A new report, the second in so many months, released recently by the Office of the Inspector General for the Health and Human Services Department has warned about flaws in the oversight of the federal incentives initiative, a program they label “ambitious,” that, as you all know, aims to convert patient records from paper to electronic.
Aware that this report is acknowledging issues relating to the widespread adoption of EHRs across the board, by hospitals and healthcare agencies, we wanted to address some of the main concerns this highly publicized examination has with electronic medical records in regards to our own system here at Valant.
Here goes! The New York Times recently highlighted the limited guidance the government has given when it comes to detecting fraud. Of particular concern is the widely used copy-and-paste function, also known as cloning, available in many of the larger EMR systems. This is a serious issue and one that needs to be discussed… While the Valant system does grant you the opportunity to use the information in your past note to contribute your current one, by virtue of the copy and paste device that comes to your software via whichever hardware/operating system you are using, we stress to our users: don’t do it just because you can.
Here at Valant we have a particularly impressive patient portal that gathers the subjective information initially produced by your patients for you, and processes it into an easy, check box narrative engine that can be edited by you, reducing the risk for cloning. But again, it’s up to you, the medical decision making doctor, to edit.
The next serious issue of concern is that of overbilling and auto-coding, an issue we have delved into here in the recent past. For those of you familiar with our portal and our Mobile Notes tool, you will know that while it is easy to over-document (which let’s face it, is never a problem,) we simply don’t allow auto-coding. Therefore, you will have a hard time overbilling if you are coding appropriately, according to your documentation, and not automatically.
Please know that we understand that you did not choose to work in healthcare so you could work as an administrator. We know how tightly regulated this industry is! Our job here at Valant is to simply make your job easier; we provide you with the tools you need (and, yes, the tools the government says you need) that will allow you to provide the best care to your patients possible.
AUTHORS: LOUISA FARRAR, KATE BROD AND CHARLES CASAZZA