Accounting and Billing Assistance for DPH Providers

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Guidance Regarding:

  • Billing Against Cost Reimbursement Contracts
  • Making Line Item Adjustments to Cost Reimbursement Contract Budgets
  • Billing Against Class Rate and Individually Negotiated Unit Rate Contracts
  • Instructions for Preparing the Payment Voucher (PV) Document

The purpose of this memo is to offer detailed guidance to providers of human and social services doing business with DPH on a number of billing and contracting issues. We are also using this memo to highlight some important innovations and restate some procedural changes that, we trust, will greatly ease your agency's administrative burden.

This memo deals primarily with cost reimbursement contracts (defined as "a payment arrangement under which DPH reimburses for contract service costs actually incurred against an approved line item budget). However, we address issues related to unit rate contracts, as well. We hope that what follows is clear. In the event that you have questions regarding any aspect of this guidance, please feel free to call either your Accounting (617-624-5820) or your POS (617-624-5800) representative.

I. The following is a list of requirements for billing DPH against Cost Reimbursement contracts:

  1. Monthly Expenditure Report (MER) - Attachment A (Excel) xls format of acct-guidance-mer.xls

    The MER must be completed according to the service contract. Column A should contain the approved reimbursable costs per your Program Budget. The figures should not change during the year unless you amend the contract. Column B displays the balance to date before the current monthly charges. Column C is the amount of each component being billed for the period cited on the top of the MER. Column D shows the balances available after the current invoice amounts are deducted, this then becomes the beginning balance for next billing (Column B).

  2. Personnel Summary Report (PSR)- Attachment B (Excel) xls format of acct-guidance-personnel.xls

    The PSR is the breakdown of Direct Care/Program Support Staff. The breakdown includes position title; employee name; service days/hours; wages/salary amount paid for each employee covered by the position title; and total of the payment amount for the component. Deduct any offsetting support for the component position title and record the net invoice amount to the MER form (Column C).

  3. Service Delivery Report (SDR) - Attachment C (Word) rtf format of acct-guidance-service-delivery.rtf

    The SDR is a narrative of the services rendered during the month being billed. The SDR is an important means of determining that the goals and objectives of the contract are being met, these are reviewed periodically by program staff.

  4. Payment Voucher (PV) - Attachment D (Excel) xls format of acct-guidance-voucher.xls

    The PV authorizes the disbursement of funds and automatically reduces the balance of the contract. Complete only the areas circled on the PV "Attachment D". For details see Section V.

II. Additional Guidance Regarding Cost Reimbursement Billing:

  • Please note that if you are invoicing for multiple months simultaneously, you may combine the amounts on the same payment voucher (PV), but you must have separate MER, PSR and SDR report for each month.

  • It is mandatory that the billing required contain an original MER, PSR, SDR and PV. Additional copies are not required with billing submission.

  • The MER, PSR and SDR can be produced off your computer. However, these forms should follow the same format as attached to the procedure. These forms along with the PV form are available in an EXCEL file. Please contact the accounting office for a copy.

  • Providers that have a Ready Payment contract must send in billing no later than the 10 th of the month following services rendered. Failure to meet this requirement may result in removal from the ready payment system. Payments will be made approximately 28 days after billing is received.

  • The Commonwealth would prefer vendors to receive payments through Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) rather than by check. Application forms are available by contacting Sandy Chue @617-624-5824.

  • Vendors can view payments and scheduled payments by accessing the Web site located at https://massfinance.state.ma.us/VendorWeb/vendor.asp . The access code to view your agency payments is your 13-digit vendor code.

  • Before submitting a final payment voucher to DPH, providers should perform a final reconciliation of actual expenses incurred for the contract period against what was billed to DPH. If payments from DPH exceed actual expenses incurred, providers must clearly report these changes in their final billing and attach a memo of explanation. Please note that this information is required for auditing purposes.

  • In accordance with state finance law, provider organizations cannot retain any portion of surplus funds generated through over billing in cost reimbursement contracts . In a cost reimbursement contract, a provider's final billing must reflect what was actually expended up to the approved line item amounts in the most recent budget on file with the Department of Public Health (DPH). When over billing does occur, state finance law also prohibits purchasing agencies from establishing any method of resolution other than a scheduled repayment plan to recover surplus funds received.

