The HHS Office of Inspector General has stated the OIGs intent to review electronic health records meaningful use incentive payments and the security of electronic health records under the program in 2015. With the recent ask of a $100 million increase in budget and the addition of 284 full-time employees, this should come as a big red warning flag to those providers who either intentionally or unknowing provided inaccurate attestation information in previous years. Although the reviews have not been coined under the term “audit”, the OIG did state that, “We will review Medicare incentive payment data from 2011 to identify payments to providers that should not have received incentive payments (e.g., those not meeting selected meaningful use criteria),” according to HHS OIG’s work plan for 2015. “We will also assess CMS’s plans to oversee incentive payments for the duration of the program and corrective actions taken regarding erroneous incentive payments.” Medicaid incentive payments also will be reviewed.
The scope of the OIG reviews is not clear. A spokesperson says OIG auditors will conduct the reviews and share findings with CMS.
Although the “scope” may not be clear, what is clear is that those providers who reported erroneous data or are not prepared to provide actual data to support their meaningful use attestation and received incentive payments, will be expected to return and the incentive payments and could also be fined.
It is important to hire an expert in Meaningful Use Audits to Conduct a Mock Audit to ensure your information is accurate, it may not be too late to resolve what could potentially be an issue, however once the audited or the appeals process it may take up a great deal of time. If you would like to conduct a Mock Audit or facing a Meaningful Use Audit or Appeal Be contact EHR & Practice Management Consultants, Inc. at 1-800-376-0212 or firstname.lastname@example.org.