CMS official offers details on MU audits
May 4, 2013 in Medical Technology
The Centers for Medicare Medicaid Services this year implemented pre-payment audits on Medicare and dually eligible (Medicare and Medicaid) providers participating in the EHR Incentive Programs. The pre-payment audits complement post-payment audits that CMS has conducted since 2012.
Both audit programs target between 5 and 10 percent of eligible professionals attesting to meaningful use, according to Elizabeth Holland, director of the HIT Initiatives Group within CMS’ Office of E-Health Standards and Services.
Figliozzi Company, a CMS contractor based in Garden City, N.J., will perform the audits on Medicare and dually eligible providers. States will conduct audits on providers participating in the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program.
PhysBizTech Editor Frank Irving talked with Holland about details of the audit program.
Q: Are both audit programs expected to be in place for the duration of the EHR Incentive Programs?
Q: And the process starts with a letter to the practice from your audit contractor?
A: Right. There is a sample copy of the audit letter request on our website.
Q: CMS offers other online resources such as an audit overview and a fact sheet explaining documentation required to support meaningful use attestation. Aside from studying those materials, what else should small practices do to prepare for the audits?
A: The first thing we recommend to providers is to not panic, and always tell the truth. I know people are a little unsettled by the whole notion of an audit, but this is not meant to be a “gotcha” sort of thing.
CMS has a responsibility to make sure that HITECH dollars are being spent appropriately. We’re doing the audits to make sure that people who are receiving incentive payments are actually using certified EHR technology, and that they are actually meaningful users.
Q: In practical terms, how can they be ready?
A: As you mentioned, they can refer to the documentation guidelines, which give you a sense of what you need to retain. A lot of this information you would have prepared when you attested [for meaningful use]. So you should already have this information on hand.
When you actually get the letter indicating that you’ve been selected for an audit, you have two weeks to submit the documentation that is requested. Then it becomes a back-and-forth process.