Shortly thereafter, Jeannie Atkinson joined the clinic as practice manager, which is how she came to be the lucky recipient of a CMS notice: the clinic had been selected for a pre-payment Meaningful Use audit.
"Lucky you," I congratulated Atkinson.
"I know," she replied with a laugh.
At least Atkinson was prepared. At a Medflow user group conference, she took a class on how to survive a Meaningful Use audit. "I was glad that I did, because it started me thinking about, okay, so what if I did get audited?" she said. "Would I be ready for it?"
Atkinson had another valuable resource to turn to: HITArkansas, the state's Regional Extension Center.
"They had created a binder for us, that walked us through the core measures we needed to attest to, what measurements we needed to meet, what documents we needed to keep, what security risks [existed], the way we documented.
Receiving the notice of audit triggered a brief feeling of panic, but then Atkinson called Valerie Moring, implementation specialist at HITArkansas.
"When Jeannie had originally called me, I sent an email out to all of the other specialists that we worked together with, to see if anyone else had received requests like this yet," Moring says.