42 CFR § 405.1832 - Contractor hearing officer review of compliance with the substantive reimbursement requirement of an appropriate cost report claim.

§ 405.1832 Contractor hearing officer review of compliance with the substantive reimbursement requirement of an appropriate cost report claim.

(a) General. In order to receive or potentially qualify for reimbursement for a specific item, the provider must include in its cost report an appropriate claim for the specific item (as prescribed in § 413.24(j) of this chapter). If the provider files an appeal to the contractor seeking reimbursement for a specific item and any party to such appeal questions whether the provider's cost report included an appropriate claim for the specific item, the contractor hearing officer(s) must address such questions in accordance with the procedures set forth in this section.

(b) Summary of procedures -

(1) Preliminary steps. The contractor hearing officer(s) must give each party to the appeal an adequate opportunity to submit factual evidence and legal argument regarding the question of whether the provider's cost report included an appropriate claim for the specific item under appeal. Upon receipt of timely submitted factual evidence and legal argument (if any), the contractor hearing officer(s) must review such evidence and argument, and prepare written specific findings of fact and conclusions of law on the question of whether the provider's cost report complied with, for the specific item under appeal, the cost report claim requirements prescribed in § 413.24(j) of this chapter. In reaching such specific factual findings and legal conclusions, the contractor hearing officer(s) must follow the procedures set forth in § 413.24(j)(3) of this chapter for determining whether the provider's cost report included an appropriate claim for the specific item under appeal. The contractor hearing officer(s) must promptly give a copy of such written specific factual findings and legal conclusions to each party to the appeal, and such factual findings and legal conclusions must be included in the record of administrative proceedings for the appeal (as prescribed in § 405.1827).

(2) Limits on contractor hearing officer(s) actions. The contractor hearing officer(s)'s specific findings of fact and conclusions of law (in accordance with paragraph (b)(1) of this section) must not be invoked or relied on by the contractor hearing officer(s) as a basis to deny, or decline to exercise, jurisdiction over a specific item or take any other of the actions specified in paragraph (c) of this section. Upon giving the parties to the appeal the contractor hearing officer(s)'s written specific factual findings and legal conclusions (pursuant to paragraph (b)(1) of this section) on the question of whether the provider's cost report included an appropriate cost report claim for the specific item under appeal, the contractor hearing officer(s) must proceed to issue one of the two types of overall decisions specified in paragraphs (d) and (e) of this section with respect to the specific item. If the contractor hearing officer(s) issues an overall contractor hearing decision (as specified in paragraph (d) of this section) regarding the specific item under appeal, the contractor hearing officer(s)'s written specific factual findings and legal conclusions (in accordance with paragraph (b)(1) of this section) must be included in such overall contractor hearing decision regarding the specific item, along with the other matters that are required by the regulations for an overall contractor hearing decision. However, if the contractor hearing officer(s) issues an overall jurisdictional dismissal decision (as specified in paragraph (e) of this section) regarding the specific item under appeal, the contractor hearing officer(s)'s written specific factual findings and legal conclusions (in accordance with paragraph (b)(1) of this section) must not be included in the overall jurisdictional dismissal decision regarding the specific item. The contractor hearing officer(s) may permit reimbursement for the specific item under appeal, as part of an overall contractor hearing decision, but such reimbursement may be permitted only to the extent authorized by paragraph (f) of this section.

(c) Prohibition of certain types of decisions, orders, and other actions.

(1) If the contractor hearing officer(s) determines, in its findings of fact and conclusions of law (as prescribed by paragraph (b)(1) of this section), that the provider's cost report did not include an appropriate claim for the specific item under appeal, the contractor hearing officer(s) may not -

(i) Deny jurisdiction over the specific item under appeal, based on (in whole or in part) the contractor hearing officer(s)'s factual findings and legal conclusions (reached under paragraph (b)(1) of this section);

(ii) Decline to exercise jurisdiction over the specific item under appeal, based on (in whole or in part) the contractor hearing officer(s)'s factual findings and legal conclusions (reached under paragraph (b)(1) of this section); or

(iii) Impose any sanction or take any other action against the interests of any party to the appeal except as provided in paragraph (f) of this section, based on (in whole or in part) the contractor hearing officer(s)'s factual findings and legal conclusions (in accordance with paragraph (b)(1) of this section).

