Revenue Cycle

QIO short-stay audits tracking back further than expected

HIM Briefings, March 1, 2016

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When the Quality Improvement Organizations (QIO) took over the role of education and enforcement for the 2-midnight rule on October 1, 2015, many anticipated that their reviews would only look at records from that date forward. But in an unpleasant turn of events, some hospitals have reported QIO record requests zeroing in on cases as far back as May 2015, says Ronald Hirsch, MD, FACP, CHCQM, vice president of the Regulations and Education Group for AccretivePAS in Chicago.

"It caught everybody off guard. No one expected them to audit any earlier than October 1," he says. "But audits are starting hot and heavy, and it's important for organizations to understand that it's permitted and that the QIOs can request charts going back six months."

According to a fact sheet, CMS is specifically using "Beneficiary and Family Centered Care (BFCC) QIOs, rather than MACs or Recovery Auditors, to conduct the initial medical reviews of providers who submit claims for short-stay inpatient admissions on October 1, 2015. Beginning in 2016, BFCC-QIOs will begin reviewing inpatient cases under the revised Two Midnight Rule being announced today." (For more information, visit www.cms.gov/Newsroom/MediaReleaseDatabase/Fact-sheets/2015-Fact-sheets-items/2015-10-30-4.html.)

Another surprise? BFCC-QIOs are requesting charts for inpatient-only surgeries, something they weren't supposed to do, says Hirsch.

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