Meaningful Use Audits – What you should know

More and more practices are being investigated for meaningful use fraud. Just last week, a former CFO at a now closed Texas hospital has been sentenced to federal prison after admitting to meaningful use fraud. He will serve 23 months in prison.

I am not talking about making a “mistake”. I am taking about a conscience effort to commit fraud. What happened here, is they attested to meaningful use by stating they utilized an electronic medical record while still utilizing paper charts. When it came time to pay the money back, of course, they did not have it. This is a blatant attempt to defraud.

Some innocent meaningful use fraud could be simply attesting to a security assessment you did not perform. A few years ago, it could have been from a lack of understanding. Some practices actually thought they had performed a security assessment because they had a solid network in place. There was not a very good understanding on what exactly a security assessment was. Today, practices are working toward getting a professional security assessment completed, and getting all their policies and procedures in order.

The OIG has started investigating meaningful use payments. They have “red flags” they look for, like redundant information across providers.

Be very careful when attesting to meaningful use. Committing meaningful use fraud could put your practice at risk, and put you in some legal hot water.