23 Oct 2009
Today, ODP issued the annual letter announcing the inflationary factor of zero percent, as expected. You are encouraged to file interim rate appeals for rates that are issued with a "zero percent", as the regulations state that an inflationary increase will be specified each year based upon a projected economic forecast, such as the CPI-W.
The letter also emphasized the October 31, 2009 (postmarked) deadline for the submission of waiver requests. ODP has stated that because October 31st falls on a Saturday, the requests must be postmarked by Monday, November 2. It is unclear why the letter did not reflect that.
At the last two ICF/'MR Task Force meetings, ODP issued new forms that were to be required in the submission of waiver requests, and all of these forms were related to waiver requests for additional staffing. ODP has informed me that these forms will be optional at this time and until further notice.
Many providers are concerned about the increase in electricity costs that are projected for January 2010. If you have been informed by your electric company of a specific increase, you should include this in your waiver submissions this month. It is expected, though, that you will not actually know the impact until you start getting your bills in January and February,because these increases will be market-driven. ODP has informed me that they will accept waiver requests at that time for "unforeseen circumstance." Please contact me for further info if you are interested in submitting this type of a request.
Please contact AZTAC if you have any questions about waiver submissions.