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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 05-512


Patient Safety Trust Fund Surcharge for Fiscal Year 2004-2005 under the Medical Care Accountability and Reduction of Error (MCARE) Act

[35 Pa.B. 2035]


   An error occurred in the document which appeared at 35 Pa.B. 1834, 1835 (March 19, 2005). The per unit assessment in paragraph 7 was reflected inaccurately. The correct version of the document is as follows:

   On March 20, 2002, the Medical Care Accountability and Reduction of Error (MCARE) Act (act) (40 P. S. §§ 1303.101--1303.910) was signed into law. Among other provisions, the 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 act (40 P. S. § 1303.305(a)) authorizes the establishment of a Patient Safety Trust Fund (Fund) for the operations of the Authority. Section 305(c) of the act states that beginning July 1, 2002, and for every fiscal year thereafter, each medical facility covered by the 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 act also states that the total assessment amount for Fiscal Year (FY) 2002-2003 may 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 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 the hospitals, birthing centers and ambulatory surgery facilities (ASFs) in this Commonwealth, the surcharge for FY 2002-2003 and FY 2003-2004 was implemented, and provided resources for the implementation of the Internet-based Pennsylvania Patient Safety Reporting System and the operation of the Authority.

   The Authority has recommended that the FY 2004-2005 surcharge assessment total $2.5 million, approximately 1/2 of the amount that may be assessed under the act.

   This notice sets forth the procedure that the Department will follow in assessing and collecting the surcharge for FY 2004-2005. The act states that the surcharge shall be collected from medical facilities, which are defined as ASFs, birth centers and hospitals 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 and birth centers, the Department has chosen the number of operating and procedure rooms; for hospitals, the Department has chosen the number of beds contained on the license of each hospital, whether by the Department of Health (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 January 1, 2004.

   The amount of operating/procedure rooms (for ASFs and birth centers) and the amount of licensed beds (for hospitals) was totaled and that amount was divided into $2.5 million to arrive at a charge per unit. The total number of units (operating rooms, procedure rooms and licensed beds) is 45,219. Dividing this number into $2.5 million results in a per unit assessment of approximately $55.29. To obtain a copy of the assessment for all facilities, send an e-mail to and request the FY 2004-05 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. Payment will be due by May 15, 2005. The 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 Sandra Knoble, Director, Department of Health, Division of Acute and Ambulatory Care, P. O. Box 90, Harrisburg, PA 17108-0090, (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.


[Pa.B. Doc. No. 05-512. Filed for public inspection March 18, 2005, 9:00 a.m.]

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