Health Information Management

Will EHR study reduce government concerns of overdocumentation?

APCs Insider, July 18, 2014

Want to receive articles like this one in your inbox? Subscribe to APCs Insider!

The ease of copy-and-paste and lack of guidance from CMS regarding electronic health records (EHRs) are some of the major compliance risks facing providers, according to the Office of Inspector General (OIG) in its latest semiannual report.

Despite these potential problems, a new study found no evidence hospitals are systematically using EHRs to increase Medicare reimbursements. While hospitals that adopted EHRs increased billing to Medicare, it was at a comparable rate to hospitals using paper records, according to the study in Health Affairs. The study compared records from 393 hospitals using EHR with 782 hospitals using paper records.

"Our findings should reduce concerns that EHR adoption by itself will increase the costs of hospital care," the authors, Julia Adler-Milstein and Ashish K. Jha, concluded.

“This study is welcome news for the nation’s hospitals and policymakers, allowing them to shift focus to optimizing use of EHRs to improve patient care,” said Chantal Worzala, AHA director of IT policy.

Regardless of the study's results, OIG's advice is probably beneficial to CMS and providers. The OIG report found that only about 25% of hospitals have official policy regarding copying-and-pasting in EHRs.

Having clear guidance on copy-and-paste from CMS, for both providers and EHR contractors, will make it easier for hospitals to educate staff on proper use and likely reduce the opportunities for accidental overdocumenting.



Want to receive articles like this one in your inbox? Subscribe to APCs Insider!

    Briefings on APCs
  • Briefings on APCs

    Worried about the complexities of the new rules under OPPS and APCs? Briefings on APCs helps you understand the new rules...

  • HIM Briefings

    Guiding Health Information Management professionals through the continuously changing field of medical records and toward a...

  • Briefings on Coding Compliance Strategies

    Submitting improper Medicare documentation can lead to denial of fees, payback, fines, and increased diligence from payers...

  • Briefings on HIPAA

    How can you minimize the impact of HIPAA? Subscribe to Briefings on HIPAA, your health information management resource for...

  • APCs Insider

    This HTML-based e-mail newsletter provides weekly tips and advice on the new ambulatory payment classifications regulations...

Most Popular