Upper Payment Limit FAQs
Yes. Mapping data, through V-Look-ups, for example, is a much easier and consistent process for current and future UPL submissions. However, a state may choose to type information and data into unlocked fields in the UPL templates. When a state chooses to input data directly (not through a V-Look-up) into the template, it still must provide the supporting documentation with the source data. Additionally, the state should explain how it mapped data from the supporting documentation into the template. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services utilizes the supporting information to confirm that the information in the templates is correct.
Effective state fiscal year 2020, each state must submit a complete data set of payments to Medicaid providers, including providers paid at cost, as well as critical access hospitals. This would require states to submit cost and payment data to CMS that previously was not requested.
In accordance with Medicare cost reporting, the state must use 12 months of cost data reported by each facility. With regard to payment data, the state should use actual amounts, to the extent available, then calculate a claims completion factor based on historic utilization. The state’s UPL submission must include an explanation of its methodology to estimate payments. The use of a claims completion factor provides a reasonable estimate of the amount that Medicare would pay for these services, consistent with the UPL as defined at 42 CFR 447.272.
The difference between a prospective and retrospective UPL is in the relationship between the UPL demonstration period and the date when the UPL is submitted. For a UPL demonstration period of 7/1/2018 to 6/30/2019, a UPL is considered retrospective when it is submitted on or after the start of the demonstration period (on or after 7/1/2018). Using the same UPL demonstration period (7/1/2018 to 6/30/2019), a UPL is considered prospective if it is submitted prior to 7/1/2018.
Dental services are not covered under Medicare, which means the state may not compare Medicaid rates for comparable dental services for the Medicare Equivalent of the ACR. The state may calculate a dental ACR in order to make supplemental payments to dental services providers and continue to calculate the Medicare Equivalent of the ACR for other services covered by Medicare. The state should submit two separate ACR demonstrations, one for dental services and one for physician (non-dental) services. This will involve completing two versions of the Office of Management and Budget-approved template. If the same provider provides both physician and dental services the state would differentiate the provider information between the two demonstrations by appending the Medicare Certification Number (Medicare ID) (variable 112) with a letter, such as an -A or a -B. For example, if the Medicare ID was 123456, it would be depicted in the physician ACR as 123456-A and in the dental ACR as 12345-B. If a Medicare Certification Number is not available then the state should append the Medicaid Provider Number.
The UPL limits payment to the Medicare rate or cost. Providers paid at reconciled cost may receive no more than their reconciled amount. As a result, states cannot attribute the “UPL room” from other providers to pay additional amounts to any provider paid at reconciled cost. Due to this payment limitation, states should not include any provider paid at reconciled cost in their UPL demonstrations; however, they must account for these providers. Specifically, states must include with their UPL submissions documentation of those providers paid at reconciled cost and confirm by provider use of either a Medicare cost report or Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services-approved cost report template to identify allowed cost. Further, states must document the ownership status (state owned, non-state government owned, or private) of each provider.
No, an upper payment limit demonstration considers all Medicaid payments (base and supplemental). States must conduct UPL demonstrations for the applicable services described in State Medicaid Director Letter (SMDL) 13-003 regardless of whether a state makes supplemental payments under the Medicaid state plan for the services.
States are requested to submit their UPL demonstrations to the UPL mailbox at MedicaidUPL@cms.hhs.gov, but should also send a copy of each demonstration to their CMS Regional Office, including the National Institutional Reimbursement Team (NIRT) and Non-Institutional Payment Team (NIPT) staff as appropriate, and addressed to the Associate Regional Administrator. UPL demonstrations should be submitted to meet the annual reporting requirement described in SMDL 13-003, as well as when proposing changes in payment through SPAs.
No, the template does not include variables to report clinical diagnostic laboratory services.
When the data that factors into the state's UPL demonstration has not changed from one year to the next, then the state could apply the same overall UPL demonstration to the following year. The state must submit a justification to support the application of a previous year's UPL demonstration to another year.