If your facility is selected to go through a Meaningful Use audit, you’ll only have four weeks or fewer to prepare. In order to reduce stress on your organization and maximize your chances of success, you should continually keep your Meaningful Use supporting documentation complete, well-organized and easily accessible.
Our in-house Meaningful Use expert, Mark Sandvick, has put together three ways to help your facility stay prepared in case of an audit:
#1 – Prepare Your Documentation—Before You Get Audited
An audit can create a significant amount of stress at your facility, especially given the short amount of time you have to respond. Start by making sure you review the CMS Supporting Documentation for Audits Fact Sheet, which summarizes the information that CMS recommends you retain in the event of an audit.
The next best way to reduce that stress is to ensure that you keep your supporting documentation up to date. Choose a consistent time frame—every two weeks, every month—and set up a schedule to update your documentation. You’ll also want to make sure all of the documentation you gather is well organized so you can find the necessary information to respond to the questions that are posed by the auditors.
#2 – Know Who Owns Meaningful Use at Your Facility—and Where the Documentation Is Stored
Typically, one or two individuals own Meaningful Use at any given facility. Those employees may be responsible for monitoring the ongoing progress for the facility, for attesting to Meaningful Use on behalf of the facility and for gathering, retaining and organizing the documentation. Often times, these documents may be kept in a personal file folder, either electronically, on paper or both.
Especially if only one person owns Meaningful Use at your facility, it’s important that multiple individuals 1) understand where that documentation resides and 2) have access to those files, especially if they’re password protected. That way, if your in-house Meaningful Use person is unavailable—either because of leaving the facility or taking time off—you’ll still have access to that information. If an audit crops up, you won’t be scrambling to assemble vital information.
#3 – Ensure Your Documentation Is Secure
Lastly, you’ll want to ensure that, wherever your documentation is stored, it’s well-secured since it quite likely could contain protected health information, as defined under HIPAA. You’ll also want to make sure that these files are backed up, especially if they are only kept electronically. Talk with your IT department to ensure that these files can be recovered in case of a catastrophe.
Receiving use of a Meaningful Use audit can put stress on your organization. However, by following these steps, you’ll put your organization in a solid position to collect all the necessary documentation and complete your audit successfully—and painlessly.
If you’d like to discuss how we can help your organization with its Meaningful Use attestation, get in touch with us. We’ll help you evaluate your needs and your risk factors to make the right decision for your organization. For an initial consultation, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 218.529.7951.