DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
Medical Facility Patient Safety Trust Fund Surcharge for Fiscal Year 2018-2019 as Provided for under the Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error (MCARE) Act
[49 Pa.B. 1225]
[Saturday, March 16, 2019]
On March 20, 2002, the Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error (MCARE) Act (MCARE Act) (40 P.S. §§ 1303.101—1303.910) was enacted. 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. § 1303.305(a)) authorizes the establishment of a Patient Safety Trust Fund (Fund) for the operations of the Authority. Section 305(c) of the MCARE Act states that beginning 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 for the Authority to operate. 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.
Initially, the surcharge was assessed on ambulatory surgical facilities (ASF), birth centers and hospitals. Subsequently, the MCARE Act was amended and abortion facilities were also required to pay the surcharge.
With the cooperation of hospitals, birthing centers, abortion facilities and ASFs in this Commonwealth, the surcharge has been implemented and has provided resources for the implementation of the web-based Pennsylvania Patient Safety Reporting System and the operation of the Authority.
This notice sets forth the procedure that the Department will follow in assessing and collecting the surcharge for FY 2018-2019. The Authority FY 2018-2019 surcharge assessment is $6.86 million. The MCARE 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—448.904b) or Article X of the Public Welfare Code (62 P.S. §§ 1001—1088). Also included, as of May 1, 2006, are abortion facilities which are defined in 18 Pa.C.S. § 3203 (relating to definitions). Nursing homes, which are assessed under sections 401—411 of the MCARE Act (40 P.S. §§ 1303.401—1303.411), receive a separate assessment notification.
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 facilities, 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 (general and special acute care hospitals) or the Department of Human Services (privately owned psychiatric hospitals). It was also necessary to pick a point in time to make this assessment; the Department has chosen December 31, 2018.
The number of operating/procedure rooms (for ASFs, birth centers and abortion facilities) and the number of licensed beds (for hospitals) was totaled and that number was divided into $6.68 million to arrive at a charge per unit for the assessment. The total number of units (operating rooms, procedure rooms and licensed beds) is 42,081. Dividing this number into $6.68 million results in a per unit assessment for each installment of approximately $163.02. The assessment is payable by May 31, 2019.
To obtain a copy of the assessment for all facilities, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, and request the FY 2018-2019 MCARE surcharge assessment lists.
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 within 60 days. 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 facility has any questions concerning this notice, a representative from that facility should contact Garrison E. Gladfelter, Jr., Chief, Division of Acute and Ambulatory Care, Room 532, Health and Welfare Building, 825 Forster Street, Harrisburg, PA 17120, (717) 783-8980.
Persons with a disability who require an alternative format of this document (for example, large print, audiotape, Braille) should contact Garrison E. Gladfelter, Jr. at the previously listed address or telephone number, or for speech and/or hearing-impaired persons, call the Pennsylvania AT&T Relay Service at (800) 654-5984 (TDD users) or (800) 654-5988 (voice users).
RACHEL L. LEVINE, MD,
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 19-377. Filed for public inspection March 15, 2019, 9:00 a.m.]
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