Occupational Mix Survey Fiscal Year 2019 for Wage Index Beginning FY 2022

Published 08/10/2020

Section 1886(d) (3) (E) of the Social Security Act requires the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to collect data every three years on the occupational mix of employees for each short-term, acute care hospital participating in the Medicare program, in order to construct an occupational mix adjustment to the wage index.

On September 11, 2019, CMS published a notice in the Federal Register (84 FR 47959–47960) announcing a new occupational mix survey. The new survey provides for the collection of hospital-specific wages and hours data for calendar year (CY) 2019 (that is, payroll periods ending between January 1, 2019, and December 31, 2019). The CY 2019 Medicare occupational mix survey will be applied for three years beginning with the FY 2022 wage index, and for the FY 2023 and FY 2024 wage indexes as well.

Any hospital that is subject to the inpatient prospective payment system (IPPS), or any hospital that would be subject to IPPS if not granted a waiver should complete the survey. (Note: Do not complete this survey if you are a no/low Medicare utilization provider). It is important for hospitals to ensure that the data reported on the survey are accurate and verifiable through supporting documentation.

Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) are not paid under the IPPS, therefore CAHs are not required to complete the survey. Also, hospitals that terminated participation in the Medicare program before January 1, 2019, or terminated after January 1, 2019, but before December 2019, resulting in less than 11 months of data from CY 2019, are not required to complete the survey.

Completed 2019 Occupational Mix Surveys, Hospital Reporting Form CMS-10079, for the Wage Index Beginning FY 2022, were initially due to the Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) by July 1, 2020. CMS granted an extension for hospitals nationwide affected by COVID-19 until August 3, 2020. Due to continued COVID-19 related concerns from hospitals about meeting this deadline, CMS is further extending this deadline to September 3, 2020. Hospitals must submit their occupational mix surveys along with complete supporting documentation to their MACs by no later than September 3, 2020. Hospitals must use the available Excel hospital reporting form available on the
CMS website.

CMS expects to post the CY 2019 occupational mix survey data as a PUF on its website on or about September 8, 2020. Hospitals must review the file to confirm the inclusion and accuracy of their occupational mix data. Hospitals may then submit revisions to their occupational mix surveys to their MACs, if needed, by no later than
September 10, 2020. A hospital that wishes to revise its occupational mix data must submit its request along with complete, appropriate, detailed supporting documentation to its MAC. Requests postmarked by the September 10, 2020, deadline, but not received until after the deadline, will not be accepted. MACs must receive the revision requests and supporting documentation by this date.

Things to Consider Before Submitting Your Occupational Mix Survey

  1. Ensure you have read the Form CMS-10079 instructions (tab within the workbook) and have properly completed the form
  2. Ensure employees have been included in the proper categories based on the CMS instructions
  3. Ensure to verify the mathematical accuracy of the form
  4. Submit all supporting documentation for the data included on the Occupational Mix Survey form. The supporting documentation should include labor distribution report detail to support all salaries and hours claimed on the OMS provider submission form, and an explanation for the various pay codes/categories on the report. If job titles are unclear based on instructional categories, it may also be helpful to include job description(s).

Submitting Occupational Mix/Wage Index Documentation

  1. Palmetto GBA eServices portal (preferable; additional instruction below)
  2. COSTREPORT.WAGEINDEX@palmettogba.com mailbox — Jurisdiction M providers and JJWAGEINDEX@palmettogba.com mailbox — Jurisdiction J providers
  3. Mail services using the addresses below

Palmetto GBA’s Audit Department has implemented eServices for the receipt of wage index documentation. We request that your facility’s documentation be submitted via the portal at www.palmettogba.com. At the eServices portal you will select Audit and Reimbursement as the topic and then select "Wage Index" as the documentation type. The provider information will be pre-filled with the information related to the PTAN/NPI combination associated with the eServices user ID that you are logged in under, or the PTAN/NPI combination selected if you have multiple accounts linked to your user ID. You may then complete the "Wage Index Data" section and upload attachments.

For wage index forms, eServices users may submit attachments in one of the following formats: PDF, Excel (*.xls, *xlsx), or Word (*.doc or *.docx). Each attachment may be up to 40 MB in file size. While there is no limit to the number of files that can be attached to this form, the combined size of all attachments cannot exceed 150 MB.

Alternatively, Jurisdiction M providers may submit the information in electronic format on a CD or flash drive and submit it to the attention of Dhara Patel at one of the addresses below.

USPS Mail DeliveryCourier Delivery
Palmetto GBA  
Provider Audit (AG-320)  
PO Box 100144  
Columbia, SC 29202–3144      
Palmetto GBA — Columbia
Provider Audit (AG-320)
2300 Springdale Drive, Bldg ONE
Camden, SC 29020–1728

Alternatively, Jurisdiction J providers may submit the information in electronic format on a CD or flash drive and submit it to the attention of JJWageIndex at one of the addresses below.

USPS Mail DeliveryCourier Delivery
Palmetto GBA 
Provider Audit (LB-100)
PO Box 100144
Columbia, SC 29202–3144
Palmetto GBA — Columbia
Provider Audit (LB-100)
2300 Springdale Drive, Bldg ONE
Camden, SC 29020–1728

Please submit questions related to Occupational Mix to COSTREPORT.WAGEINDEX@palmettogba.com for providers under the Jurisdiction M contract and
JJWAGEINDEX@palmettogba.com for providers under the Jurisdiction J contract.

Visit CMS.gov for the full FY 2022 Hospital Wage Index Development Timetable (PDF, 211 KB).