32 CFR 220.8 - Reasonable charges.
(a) In general.
(1) Section 1095(f) and section 1097b(b) both address the issue of computation of rates. Between them, the effect is to authorize the calculation of all third party payer collections on the basis of reasonable charges and the computation of reasonable charges on the basis of per diem rates, all-inclusive per-visit rates, diagnosis related groups rates, rates used by the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Uniformed Services (CHAMPUS) program to reimburse authorized providers, or any other method the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Health Affairs) considers appropriate and establishes in this part. Such rates, representative of costs, are also endorsed by section 1079(a).
(2) The general rule is that reasonable charges under this part are based on the rates used by CHAMPUS under 32 CFR 199.14 to reimburse authorized providers. There are some exceptions to this general rule, as outlined in this section.
(b) Inpatient hospital and professional services on or after April 1, 2003. Reasonable charges for inpatient hospital services provided on or after April 1, 2003, are based on the CHAMPUS Diagnosis Related Group (DRG) payment system rates under 32 CFR 199.14(a)(1). Certain adjustments are made to reflect differences between the CHAMPUS payment system and the Third Party Collection Program billing system. Among these are to include in the inpatient hospital service charges adjustments related to direct medical education and capital costs (which in the CHAMPUS system are handled as annual pass through payments). Additional adjustments are made for long stay outlier cases. Like the CHAMPUS system, inpatient professional services are not included in the inpatient hospital services charges, but are billed separately in accordance with paragraph (e) of this section. In lieu of the method described in this paragraph (b), the method in effect prior to April 1, 2003 (described in paragraph (c) of this section), may continue to be used for a period of time after April 1, 2003, if the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Health Affairs) determines that effective implementation requires a temporary deferral.
(c) Inpatient hospital and inpatient professional services before April 1, 2003 -
(1) In general. Prior to April 1, 2003, the computation of reasonable charges for inpatient hospital and professional services is reasonable costs based on diagnosis related groups (DRGs). Costs shall be based on the inpatient full reimbursement rate per hospital discharge, weighted to reflect the intensity of the principal diagnosis involved. The average charge per case shall be published annually as an inpatient standardized amount. A relative weight for each DRG shall be the same as the DRG weights published annually for hospital reimbursement rates under CHAMPUS pursuant to 32 CFR 199.14(a)(1). The method in effect prior to April 1, 2003 (as described in this paragraph (c)), may continue to be used for a period of time after April 1, 2003, if the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Health Affairs) determines that effective implementation requires a temporary deferral of the method described in paragraph (b) of this section.
(2) Standard amount. The standard amount is determined by dividing the total costs of all inpatient care in all military treatment facilities by the total number of discharges. This produces a single national standardized amount. The Department of Defense is authorized, but not required by this part, to calculate three standardized amounts, one for large urban, other urban/rural, and overseas area, utilizing the same distinctions in identifying the first two areas as is used for CHAMPUS under 32 CFR 199.14(a)(1). Using this applicable standardized amount, the Department of Defense may make adjustments for area wage rates and indirect medical education costs (as identified in paragraph (c)(4) of this section), producing for each inpatient facility of the Uniformed Services a facility-specific “adjusted standardized amount” (ASA).
(3) DRG relative weights. Costs for each DRG will be determined by multiplying the standardized amount per discharge by the DRG relative weight. For this purpose, the DRG relative weights used for CHAMPUS pursuant to 32 CFR 199.14(a)(1) shall be used.
(4) Adjustments for outliers, area wages, and indirect medical education. The Department of Defense may, but is not required by this part, to adjust charge determinations in particular cases for length-of-stay outliers (long stay and short stay), cost outliers, area wage rates, and indirect medical education. If any such adjustments are used, the method shall be comparable to that used for CHAMPUS hospital reimbursements pursuant to 32 CFR 199.14(a)(1)(iii)(E), and the calculation of the standardized amount under paragraph (a)(2) of this section will reflect that such adjustments will be used.
(5) Identification of professional and hospital charges. For purposes of billing third party payers other than automobile liability and no-fault insurance carriers, inpatient billings are subdivided into two categories:
(i) Hospital charges (which refers to routine service charges associated with the hospital stay and ancillary charges).
(ii) Professional charges (which refers to professional services provided by physicians and certain other providers).
