Patient Safety Trust Fund Surcharge for Fiscal Year 2007-2008 Under the Medical Care Accountability and Reduction of Error Act
[37 Pa.B. 6474]
[Saturday, December 8, 2007]
On March 20, 2002, the Medical Care Accountability and Reduction of Error Act (MCARE Act) (40 P. S. §§ 1301.101--1301.910) was signed into law. Among other provisions, the MCARE Act established the Patient Safety Authority (Authority) to collect, analyze and evaluate data regarding reports of serious events and incidents occurring in certain medical facilities and to make recommendations to those facilities regarding changes, trends and improvements in health care practices and procedures for the purpose of reducing the number and severity of serious events and incidents.
Section 305(a) of the MCARE Act (40 P. S. § 1301.305(a)) authorizes the establishment of a Patient Safety Trust Fund (Fund) for the operations of the Authority. Section 305(c) states that commencing July 1, 2002, and for every fiscal year thereafter, each medical facility covered by the MCARE Act shall pay the Department of Health (Department) a surcharge on its licensing fee as necessary to provide sufficient revenues to operate the Authority. Section 305(c) of the MCARE Act also states that the total assessment amount for Fiscal Year (FY) 2002-2003 shall not exceed $5 million and that the Department shall transfer the total assessment amount to the Fund within 30 days of receipt.
Section 305(d) of the MCARE Act provides that for each succeeding calendar year, the Department shall determine and assess each medical facility a proportionate share of the Authority's budget. The base amount of $5 million provided for in FY 2002-2003 shall be increased no more than the Consumer Price Index in each succeeding fiscal year. With the cooperation of Pennsylvania hospitals, birthing centers and ambulatory surgery facilities, the surcharge for FYs 2002-2003 and 2003-2004 was implemented, and provided resources for the implementation of the web-based Pennsylvania Patient Safety Reporting System and the operation of the Authority.
The Authority has recommended that the FY 2007-2008 surcharge assessment total $5,400,000. The Department will bill the facilities in two installments, the first to be paid within 60 days from the date of the invoice and the second to be paid by May 30, 2008.
This notice sets forth the procedure that the Department will follow in assessing and collecting the surcharge for 2007-2008. The MCARE Act states that the surcharge shall be collected from medical facilities, which are defined as ambulatory surgical facilities (ASFs), birth centers, hospitals and abortion clinics licensed under either the Health Care Facilities Act (35 P. S. §§ 448.101--448.904) or Article X of the Public Welfare Code (62 P. S. §§ 1001--1087).
To assess the surcharge in an equitable manner, the Department continues to use a common denominator in these facilities. For ASFs, birth centers and abortion clinics, the Department has chosen the number of operating and procedure rooms; and for hospitals, the Department has chosen the number of beds contained on the license of each hospital, whether by the Department (general and special acute care hospitals) or the Department of Public Welfare (privately owned psychiatric hospitals). It was also necessary to pick a point in time to make this assessment; the Department has chosen October 31, 2007.
The amount of operating/procedure rooms (for ASFs, birth centers and abortion clinics) and the amount of licensed beds (for hospitals) was totaled and that amount was divided into $2,700,000 to arrive at a charge per unit. The total number of units (operating rooms, procedure rooms and licensed beds) is 44,463. Dividing this number into $2,700,000 results in a per unit assessment of approximately $60.73. As stated previously, an additional assessment of $2,700,000 will be completed and payable by May 30, 2008. The Department will provide separate notice when this assessment is due from the facilities. To obtain a copy of the assessment for all facilities, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, and request the 2007-2008 MCARE surcharge assessment list.
Each facility will receive notification from the Department setting forth the amount due, date due and the name and address to which the payment should be sent. The MCARE Act authorizes the Department to assess an administrative penalty of $1,000 per day on facilities who fail to pay the surcharge by the due date.
If a medical facility has any questions concerning this notice, a representative from that facility should contact Susan Legros, Acting Director, Department of Health, Division of Acute and Ambulatory Care, Room 532, Health and Welfare Building, Harrisburg, PA 17120, (717) 783-8980.
Persons with a disability who require an alternative format of this document (for example, large print, audiotape or Braille) should contact the Division of Acute and Ambulatory Care at the previously listed address or phone number or for speech and/or hearing impaired persons V/TT (717) 783-6514 or the Pennsylvania AT&T Relay Services at (800) 654-5984.
CALVIN B. JOHNSON, M. D., M.P.H.,
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 07-2220. Filed for public inspection December 7, 2007, 9:00 a.m.]
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