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GJM November Special Event Carnevale 2017 Will Benefit Flag City Honor Flight

Gilmore Jasion Mahler Carnevale Dee Dee BillsSave the date for Friday, November 3, 2017. Gilmore Jasion Mahler will host Carnevale 2017 to once again raise money for Flag City Honor Flight. The nonprofit raises funds to fly veterans to Washington, D.C. to see the memorials built in their honor. Flag City Honor Flight leaders say many veterans cannot make the trip on their own, sometimes due to physical or financial limitations. Gilmore Jasion Mahler's 2016 Carnevale event raised $42,000 for Flag City Honor Flight, which has allowed the organization to operate two 2017 flights: one in June and one in September. Carnevale will once again be held in the beautiful Marathon Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Findlay. The special event will feature engaging performers, live music, an auction, heavy grazing, delicious Italian food and drink and much more. Carnevale sponsorship opportunities are now available. To learn more, please call 419-423-4481.

Medicare and Medicaid Cost Reports: 6 Common Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make

Medicare and Medicaid Cost Report MistakesBy Jamie Dixon, CPA

I hear it all the time from my clients in home healthcare, hospice and skilled nursing facilities – “cost reports don’t mean anything these days”. As a CPA who’s worked with countless healthcare organizations, I would argue the opposite: that cost reports are as meaningful and useful today as they have ever been. Preparing accurate Medicare or Medicaid cost reports is critical for future rate setting calculations and for data analysis to measure and monitor key operational data.

Yes, you may need to complete a cost report for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) or the Ohio Department of Medicaid but, this can be a powerful tool internally as well. Cost reports zero in on critical metrics that you can use to help improve the bottom line for your facility or organization.  Staffing levels, payor mix and census levels are just a few items from the cost report that can be benchmarked against industry standards and peer groups.

Hopefully you are looking at these key factors on a regular basis, but if not, the annual cost report is an excellent opportunity for organizational assessment. That’s a secondary benefit. Of course your main goal is to provide the government with accurate information. I’ve seen many mistakes and omissions through the years as I’ve worked with clients on their cost reports. These problems often lead to a much more lengthy process to clean up and correct the data so CMS has the proper information.

In order to prepare the most accurate cost report possible and avoid some of the most common cost reporting errors, proper care must be given to record keeping and data collection.  Bottom line: this isn’t a “once a year” exercise. Proper data collection is critical 365 days a year.  I’ve pulled together what I would consider some of the more common mistakes I encounter as I work with clients on cost reports. I strongly recommend that you examine your process for the following mistakes and discuss with your financial team.

1. Inaccurate reporting of census data (days/visits). This is critical. You need to get this number right.  Whether you are tracking days, episodes, visits or occurrences, if this number isn’t right, benchmarking is meaningless.

2. Improper expense classification. Of most importance is detailed wage accounting. Make sure wage expenses are kept by discipline to provide adequate detail for cost reporting requirements.

3. Inaccurate reporting of non-allowable and non-reimbursable expenses.  Cost reports should record all expense that is reasonable and necessary for patient care. Expenses such as promotional marketing and contributions must be excluded from allowable cost.

4. Improperly recording vaccines and bad debt on the cost report.  For some providers these items are still cost reimbursed on their Medicare cost report.

5. Inaccurate reporting of related organization costs. Related party costs may be allowable and reimbursable but must be disclosed in order to determine the nature and details of the cost.  In some cases, adjustments may need to be made to reflect actual cost to the provider.  

6. Considering the cost report to be unimportant and inconvenient. Your reimbursements hinge on the data provided, so getting it right should be a high priority. Even though there is little immediate rate impact from cost reports, future rate changes will be based on cost data and statistics gathered in these reports.

Be aware, some errors may cause your cost report to be rejected, potentially causing payment suspension. Errors related to cost report dates, provider numbers or other significant missing data may put you at risk of having your cost report rejected.

Cost reports continue to be vital for data collection and accurate future rate setting. The simple fact is, you need to go through this annual exercise and it doesn’t have to be painful. Your organization’s cost reports should be completed accurately and on time and should include all appropriate costs and proper statistics.

