The Importance of Preparing for a Meaningful Use Audit Before Attestation

Kay Jackson
Kay Jackson

Guest post by Kay Jackson of Iatric Systems, Inc.

Hospitals and other healthcare organizations in the midst of the complex meaningful use attestation process often see the attestation itself as the end of the process. It is not. Today, 20 percent of hospitals are being selected for a meaningful use audit after attestation. That’s why it’s important that, while preparing for attestation, hospitals also get prepared to be audited.

Iatric Systems help to longtime customer Memorial Healthcare in their attestation process — and successfully passing their recent audit — as well as our work with other customers, has revealed how important this preparation can be. Not passing an audit results in having to pay back 100 percent of any incentive money already received.

Much of the decisions made and records kept during the process of attestation affect the outcome of an audit, as does careful attention to the details. One hospital being audited had accidently transposed a single number. This simple mistake meant many hours of extra effort to find the error and then straighten it out with the independent auditing agency.

What follows are the components currently included in an audit request to eligible hospitals from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS):

Part I – General Information:

As proof of use of a Certified Electronic Health Record Technology system, provide a copy of your licensing agreement with the vendor or invoice. Please ensure that the licensing agreement or invoices identify the vendor, product name and product version number of the Certified Electronic Health Record Technology system utilized during your attestation period. If the version number is not present on the invoice/contract, please supply a letter from your vendor attesting to the version number used during your attestation period.

Provide documentation to support the method (Observation Services or All ED Visits) chosen to report Emergency Department (ED) admissions designating how patients admitted to the ED where included in the denominator of certain meaningful use core and menu measures (i.e. an explanation of how the ED admissions were calculated and a summary of ED admissions).

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