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The Time Is Right for Doctors to 'Go Digital'
Date:3/3/2010

incentives program temporarily relaxed certain regulations that can make it much harder for hospitals to collaborate with local physicians on EMR. Those more stringent regulations will kick in again after a phase-out period, so it only makes sense to act now."

The beginning of the year, meanwhile, saw the inauguration of an aggressive new auditing program created by Congress to ferret out improper Medicaid payments. The auditors, who are paid a bonus based on the amount of money they recoup, have earned a reputation for demanding clear documentation of medical necessity. "If they are unable to read a document because of illegible handwriting, or if the physician's signature is missing on an order, they will likely determine that the procedure in question 'never happened,'" Hurd advised. "This will likely result in the government payment for that procedure being labeled an 'overpayment' and either disgorged by the practice or subtracted from its next reimbursement check."

By contrast, EMR systems, so long as they are properly implemented and effectively used, generate thorough and legible records that are ideal to support reimbursement claims. "EMR also means that, when you are audited and the auditors ask for 20 records, you are not forced to go through boxes of files and take up staff time making photocopies," Hurd continued. "You have an electronic record that can easily be printed, converted to a PDF file and easily submitted for review."


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SOURCE LeClairRyan
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