Health Information Management

Q&A: Is CMS now accepting rubber stamp signatures?

APCs Insider, May 31, 2013

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Q: One of the physicians who practices here says that CMS is allowing rubber stamp signatures again and he wants us to lift our ban of stamps. Transmittal 327 and several of our FI/MAC’s articles specifically state that rubber stamp signatures are not acceptable for Medicare. Where could he have gotten this information?

A:  CMS published updated guidance May 17 that does allow a rubber stamp signature – but for a very specific reason/situation. Transmittal 465, CR 8219, adds a new exception to the rule:
EXCEPTION 4: CMS would permit use of a rubber stamp for signature in accordance with the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 in the case of an author with a physical disability that can provide proof to a CMS contractor of his/her inability to sign their signature due to their disability. By affixing the rubber stamp, the provider is certifying that they have reviewed the document.
The key is that the provider using the stamp must provide proof to the CMS contractor of a disability that necessitates the use of the rubber stamp. So certification of a disability is required.
 In addition, the use of the rubber stamp signifies that the document being “signed” has been reviewed. This will still be a target of the CMS review entities so the person using the stamp should be prepared to provide the proof when requested.
Editor’s note: Andrea Clark, RHIA, CCS, CPCH, chairman, CEO, and founder of Health Revenue Assurance Associates, Inc., in Plantation, FL, answered this question.

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