Medicare Cost Report E-Filing (MCReF)

Published 08/04/2021

The Medicare Cost Report e-Filing system (MCReF) is offered by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to simplify the process of submitting Medicare Cost Reports (MCRs). Through this web-based system, providers are able to attach all materials needed to fulfill the Medicare requirements for an acceptable Cost Report submission, answer some quick questions, and submit. Once submitted, MCReF immediately delivers the attached files to the provider’s Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC). In addition to facilitating this file transfer, MCReF also evaluates a number of rules about what files are required for a valid submission, and whether the attached files fulfill certain requirements to be valid (e.g., an Electronic Cost Report (ECR) file matching the Provider and Fiscal Year End being submitted).

For additional information, please refer to the MLN Article 10611 (PDF, 286 KB) on Medicare Cost Report E-Filing.

CMS has also hosted a webinar on the MCReF system and the training slides from this webinar are available on the CMS website.

Cost reports can now be submitted electronically via the MCReF website. Please refer to the MLN article for information on filing cost reports through MCReF and benefits of using this system.

Most of the cost report forms have been revised to allow for an electronic signature, except home offices. For these, all files and documents can be submitted through MCReF, including the certification page with electronic signature. In submitting an e-signature capable cost report, the provider must check the e-signature box on the cost report form and sign the cost report.

For forms, that are not currently, e-signature capable, the files can be submitted via MCReF (include a scanned copy of the certification page in the ‘Signed Certification Page’ slot). Additionally, a hardcopy of the signed certification page (wet signature) must be mailed to Palmetto GBA and received within 10-days of the cost report submission through MCReF.

Previously, providers could submit electronic cost report files to Palmetto GBA though our eServices portal. Please note that effective July 2, 2018, the MCReF website will be the only method available for electronically submitting the Medicare cost report.

Providers can continue to mail cost reports to Palmetto GBA. The submission should include the signed certification page and a disk containing the electronic cost report files and supporting information. Providers should not submit the same cost report via MCReF and through the mail.

Please note: MCReF is a secure portal for transmission of MCR materials (including PII/PHI). Files uploaded are not to be encrypted or password protected.

Cost report extensions will not be granted for issues incurred in submitting a cost report through MCReF. Providers experiencing an issue with MCReF may mail their cost report to the MAC.

How to sign up for MCReF
A provider’s Security Official (SO) and Back up Security Official (BSO) with access to the EIDM PS&R system will be given access to MCReF through their existing account. There is a new user role for designated cost report filers. The Security Official may grant permission for this new user role.

Providers that are not registered in EIDM, must register in EIDM and assign an SO for their organization. Questions about EIDM set up for the PS&R and MCReF programs may be directed to the EIDM help desk at 866–484–8049.

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