The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) conducts audits to follow up on Meaningful Use (MU) incentive payments. These audits can intimidate providers, even ones that have meticulous reporting habits.
Soundview Medical Associates, a 22-physician, multi-specialty practice in Connecticut, faced two consecutive MU audits for 2011 and 2012. The responsibility for completing them fell to the organization’s only IT person and executive director, Eileen Smith.
Keep calm and respond to CMS
Upon receiving the first audit notice in the spring of 2013, Eileen reacted the way many providers might, “What did I do wrong?” The answer: probably nothing.
Some audits are targeted, but many are random. It’s an opportunity for the government to exercise due diligence over its investments in incentive programs (see a CMS fact sheet on audits for more information).
Auditors ask for a variety of reports, for example drug-to-drug allergy checks and reports for patients with certain conditions. They require dozens of documents within a 10-day time period.
Good reporting habits can ease audit stress
Eileen carefully followed instructions and gathered reports. An Allscripts Professional EHRTM client since 2009, she turned to Allscripts for help. We provided documentation, including verification that Soundview is using certified software.
As required, Eileen uploaded all of the materials onto a CMS auditor website. She estimates it took about 8 hours of her time to complete each audit. Because Soundview has solid reporting habits, it was not as difficult as Eileen first thought it would be.
The auditors had a few follow-up questions about each response. For example they asked about Soundview’s efforts to review security risks. Soundview submitted a gap analysis that Allscripts conducted in 2011 to comply.
The one thing that surprised Eileen
Because there is so much information, Eileen wondered if the government actually read all of the CMS reports she submitted through the attestation period and beyond. Throughout the audits, it became clear to Eileen that the CMS had carefully reviewed Soundview’s materials all along.
Soundview and Allscripts worked closely together and learned a lot through the process. We are thrilled to have the government’s validation that we are doing the right things for patients at Soundview.
To learn more about how Soundview Medical successfully completed two Meaningful Use audits, watch this video.
How are you preparing for potential audits? Leave your answer below.