CMS Meaningful Use Audits Begin; Stage 2 Rule Sent to OMB for Review
HITECH Answers reports that CMS has begun audits of providers participating in the Medicare EHR Incentive Program. With little fanfare and no official introduction of CMS' chosen auditor, health care providers have already received letters from Figliozzi and Company seeking documentation on their Stage 1 meaningful use attestation.
A two-week timeframe to respond was provided to all letter recipients. Although identifiable or detailed patient records are not being requested at this time, information requested by the audit letters includes;
- A copy of their certification for the certified EHR technology used to meet Meaningful Use requirements;
- Documentation showing method used to account for ED admissions; and
- Documentation supporting attestation for core and menu measures and objectives.
Several states have already begun audits under the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program, which are separate from those being conducted by CMS. New Jersey, for example, has already begun audits for Adoption/Implementation/Upgrade payments.
CMS confirmed last week to BNA that it had indeed begun Meaningful Use audits, as well as posted a FAQ to this effect (#7361). An insurance specialist at CMS's Office of eHealth Standards & Service has stated CMS will not issue guidance on what providers should expect from the audits as it would defeat the overall purpose of conducting them.
The final regulations for Meaningful Use Stage 2 were sent July 16 to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review. Although this would mean publication is expected in mid-October, as we know from the painstaking delay of the HITECH Omnibus Rule (sent for review in March, but with an extension announced by the OMB on June 22), HHS or the OMB can request extension of the 90-day timeframe for review. The official kickoff for Stage 2 remains 2014, a one-year delay from the original start-date of 2013.