CHIME has issued a statement in response to a recent report from the HHS Office of the Inspector General (OIG) asserting that the EHR Incentive Payments program is vulnerable to fraud and abuse. In its assessment, OIG investigators expressed concern that CMS and ONC are not taking the proper measures to verify prior to payment that hospitals and physicians are meeting the requirements of Meaningful Use.
“We strongly support the OIG recommendation that CMS develop and disseminate guidance detailing the types of documentation that Eligible Hospitals and Eligible Professionals need on hand to comply with audits,” said Sharon Canner, senior director of advocacy for CHIME. “However, we do not believe it necessary that CMS collect documentation beyond attestation from hospitals and eligible professionals prior to sending payments.”
CMS also opposed the recommendation based on a concern that it will place undue burden on the professionals or hospitals and delay payments substantially.
In addition, OIG stated that CMS should issue agency-developed guidance for Eligible Professionals and Hospitals that explains the types of documentation CMS expects should be maintained to support (or verify) eligibility for the Meaningful Use program. To that end, it recommended that ONC require certified EHR technology to be capable of producing reports for the “Yes/No Attestation” measures “where possible,” and require certifying bodies to use standard test data to determine EHRs are meeting the certification criteria.