Revenue Cycle

Admit it: Admission orders important in era of audits

Recovery Auditor Report, March 4, 2010

Admission orders are an important area of focus for auditors charged with the responsibility for recouping improper Medicare payments. Billing for an inpatient admission is dependent on the physician’s order. For this reason, auditors will keep a keen eye on placement orders, according to Deborah K. Hale, CCS, president and CEO of Administrative Consultant Service, LLC.
Verifying that a valid physician’s “admit” order is documented, dated and timed is an essential step in the audit process. Simply documenting the intent in the progress notes is unacceptable; a physician is required to document intent within the initial order for services, Hale says, noting that since admission orders were an issue in the RAC demonstration project, and will likely continue in the permanent RAC.
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