Meaningful use audits 'inevitable'

Presenter Joanne La Grange, director of the MU program at Scripps Health in San Diego, said her organization has been audited six times
By Frank Irving
09:54 AM
Man looking at document with magnifying glass

One in 20 meaningful use (MU) attesters will face an audit, and half of those will undergo a pre-payment audit. During educational session 129, "Thriving on the Meaningful Use Audit — Prepared Not Scared" attendees will learn how to face up to those odds.

Presenter Joanne La Grange, director of the MU program at Scripps Health in San Diego, said her organization has been audited six times: "We've had pre-payment audits, post-payment audits and even CMS limited audits where they sent an email requesting proof of access to a certified EHR. With four hospitals on five campuses and 25 outpatient clinics, we knew audits were inevitable."

La Grange explained that Scripps Health was well prepared for governmental scrutiny. "We have a proven replicable, systematic approach to MU audits," she noted. "Prior to attestation, we created a comprehensive 'Book of Evidence' to support audit requests."

Attendees will learn the types of documentation that should be incorporated in such a Book of Evidence to support attestation and measurement requirements for use of certified EHR technology.

Co-presenter Anantachai (Tony) Panjamapiron, PhD, a consultant with The Advisory Board Company, has provided policy analysis, strategic and operational guidance, and best practices for more than 30 health systems across the United States. He worked with Scripps Health in recommending the documents to be included in the Book of Evidence.

He cautioned that, in terms of preparation for the audit process, "smaller organizations tend to go with the flow and be reactive to the audit request. They often do not have a predetermined or written policy in place detailing the actions they will take if an audit letter comes."

Nonetheless, organizations of all sizes should treat MU audits "as a matter of when, not if," added Panjamapiron. "Preparation is the key. We hope the information that we'll share in our presentation will be beneficial in helping providers to put together their documentation and response processes."

The session will be held Feb. 26 from 8:30 - 9:30 a.m. in room 230D of the Orange County Convention Center.