  • All PV's with supporting backup should be sent to the following address. However, some program managers may require billing to be sent directly to DPH program staff.

    Department of Public Health
    Accounting Division, 8 th Floor
    250 Washington Street
    Boston, MA 02108-4619

III. Line Item Changes to Cost Reimbursement Contract Budgets

If you wish to make adjustments to an approved line item budget associated with a cost reimbursement contract (where there is no change to the current year obligation or maximum obligation), you must notify your DPH program representative in writing of such a request. This request should show the impact on the budget of the proposed change(s), and indicate whether the change(s) should apply to the current year only or to all remaining years of the contract. Note that all requested changes must be pre-approved in writing by the relevant DPH program manager. You should not proceed with expenditures based on your requested change(s) until you have received confirmation of approval from DPH. Please refer to the accompanying instructions (See Attachment E (Word) rtf format of acct-guidance-line-item.rtf ) for more detailed guidance.

Such requests must be made no later than July 31 of the subsequent state fiscal year. While DPH has streamlined the line item change process considerably by eliminating the need for a formal amendment, it is expected that such change requests will be made sparingly. Numerous provider requests for line item changes to a cost reimbursement contract within a given year will be viewed as a sign of poor contract management and will be factored into overall contract performance review.

IV. Billing Against Class Rate and Individually Negotiated Unit Rate Contracts

Please note that documentation of services performed must accompany each PV at the time of submission. The bureaus of Substance Abuse, Family and Community Health and AIDS will specify to each provider their requirements for documentation of services delivered.

If you wish to reallocate units to an approved unit rate contract budget with no change in maximum obligation, you must submit a written request to your DPH program manager by mid-May. The program manager, who will forward to the POS Office a copy of the written approval for its files, must approve this request.

V. Instructions for Preparing the Payment Voucher (PV) Document

The PV authorizes the disbursement of funds and automatically reduces the balance of the contract. Complete only the areas circled on the PV "Attachment D" as follows:

  1. Vendor Certification
    The person responsible must sign this section in blue or black ink for the services rendered. Signature stamps will not be accepted.

  2. Vendor Name and Address
    Type your name and mailing address. This information must coincide with the information supplied to the Comptroller when your vendor code was established.

  3. Payment Reference Number
    Enter a maximum of 22 digits/letters to be used as an internal control for your organization. These numbers/letters will appear on your check stub and should be used to identify the contract payment. More than one payment may appear on the same check. The vendor invoice number is unique for each PV and cannot be repeated otherwise.

    Example: "Education & Prevention-June" is an invalid Payment Reference Number. "15672757960July2002" is a valid number. This example uses the contract number plus the month and the year. This number is unique and will not be duplicated. Remember, the FIFTH DIGIT of all FY 02 contracts is a 2(TWO).

  4. Vendor Code
    Type your 13-digit vendor code. This number consists of your organization's Federal Employer Identification (FEI) number and four additional Comptroller assigned digits. If you have: 1) never provided services to any state agency, or 2) if your name/address has changed, or 3) if you have not provided services to any state agency in the past 12 months, please notify your agency contract officer. If any of the 3 above situations is applicable, the purchasing agency must request, from the Office of the Comptroller, a verified FEI number.

  5. Reference Order
    Type in the contract ID number as it appears in the upper left corner of your agency's service contract.

  6. Quantity (Do not fill out for Cost reimbursement Contract)
    Enter the number of billable service units for the period.

  7. Description 
    The description should identify; type of service/program being delivered; month of service; and any other pertinent information.

  8. Unit Price (Do not fill out for Cost reimbursement Contract) 
    Enter the current rate for each type of unit billed as stipulated in contract.

  9. Amount
    This amount should correspond to the document total on the Monthly Expenditure Report (MER).

  10. Name and phone number of person to contact if there are any questions regarding the Payment Voucher and/or back-up documentation. An E-Mail address would also be helpful.


This information is provided by the Department of Public Health.