Revenue Cycle

Audit update: What's coming down the audit pipeline for 2016

HIM Briefings, May 1, 2016

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Over the past couple months, HIMB has had audits on the brain. We covered the progress of the 2-midnight audits and walked you through the pass-fail meaningful use audits in detail. Now it's time to get a bird's-eye view of the 2016 audit landscape to ensure you're prepared for whatever comes your way this year.

Recovery Auditors

With 2-midnight rule audits shifting to the BFCC-QIOs, Crump predicts the Recovery Auditors will likely spend 2016 focusing on diagnosis-related group (DRG) audits and medical necessity reviews. These audits will likely focus on reviewing medical necessity for procedures, tests, and treatments in relation to what the Payment Integrity Manual states should be captured in the health information. Records that do not capture information related to local and national coverage determinations will likely be the low-hanging fruit if the Recovery Auditors are approved to focus on these reviews, says Dawn Crump, MA, SSBB, CHC, vice president of audit management solutions for CIOX Health in Alpharetta, Georgia.

To prepare for the Recovery Auditors, HIM professionals should focus on analyzing the risk at their facility. In addition, they should ensure there is a continuous feedback loop not only within the department but outside of it as well. Coding, compliance, and medical staff should be in the loop too, Crump says. Solid communication and education can go a long way in ensuring everyone is well prepared for an audit.

Establishing good quality checks, especially with EMRs, can also help a hospital bolster its audit preparation. HIM should be involved in checking that the information in the record tells the patient's complete story, Crump says.

"Records are evolving and EMRs are evolving, so I think status quo needs to be checked on a regular basis," she says.

For example, EMRs don't always capture all of the needed information. As local and national coverage determinations change for high-risk procedures and admissions, HIM and coding should be involved in the process of ensuring the EMR captures the latest changes and meets the new requirements; this way, the hospital will be ready to present information in the event of an audit, Crump says.

This is an excerpt from a member only article. To read the article in its entirety, please login or subscribe to HIM Briefings.

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