Per Diem Rates

Why do we charge per diems for animal care?

The Division of Comparative Medicine is obligated to recover the costs associated with the procurement and care and use of animals. To recover the costs of the animal care program, per diem rates for the various species are charged by the DCM. The per diem charge covers boarding and feeding of an animal, cage and room cleaning and sanitation, and veterinary services for spontaneous illnesses (unless requested by a DCM veterinarian). The charge does not cover veterinary, diagnostic laboratory, and pathology services for medical problems resulting from experimental procedures, special diet, or special husbandry requests; those services are billable to the investigator. All perdiem and service costs are billed to investigators monthly. Per Diem rates for animal care or direct charges for personnel costs and supplies are based on a cost analysis and recovery program outlined by NIH Cost Analysis and Rate Setting Manual for Animal Resource Facilities (2000).

Despite efforts to maintain flat per diem rates, the DCM rising essential operating costs associated with feed, bedding, disposable personal protective equipment, preventive health monitoring, and sanitation necessitates a 3% annual increase in the base rate for all species until our rate approaches full cost recovery. Principal Investigators in budget preparation are encouraged to call the DCM business office at x1194 to obtain current and future rates. The DCM will continue to explore opportunities to control per diem rates. Additional information is available about how per diem charges are tracked and calculated.

How are the census and perdiem charges tracked and calculated?

  1. PI's must use valid accounts for cage cards that correlate to the grant that is supporting that specific research.
  2. Per diem charges are generated for any animal which is housed in the DCM animal housing facility.
  3. As listed in the DCM per diem charges table, all animals except fish and frogs, are charged by the individual animal. Fish and frogs are charged on a per tank basis.
  4. Per Diem charges are tracked using the RPM system and the charges begin to accrue based on the following criteria:
    • For animal orders, per diem will automatically accrue upon receipt of the animal delivery. All animal orders including those from noncommercial vendors are entered into RPM at the time the order is placed. RPM tracks the order to the appropriate protocol number and account associated with the study that each PI indicates on the Account Authorization Form.
    • For cage cards generated by request for in house protocol transfer or weaning of rodents, the per diem charges begin to accrue on the date of the action when the cage card is created.
    • Cards generated by DCM for use on cages that are separated by DCM staff due to overcrowding begin to accrue per diem charges immediately.
  5. At the end of each month, an invoice is automatically calculated in RPM by multiplying total number of care days for a given animal by the current per diem rate for that species. A different total will be generated for each protocol and the associated active account number with animals assigned to it for a billing cycle. Technical service charges are listed separately on the invoice.
  6. Per diems will STOP accruing only when a cage card is closed in the RPM system. There are 3 conditions which qualify for cage card closure: an animal is euthanized, expires or is sent to another institution. When one of these 3 events occur, the cage card is closed in RPM and the per diem charges for the specific animals stops accruing. Researchers can enter RPM to close cage cards or they can deposit it into one of DCM Cage Card drop locations with the date of removal written on the card. (Users may have these cards returned to them by writing "RETURN" on the back of the card). Note that if a card is placed in the drop box without a date of disposition, DCM will enter the date it processes the card in RPM.
  7. Cage cards must be closed out (according to number 6 above) no later than 5 days after the close of the month. This will prevent charges from appearing on your bill for animals that have already been euthanized, have expired or have been transferred to another protocol or institution.