Electronic Health Records: First Year of CMS's Incentive Programs Shows Opportunities to Improve Processes to Verify Providers Met Requirements

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A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the four states GAO reviewed are implementing processes to verify whether providers met the Medicare and Medicaid EHR programs’ requirements and, therefore, qualified to receive incentive payments in the first year of the EHR programs. To receive such payments, providers must meet both (1) eligibility requirements that specify the types of providers eligible to participate in the programs and (2) reporting requirements that specify the information ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. April 30, 2012.

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Description

A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the four states GAO reviewed are implementing processes to verify whether providers met the Medicare and Medicaid EHR programs’ requirements and, therefore, qualified to receive incentive payments in the first year of the EHR programs. To receive such payments, providers must meet both (1) eligibility requirements that specify the types of providers eligible to participate in the programs and (2) reporting requirements that specify the information providers must report to CMS or the states, including measures that demonstrate meaningful use of an EHR system and measures of clinical quality. For the Medicare EHR program, CMS has implemented prepayment processes to verify whether providers have met all of the eligibility requirements and one of the reporting requirements. Beginning in 2012, the agency also has plans to implement a risk-based audit strategy to verify on a postpayment basis that a sample of providers met the remaining reporting requirements. For the Medicaid EHR Program, the four states GAO reviewed have implemented primarily prepayment processes to verify whether providers met all eligibility requirements. To verify the reporting requirement, all four states implemented prepayment processes, postpayment processes, or both. CMS officials stated that the agency intends to evaluate how effectively its Medicare EHR program audit strategy reduces the risk of improper EHR incentive payments, though the agency has not yet established corresponding timelines for doing this work. Such an evaluation could help CMS determine whether it should revise its verification processes by, for example, implementing additional prepayment processes, which GAO has shown may reduce the risk of improper payments. In addition, CMS has opportunities to improve the efficiency of verification processes by, for example, collecting certain data on states’ behalf."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • April 30, 2012

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Electronic Health Records: First Year of CMS's Incentive Programs Shows Opportunities to Improve Processes to Verify Providers Met Requirements, report, April 30, 2012; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc297516/: accessed October 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.