Is that an audit in your pocket, or are you just glad to see me?
We knew they would be coming. We just weren’t sure how and when audits related to the CMS EHR Incentive Programs would first appear. Well, we still don’t know much about the Medicare audits, but details of the Medicaid audit process are starting to dribble out.
A report from the Office of Inspector General to CMS provides a bird’s eye view of what 13 states are planning for Medicaid EHR incentive eligibility audits. The various State Medicaid agencies are responsible for their own Medicaid EHR incentive programs as well as the integrity of the proper disbursements to eligible professionals and hospitals. The report states that of the 13 states in the report: “all 13….reported that they plan to verify at least half of the eligibility requirements prior to making EHR incentive payment…..In addition, all States plan to audit eligibility requirements after payment”.
One interesting aspect of this report is that it only addresses the review of how, and to what degree, these States intend to verify a provider or hospital might be eligible for the Medicaid incentives based on percentage thresholds and volumes. The issue of whether an EP or EH that meets the eligibility requirements for Medicaid also meets ‘meaningful use‘, and how that will be audited, is not addressed. However, since the verification of eligibility varies from state to state, we can assume the same level of variation could exist for the auditing of “meaningful use”.
Jim Tate is a nationally recognized expert on the CMS EHR Incentive Program, certified technology and meaningful use and author of The Incentive Roadmap® The Meaningful Use of Certified Technology: Stage 1.
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