Section 68: Surcharge assessed by acute hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers
Section 68. (a) Acute hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers shall assess a surcharge on all payments subject to surcharge as defined in section 64. The surcharge shall be distinct from any other amount paid by a surcharge payor for the services of an acute hospital or ambulatory surgical center. The surcharge amount shall equal the product of: (i) the surcharge percentage; and (ii) amounts paid for these services by a surcharge payor. The office shall calculate the surcharge percentage by dividing the total surcharge amount by the projected annual aggregate payments subject to the surcharge, excluding projected annual aggregate payments based on payments made by managed care organizations. The office shall determine the surcharge percentage before the start of each fund fiscal year and may re-determine the surcharge percentage before April 1 of each fund fiscal year if the office projects that the initial surcharge percentage established the previous October will produce less than the total surcharge amount minus $10,000,000 or more than the total surcharge amount plus $10,000,000 excluding payments made by managed care organizations. Before each succeeding October 1, the office shall re-determine the surcharge percentage incorporating any adjustments from earlier years. In each determination or redetermination of the surcharge percentage, the office shall use the best data available as determined by the office of Medicaid and may consider the effect on projected surcharge payments of any modified or waived enforcement under subsection (e). The office shall incorporate all adjustments, including, but not limited to, updates or corrections or final settlement amounts, by prospective adjustment rather than by retrospective payments or assessments.
(b) Each acute hospital and ambulatory surgical center shall bill a surcharge payor an amount equal to the surcharge described in subsection (a) as a separate and identifiable amount distinct from any amount paid by a surcharge payor for acute hospital or ambulatory surgical center services. Each surcharge payor shall pay the surcharge amount to the office for deposit in the Health Safety Net Trust Fund on behalf of said acute hospital or ambulatory surgical center. Upon the written request of a surcharge payor, the office may implement another billing or collection method for the surcharge payor; provided, however, that the office has received all information that it requests which is necessary to implement such billing or collection method; and provided further, that the office shall specify by regulation the criteria for reviewing and approving such requests and the elements of such alternative method or methods.
(c) The office shall specify by regulation appropriate mechanisms that provide for determination and payment of a surcharge payor's liability, including requirements for data to be submitted by surcharge payors, acute hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers.
(d) A surcharge payor's liability to the fund shall in the case of a transfer of ownership be assumed by the successor in interest to the surcharge payor.
(e) The office shall establish by regulation an appropriate mechanism for enforcing a surcharge payor's liability to the fund if a surcharge payor does not make a scheduled payment to the fund; provided, however, that the office may, for the purpose of administrative simplicity, establish threshold liability amounts below which enforcement may be modified or waived. Such enforcement mechanism may include assessment of interest on the unpaid liability at a rate not to exceed an annual percentage rate of 18 per cent and late fees or penalties at a rate not to exceed 5 per cent per month. Such enforcement mechanism may also include notification to the office of Medicaid requiring an offset of payments on the claims of the surcharge payor, any entity under common ownership or any successor in interest to the surcharge payor, from the office of Medicaid in the amount of payment owed to the fund including any interest and penalties, and to transfer the withheld funds into said fund. If the office of Medicaid offsets claims payments as ordered by the office, the office of Medicaid shall be considered not to be in breach of contract or any other obligation for payment of non-contracted services, and a surcharge payor whose payment is offset under an order of the office shall serve all Title XIX recipients under the contract then in effect with the executive office of health and human services. In no event shall the office direct the office of Medicaid to offset claims unless the surcharge payor has maintained an outstanding liability to the fund for a period longer than 45 days and has received proper notice that the office intends to initiate enforcement actions under regulations promulgated by the office.
(f) If a surcharge payor fails to file any data, statistics or schedules or other information required under this chapter or by any regulation promulgated by the office, the office shall provide written notice to the payor. If a surcharge payor fails to provide required information within 14 days after the receipt of written notice, or falsifies the same, the surcharge payor shall be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $5,000 for each day on which the violation occurs or continues, which penalty may be assessed in an action brought on behalf of the commonwealth in any court of competent jurisdiction. The attorney general shall bring any appropriate action, including injunctive relief, necessary for the enforcement of this chapter.