order and the hospital supported by evidence of payments to the order.
Title 45 published on 2013-10-01
no entries appear in the Federal Register after this date.