Getting around a Meaningful Use audit in its fourth year
Under the Meaningful Use program, CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services), an agency within the Unites States Federal Government, provides financial incentives to eligible professionals and hospitals for adopting certified electronic health record (EHR) system and demonstrating EHR usage in accordance to the standards specified by the government.
After having successfully demonstrated Meaningful Use (MU) compliance for three years, two physicians of an east-coast based ambulatory surgery center were selected at random by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid for compliance for the fourth year. The group was at the risk of losing financial incentives and facing up to 4% of reimbursement cuts across all Medicare payments.
Based on requirements specified in the auditor’s letter, we helped the surgery center gather documents to build the case for compliance. These involved the group’s CEHRT license and vendor agreements to prove the use of a certified EHR, required for attestation. We extracted security and risk assessment reports, an integral part of the program, to further demonstrate compliance.
The EHR program used by the group had a software update during the reporting period, which led to a mismatch between the version numbers used for certification and after the update. We worked with the vendor to work around this problem through version reports. We provided user logs and system screenshots to supplement proof of compliance. Additionally, we worked with the State and specialized case registries to gather supporting information for individual measures and double-checked compliance data.
In the end, the auditing agency passed all measures and the physicians were considered for complete financial incentives.