CMS Audits Meaningful Use

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is auditing physicians and other health care professionals who receive meaningful use incentive payments. CMS is required to audit those attesting to meaningful use, but until this point, the agency has only posted general information about the audits.

CMS says anyone who receives the incentives could be audited and that recipients should retain all supporting documentation, whether it is paper or electronic, for six years.

The Garden City, N.Y., accounting firm Figliozzi & Co. is conducting the audits for CMS. The firm is sending letters asking for documentation supporting the meaningful use attestation.

Figiliozzi seeks four types of data:

  • Documentation from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT showing use of a certified electronic health record (EHR) system for meaningful use attestation;
  • Information about the method used to report emergency department admissions (for hospitals);
  • Documentation that the attestation for the core set of meaningful use criteria was completed; and
  • Documentation that the required number of menu set meaningful use objectives was completed.

Physicians and others selected for the audits have two weeks to submit their documentation. The audits are not expected to involve site visits, CMS says.

The Texas regional extension centers (RECs) were established with federal grants to help physicians with EHR adoption and the meaningful use incentive program. The grants provide subsidies to primary care physicians. Specialists are also eligible for REC services, but the services are not subsidized.

For questions about the incentive program and other health information technology needs, contact TMA's Department of Health Information Technology at (800) 880-5720 or by email.

Action, Aug. 15, 2012

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