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Community In-Direct Rate Calculation Method

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    Posted by: Diana Camacho, John Muir Health

    Date: January 16, 2015 1:51 PM

    Hello All,
    How do others calculate a community in-direct rate for community benefit activities? These are for activities that don’t rely on hospital space, support services, etc. What indirect expenses to you include in calculating this rate? It seems to me that it would only be administrative, but I want to make sure that I am not missing something.

    Response: Eileen L. Barsi, Dignity Health
    Date: January 30, 2015 3:45 PM
    This question came in last December and Eileen Barsi, SR Director of Community Benefit responded with % to count towards indirect cost when not using hospital space. See her response below.

    Here is the guidance offered by the Catholic Health Association on their What Counts Q&A website:

    Topic: Approach to Indirect Cost
    Question: Is there is a common approach to calculating indirect cost for community benefit activities?
    Recommendation: Health care organizations are advised to develop anywhere from one to three indirect cost rates.
    • The highest rate would apply to community benefit programs that are based in the hospital, receive support services (e.g., housekeeping, utilities) and take up space. One approach for an indirect cost rate for hospital-sited programs is to use the Medicare Cost Report (sum of costs for general service cost centers, divided by total operating expenses). This rate also could apply to clinic-based services that rely on the hospital for management, support, information technology, etc.
    • A second rate would apply to research, and should be based on any federally-approved rates from the National Institute of Health.
    • The third rate would apply to activities like a health screening program, other community-based services that don’t rely on hospital space, support services, and the like. That rate could be relatively low.
    • For the three different rates, the range can be variable — perhaps 35-45 percent for hospital-based, higher rates for research (depending on how research is accounted for), and 10-15 percent for community-based programs. Whatever rate is used, there should be an auditable basis for the number.
    Additional advice on this topic from A Guide for Planning and Reporting Community Benefit.

    Response: Caron Lanouette, Comcast
    Date: February 05, 2015 10:31 AM

    If you have entered the fringe percent in CBISA you should double check with Finance to make sure they have removed from, or not calculated, the fringe percent in the in-direct rate before you apply the in-direct rate.

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