Latest Wave of MU Audits Delivers a Fresh Scare

Scott Mace, October 29, 2013

A slew of Meaningful Use audit notices have suddenly materialized, aimed not only at Medicare, but at Medicaid recipients as well. The deadlines are tight and the documentation requirements exacting, making a most unwelcome October surprise for healthcare CIOs.

As the CHIME conference wound down on the evening of October 10, CIOs were abuzz: A new wave of Meaningful Use audit notices was making its way into their email boxes with November 7 due dates for responses.

The government might have been shut down, but the federal contractor conducting the audits, Figliozzi & Company, was still on the job. The new fiscal year was unfolding before CIOs with a fright worthy of Halloween.

In response, CHIME leadership sent out an urgent survey to its members. The results were sobering. The rolling, random audits were indeed going out in force, and they weren't just aimed at Medicare, but at Medicaid recipients as well. The survey found that out of 1,400 member organizations, close to 100 received audit notices this month.

I had led myself to believe that the Meaningful Use audit process was more cut-and-dried than it is. In fact, that may be more true for small practices, where the provider's own bureaucracy is at a minimum. When audit notices go to the largest organizations, however, they can really test the governance mechanisms and responsiveness of providers.

For one thing, there appears to be great variability in who receives the audit notice emails at the larger organizations. Some emails are going to general inboxes. So the first challenge is to filter and find the audit-notice emails, wherever they're landing.

Scott Mace

Scott Mace is the former senior technology editor for HealthLeaders Media. He is now the senior editor, custom content at H3.Group.


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