Whether you like them or not, medical chart audits are a necessary evil. However, they don’t actually have to be “evil” either, if you can learn to see them as a helpful tool. Your medical charts are an important part of proper ENT account management and, in the bigger picture, they are essential for proper otolaryngology billing and coding. Second only to an annual fee schedule review and other offside CPA audits, a medical chart audit can help you to identify problems or inconsistencies that could otherwise be overlooked. The truth of it is that medical chart audits can be beneficial to you, your practice and your patients.
Preparing in Advance for an Audit
The best way to prepare for an audit is to be proactive in the way that you run your medical practice or clinic. You need to be on top of account management and your staff needs to be proficient in otolaryngology billing and coding. Taking a proactive approach can help you to be prepared for an audit even when it comes as a complete surprise. Knowing that you will be ready when that day comes can give you a confidence and a peace of mind like nothing else. Some of these preparations may seem small and insignificant, but in the grand scheme of things, they really add up.
- Perform Regular Reviews – Check your practice’s data on a regular basis, reviewing internal records for any patterns that may signal billing issues. Consider outsourcing a billing system analyst or bring in a healthcare consultant to perform these reviews for you, as well as other reviews like an annual fee schedule review, on a set schedule to stay on top of things.
- Update Staff Training – Even if you have a team of totally knowledgeable, experienced and amazingly trained staff members, everybody can use a refresher from time to time. Requiring your team members to update their training on a regular basis will keep them up to date on the latest technology, software and requirements for ENT account management.
- Do In-House Audits – Consider hiring a team of professionals to come in and conduct offside CPA audits to make sure that everything is running smoothly. Companies like MD Pro Solutions, which specializes in ENT practices and clinics, can help you stay on track, spot small problems before they get blown out of proportion, and ensure that everything is being done properly and according to legal requirements.
- Establish Policies – Your office needs to have and provide to staff a set of standard policies and procedures for otolaryngology billing and coding. This goes for all areas of ENT account management, including medical charts, billing, coding and collections. Make sure that all staff are aware of these policies and procedures, and that the information provided is clear.
What to Do When an Audit is Coming
When your practice or clinic is going to be audited, either by an internal, professionally hired, or external government source, it is important to prepare as much as you can ahead of time. The first thing you need to do is to contact your medical records manager, whether that is an in-house position or an outsourced duty, and let them know that an audit is going to be conducted. Your office manager can help you to pull any required information, so you can provide it to the auditor, as well as assist you with any HIPAA issues that might come up during the audit.
You should also do all that you can to make sure that your office looks as professional as it possibly can. Get rid of any personal photos, jokes posted on the bulletin board, magazines, and other items in the office or even in the break room. Check to be sure that all of your staff licenses and certifications are up to date. Make sure that the auditor has room to work and conduct interviews with your staff members. If you have the space, try to provide an area that is separate from the rest of the office to help them complete their work without a lot of interruption.
Contact MD Pro Solutions for Help With Audits
If you are contemplating doing an in-house audit or would like to hire a professional to help with offside CPA audits or an annual fee schedule review for your otolaryngology billing and coding, look no further than MD Pro Solutions. Our team can help you with all areas of review and auditing for ENT account management. Give us a call at 508-946-1665 to learn more about our services for ENT practices and clinics, or to schedule a FREE consultation.