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The idea of being audited by a Recovery Audit Contractor (RAC) in relation to meaningful use of an electronic health record system (EHR) can be very intimidating to chiropractors. But there’s a lot you can do before an audit is presented to make sure your documentation is precise and, well, meaningful.
Much of your preparation will rely of the efficiency of the EHR you have in your office. Combined, your EHR and practice management system can go long way toward defending your healthcare decisions and providing the data needed to prove meaningful use … That is, if your system is streamlined and customized the reflect the exact care you provide your patients.
Below you’ll find some welldocumented tips and tricks that, if done well in advance of an impending audit, can protect you and your chiropractic practice:
– Always make sure that both you and your staff members enter accurate numbers into your EHR system, and remember that dated screen shots serve as good sources for proper documentation.
– Be sure to save either paper or electronic copies of reports that you use to attest if your particular system changes numerator and denominator values after the reporting period.
– Turn on all features that track functionality issues for the entire reporting period. This includes drug interaction checks and clinical decision support.
– Remember that your security risk analysis must be specific to your EHR and your practice, and it is required every year. (The above information was adapted from information found on the American Academy of Family Physicians website.) Another word of wisdom when it comes to preparing in advance for potential RAC audits:
Avoid using too many templatebased components without customizing these components with specific care notes. Auditors seem to pay particular attention to template based systems that produce automatic patient notes which seemingly have nothing to do with the patient’s situation at hand.
As we already stated, your annual security risk analysis must be specific to both your system and your practice. In this day and age of continuous data breaches, it’s essential that you take the steps needed to secure your patient’s private data. Of course, this demand goes above and beyond just the possibility of an audit – HIPAA requires high levels of security that can withstand potential hackers as well.