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Tips to ensure that payers' audits are fair and equitable

Payers may insist upon the right to audit providers' books and records in a number of contexts and for various reasons. Scrupulous providers should have no objection to this in principle. Payers should not be required merely to accept a provider's word that things are exactly as presented and pay the provider without any question. All too often, however, audits become an excuse to delay payments, render short payments, increase the costs and administrative burdens of contracts, and justify improper offsets or other payment recoupment long after the payer reimbursed the provider.