Many healthcare facilities and organizations prepare their cost reports internally, which is of course perfectly fine. I would definitely recommend that if you do your own cost reports, you have an outside cost reporting professional review your report before filing. It’s also possible that as your organization has grown and changed, it no longer makes sense to handle cost reports internally. It could be time to seek professional help. If you do, make sure the firm you choose to assist you has experience with the complexities of cost reporting and reimbursement rule. They should also have access to provider associations as well as state and federal resources.

Whether you or an outside professional prepares your cost report, make sure it is accurate and it is submitted by the deadline. Medicaid cost reports are due March 31. Medicare cost reports are typically due five months after fiscal year end, which is generally May 31.

Jamie Dixon is a member of the Gilmore Jasion Mahler Healthcare Specialist Team, with an expertise in long-term care, home healthcare and hospice. A member of the Ohio Council for Home Care and Hospice, he has been a member of the Financial Issues Committee for close to 20 years. Learn more about Gilmore Jasion Mahler’s expertise in healthcare

How Well Do You Know GJM Administrative Support Professional Vicki Means?

Gilmore Jasion Mahler Vicki MeansDescribe your role at GJM. Primarily tax assembly & related project tracking. Audit back up support, organizing common areas of office, inventory and office supply needs. “Go to” person --kind of a jack of all trades, so to speak.

When did you start employment with GJM? Twenty years ago this October. I’ve seen GJM expand six times since I hired in.

What do you find most gratifying about your work? Using my God given talents to the best of my abilities to support and enhance others’ work to produce a finished product for our clients. Being able to help where I can and teaching others what I’ve learned in my years here, keeps the firm running like a fine tuned instrument. The administrative team is the backbone of the firm; the behind the scenes production crew. 

Why did you choose the accounting field? I worked in a family business for 21 years doing bookkeeping, inventory and customer service, so this was a natural fit when I decided to change jobs. I never looked back or stopped learning. This job has given me growth and experience I would never have had in the private sector. I actually think I enjoy the challenge of a deadline, although it may drive me a bit crazy at times.

What do you like best about working at GJM? Flexibility and being in charge of my own schedule, as the workload dictates. I like being able to support many different aspects of client work and firm organization and not being limited to one thing.  I’m pretty good at multi-tasking.

What do you like best about the Firm culture and your coworkers? My coworkers are a fun-loving and great group of people. We are all hard-working when we need to be, but also enjoy taking a break; laughing and socializing. Many of us truly care and support each other through life’s trials and tribulations.

What makes GJM different from other accounting firms? The relaxed and casual atmosphere encourages employees to focus on their work instead of worrying about clothing restrictions.  Department crossover on projects utilizes all of our employees, drawing on their strengths and knowledge to produce the best final product for our clients.

Are you involved in any community organizations or do any volunteer work? Currently I serve on the Board of Trustees and perform Clerk duties for First Congregational Church. I’ve been serving on various boards and committees at the Church for over 15 years. I’ve been the photographer for the GJM sponsored Big Brothers/Big Sisters Christmas parties for the last 8 or so years. I was a Girl Scout co-leader for 10 years, which I remember fondly. We mentored a great group of girls from kindergarten through high school. Many of those girls and their families are still part of my life today.

How do you like to spend your spare time? What’s that? With my adult daughter and 3 ½ year old grandson living with Don and me, my time is usually spent with family. Reading stories to and playing with Kaiden is an enjoyable time in my life. I cherish these times, because I know in the blink of an eye, he’ll be all grown up. Between typing up church meeting minutes and other research work, I also enjoy adult coloring books and reading. I love Sci-fi, PBS or the History Channel and rock n’ roll music.

Any other thoughts that may help convey “who you are?” I wanted to pursue a career in art. I knew I couldn’t make any money at it & not knowing what I wanted to do with my life, I started in the family business. Michael Photo was a 3rd generation photo finishing business started by my Grandfather. My Dad made Blue Ribbon Photo into one of the largest photo finishers in NW Ohio. At one time we had 7 route drivers and 5 retail stores. In the late 1990’s I could see that with one-hour labs and digital taking over, I needed to change jobs, hence my journey to GJM. Blue Ribbon Photo closed in 2003. I’m the fifth of seven kids in my family. The last three of us were all born 18 & 20 months apart. We are still pretty close today.

Is Your Company Data At Risk? Critical Data Governance Questions for Every Business

data governance“We don’t have data others would want”. I hear that statement quite often from executives and business owners regardless of size or industry. It typically prompts several data governance questions from me.