(d) Medical services and subsistence charges included. Medical services charges pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 1078 or subsistence charges pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 1075 are included in the claim filed with the third party payer pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 1095. For any patient of a facility of the Uniformed Services who indicates that he or she is a beneficiary of a third party payer plan, the usual medical services or subsistence charge will not be collected from the patient to the extent that payment received from the payer exceeds the medical services or subsistence charge. Thus, except in cases covered by § 220.8(k), payment of the claim made pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 1095 which exceeds the medical services or subsistence charge, will satisfy all of the third party payer's obligation arising from the inpatient hospital care provided by the facility of the Uniformed Services on that occasion.
(e) Reasonable charges for professional services. The CHAMPUS Maximum Allowable Charge rate table, established under 32 CFR 199.14(h), is used for determining the appropriate charge for professional services in an itemized format, based on Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) methodology. This applies to outpatient professional charges only prior to implementation of the method described in paragraph (b) of this section, and to all professional charges, both inpatient and outpatient, thereafter.
(f) Miscellaneous Healthcare services. Some special services are provided by or through facilities of the Uniformed Services for which reasonable charges are computed based on reasonable costs. Those services are the following:
(1) The charge for ambulance services is based on the full costs of operating the ambulance service.
(2) With respect to inpatient hospital charges in the Burn Center at Brooke Army Medical Center, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs may establish an adjustment to the rate otherwise applicable under the DRG payment methodology under this section to reflect unique attributes of the Burn Center.
(3) Charges for dental services (including oral diagnosis and prevention, periodontics, prosthodontics (fixed and removable), implantology, oral surgery, orthodontics, pediatric dentistry and endodontics) will be based on a full cost of the dental services.
(4) With respect to service provided prior to January 1, 2003, reasonable charges for anesthesia services will be based on an average DoD cost of service in all Military Treatment Facilities. With respect to services provided on or after January 1, 2003, reasonable charges for anesthesia services will be based on an average cost per minute of service in all Military Treatment Facilities.
(5) The charge for immunizations, allergin extracts, allergic condition tests, and the administration of certain medications when these services are provided in a separate immunizations or shot clinic, are based on CHAMPUS prevailing rates in cases in which such rates are available, and in cases in which such rates are not available, on the average full cost of these services, exclusive of any costs considered for purposes of any outpatient visit. A separate charge shall be made for each immunization, injection or medication administered.
(6) The charges for pharmacy, durable medical equipment and supplies are based on CHAMPUS prevailing rates in cases in which such rates are available, in cases in which such rates are not available, on the average full cost of these items, exclusive of any costs considered for purposes of any outpatient visit. A separate charge shall be made for each item provided.
(7) Charges for aero-medical evacuation will be based on the full cost of the aero-medical evacuation services.
(g) Special rule for services ordered and paid for by a facility of the Uniformed Services but provided by another provider. In cases where a facility of the Uniformed Services purchases ancillary services or procedures, from a source other than a Uniformed Services facility, the cost of the purchased services will be added to the standard rate. Examples of ancillary services and other procedures covered by this special rule include (but are not limited to): laboratory, radiology, pharmacy, pulmonary function, cardiac catheterization, hemodialysis, hyperbaric medicine, electrocardiography, electroencephalography, electroneuromyography, pulmonary function, inhalation and respiratory therapy and physical therapy services.
(h) Special rule for TRICARE Resource Sharing Agreements. Services provided in facilities of the Uniformed Services in whole or in part through personnel or other resources supplied under a TRICARE Resource Sharing Agreement under 32 CFR 199.17(h) are considered for purposes of this part as services provided by the facility of the Uniformed Services. Thus, third party payers will receive a claim for such services in the same manner and for the same charges as any similar services provided by a facility of the Uniformed Services.
(i) Alternative determination of reasonable charges. Any third party payer that can satisfactorily demonstrate a prevailing rate of payment in the same geographic area for the same or similar aggregate groups of services that is less than the charges prescribed under this section may, with the agreement of the facility of the Uniformed Services (or other authorized representatives of the United States), limit payments under 10 U.S.C. 1095 to that prevailing rate for those services. The determination of the third party payer's prevailing rate shall be based on a review of valid contractual arrangements with other facilities or providers constituting a majority of the services for which payment is made under the third party payer's plan. This paragraph does not apply to cases covered by § 220.11.
(j) Exception authority for extraordinary circumstances. The Assistant Secretary of Defense (Health Affairs) may authorize exceptions to this section, not inconsistent with law, based on extraordinary circumstances.