Three Ways To Prepare For And Survive Meaningful Use Audit
Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) practices throughout the nation have questions about how to successfully qualify for government EHR incentive programs. Quality measures of ENT procedures continue to evolve and some practices complain about reaping the benefits of their efforts.
Any ENT provider participating in and receiving funds from a Medicare/Medicaid incentive program may be subject to an audit. Approximately one-third of Americans over the age of 65 have some form of hearing loss, which is typically the age of those who qualify to receive government insurance benefits. Here are three simple ways for an ENT practice to prepare for and pass a Meaningful Use audit:
Avoid future stress by creating processes and procedures that are part of the practice’s routine. The stakes are high. Failure to pass a Meaningful Use audit requires the practice to repay all received incentive benefits. Establishing a start-to-finish and clearly defined audit management process is key.
- Start by identifying the manager who will receive the audit notification.
- Make sure the designated individual understands the need to promptly recognize and respond to the audit notification. An audit may occur in as little as two weeks from the auditor’s request.
- Ensure that the responsible individual understands what evidentiary items and reports are needed in the event of a Meaningful Use audit. Make sure that they can produce or retrieve the required documents on demand.
It is important to note that the practice can be audited for up to six years after the attestation. Assemble information that is needed in a Meaningful Use audit.
- Perform a self-assessment to determine the practice’s readiness for an audit.
- Determine if the practice is keeping all source documents used in the attestation and decide how the evidence will be safely stored for at least six years.
- Assess whether the practice’s EHR system is accessible—could a new employee locate needed documents quickly during an audit?
Practitioners report that performing risk assessments is the most challenging part of preparing for a Meaningful Use audit. Being proactive about these assessments will prove to be helpful in the long term as failure to perform risk assessments increases the potential of audit failure.
- ENT practices must perform risk assessments under HIPAA’s Security Rule.
- Perform a risk assessment during the reporting period.
- Prepare and date the risk assessment report document.
Preparing for a Meaningful Use audit over a short time period is a stressful event for the ENT practice. Manage the probability of a Meaningful Use audit risk by preparing for it. Take the time to read and review the required reports. A checklist is available on the CMS site. Taking the above-mentioned steps makes for a stress-free Meaningful Use audit.