How do you know?  

What steps have you taken to understand your data? 

What information is important to you or your competitors? 

What information would be most damaging to your business if it became public? 

How do you plan to stop someone from stealing your data?

In the 2015 RSM Manufacturing & Distribution Monitor Survey1, most businesses reported that their information is at little or no risk. Despite the concerns of some executives participating in the study, very few felt that their information is actually at risk. Although cyber-attacks and data breaches continue to make headlines, most companies feel they are immune to such a threat.

While many of the reported stories of information breaches involve large, well-known companies such as Target, Barnes & Noble, Nortel, Nissan, and others, in the world of cyber-crime size doesn’t matter – only information does. Just because an information breach isn’t splashed in the headlines doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. Companies large and small across the country and our region deal with this every day and the reality is that your business could be next. One company’s Internet footprint looks the same as another to anyone interested in finding something of value, whether it’s credit information, personnel information, intellectual property such as engineering drawings or processes, technology or other industrial assets.2

Cybersecurity is moving to a business imperative that is enabled by IT. No longer is this just an IT issue keeping your CIO up at night. Many boards and audit committees are finely tuned in to what is going on around the world related to cybersecurity and data governance. Executive leadership is increasingly being held accountable for protecting the company’s information assets. Regulators have continued to up their cyber game and pay closer attention to how a company’s information security program could impact the going concern of their business.

A strong information security program can facilitate business growth, create market advantages, and build brand trust. Data privacy and trust have become critical business requirements as exponentially more consumer and business information is generated and shared with your partners. 

What can your company do now?

Data governance is the foundation to implementing an effective information security program.  Unfortunately, there is no one size fits all approach. I would suggest that you kick start your data governance approach with three simple questions:

  1. What is your most important data?
  2. Who would want this information?
  3. What are you doing to protect it?

Be thorough with the evaluation and document the findings. Performing this data inventory takes time; however the end result will provide significant insights in to the effectiveness of your current information security program. Cyber security and data governance are key components of your broader enterprise risk management activities. Taking a systematic approach to understanding, managing, and monitoring risk can give management better insight into company operations and may even allow your company to turn certain risks into opportunities.

A risk-management program can help identify, prioritize and monitor risks both inside and outside an organization.  Steps in such a program include the following2:

  • Establish a formal, disciplined framework and governance strategy
  • Formalize the process to identify all key risks within the organization, including their likelihood and impact
  • Develop quantitative and qualitative measures
  • Quantify risks, examine risk treatment and determine risk gaps
  • Establish risk monitoring processes and continuous improvement opportunities

By implementing this type of program, executives can be justified in feeling that their information risks have been minimized.  With the rise in information breaches, keeping your data secure can be a competitive edge.

Just remember, you can’t protect everything, so be sure to protect what’s most important to you.

1 2015 Manufacturing & Distribution Monitor, RSM

2 Managing information security risk, RSM

Matt Hoverman Gilmore Jasion MahlerMatt Hoverman is a director with Gilmore Jasion Mahler, LTD and leads the Firm’s IT consulting practice. He has spent his career helping businesses assess their risk level and creating a plan to secure their information.  Learn more about Gilmore Jasion Mahler’s risk advisory services when it comes to protecting your company’s data.

Manufacturing Outlook 2017

Manufacturing financial executives from around the region got a chance to hear from some experts on the economic outlook under the Trump administration and what may lie ahead for area manufacturers in the months to come. Kevin Depew, Director of Thought Leadership for RSM US LLP shared his insights with attendees at a gathering earlier this month hosted by Gilmore Jasion Mahler. Other speakers included Regional Growth Partnership President and CEO Dean Monske as well as Tim Mayle, the Director of Economic Development for the Findlay-Hancock County Alliance. Here's a look at some media coverage of the events, including a TV news story from WTOL and newspaper articles from The Toledo Blade and The Findlay Courier. Gilmore Jasion Mahler hosts Manufacturing Financial Executive Roundtable events three times a year for manufacturing financial executives. The events are held in Findlay and Maumee. Gilmore Jasion Mahler's Manufacturing & Distribution Specialist Team has extensive experience working with area manufacturers. Our quarterly newsletter The Manufacturer also offers timely articles on issues directly impacting the manufacturing industry. Sign up for the newsletter here.