(2) Regardless of whether the contractor hearing officer(s) determines, in its findings of fact and conclusions of law (as prescribed by paragraph (b)(1) of this section), that the provider's cost report did or did not include an appropriate claim for the specific item under appeal, the contractor hearing officer(s) may not -

(i) Deny jurisdiction over the specific item under appeal, based on (in whole or in part) the absence, in the final contractor or Secretary determination under appeal, of an adjustment, revision, correction, or other change to the specific item under appeal, or the lack of a particular determination by the contractor or the Secretary regarding the specific item. Exception: If the provider's appeal of the specific item is based on a reopening of such item (pursuant to § 405.1885) where the specific item is not revised, adjusted, corrected, or otherwise changed in a revised final contractor or Secretary determination, the contractor must deny jurisdiction over the specific item under appeal (as prescribed in §§ 405.1887(d) and 405.1889(b));

(ii) Decline to exercise jurisdiction over the specific item under appeal, based on (in whole or in part) the absence, in the final contractor or Secretary determination under appeal, of an adjustment, revision, correction, or other change to the specific item under appeal, or the lack of a particular determination by the contractor or the Secretary regarding the specific item; or

(iii) Impose any sanction or take any other action against the interests of any party to the appeal except as provided in paragraph (f) of this section, based on (in whole or in part) the absence, in the final contractor or Secretary determination under appeal, of an adjustment, revision, correction, or other change to the specific item under appeal, or the lack of a particular determination by the contractor or the Secretary regarding the specific item.

(d) Contractor hearing decision must include any factual findings and legal conclusions under paragraph (b)(1) of this section. If the contractor hearing officer(s) issues a hearing decision regarding the specific item under appeal (pursuant to § 405.1831), any specific findings of fact and conclusions of law by the contractor hearing officer(s) (reached under paragraph (b)(1) of this section), on the question of whether the provider's cost report included an appropriate claim for the specific item, must be included in such hearing decision along with the other matters prescribed by § 405.1831. The contractor hearing officer(s)'s factual findings and legal conclusions (in accordance with paragraph (b)(1) of this section) about whether there was an appropriate cost report claim for the specific item under appeal are subject to the provisions of § 405.1833 just as those provisions apply to the other parts of the contractor hearing decision. If the contractor hearing officer(s) determines that the provider's cost report -

(1) Included an appropriate claim for the specific item under appeal (as prescribed in § 413.24(j) of this chapter), the contractor hearing decision also must address whether the other substantive reimbursement requirements for the specific item are also satisfied; or

(2) Did not include an appropriate claim for the specific item under appeal, the contractor hearing officer(s) has discretion whether or not to address in the contractor hearing decision whether the other substantive reimbursement requirements for the specific item are also satisfied.

(e) Contractor jurisdictional dismissal decision must not include factual findings and legal conclusions under paragraph (b)(1) of this section. If the contractor hearing officer(s) issues a jurisdictional dismissal decision regarding the specific item under appeal (in accordance with § 405.1814(c)), the contractor hearing officer(s)'s specific findings of fact and conclusions of law (in accordance with paragraph (b)(1) of this section) on the question of whether the provider's cost report included an appropriate claim for the specific item must not be included in such jurisdictional dismissal decision.

(f) Effects of the contractor hearing officer(s)'s factual findings and legal conclusions under paragraph (b)(1) of this section when part of a final contractor hearing decision. If the contractor hearing officer(s) determines, as part of a final and binding contractor hearing decision (pursuant to § 405.1833 and paragraphs (b)(1) and (d) of this section), that the provider's cost report -

(1) Included an appropriate claim for the specific item under appeal (as prescribed in § 413.24(j) of this chapter), the specific item is reimbursable in accordance with Medicare policy, but only if the contractor hearing officer(s) further determines in such final contractor hearing decision that all the other substantive reimbursement requirements for the specific item are also satisfied; or

(2) Did not include an appropriate cost report claim for the specific item under appeal, the specific item is not reimbursable, regardless of whether the contractor hearing officer(s) further determines in such final contractor hearing decision that the other substantive reimbursement requirements for the specific item are or are not satisfied.

[80 FR 70598, Nov. 13, 2015]