OIG Issues Hospital EHR Fraud Survey

The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General (OIG) has issued a new fraud survey for hospitals that have received incentive funding under the ARRA-HITECH meaningful use EHR Incentive Program.

The survey, due on Friday, October 26, consists of 19 pages and 54 questions covering a wide range of topics—from EHR use habits, to security protocol, to meaningful use attestation methods. Media reports indicate that hospitals began receiving the OIG survey the week of Oct. 15.

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Panel: Malware Infecting Health IT Systems

Hospital computer systems and equipment are becoming infected with malware that slow down operating software and present the risk of rendering systems temporarily inoperable, according to a panel of health IT experts cited in an MIT Technology Review article.

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Electronic Checklists Improve Medication Accuracy

The use of electronic health records (EHRs) that include decision-support tools such as electronic medication checklists, in place of paper-based systems, significantly reduces instances of hospital medication errors, according to a recent study.

“Enhance the Accuracy of Medication Histories for the Elderly by Using an Electronic Medication Checklist,” published in the fall issue of Perspectives in Health Information Management, found that using electronic medication checklists at the time of admission improved accuracy in the attainment of patients’ medication histories.

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OIG: Medicare exposed to financial losses from ID theft

Even the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) are prone to security breaches and regulatory non-compliance, according to a recent report.

The report “CMS Response to Breaches and Medical Identity Theft,” issued by the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) on October 10, investigated CMS’ response to 14 security breaches occurring between September 23, 2009 and December 31, 2011.

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HHS Warns Hospital Groups on EHR Fraudulent Billing

Federal officials have sent a letter to several healthcare associations warning their members that the use of electronic health record (HER) systems to “upcode” and inflate medical bills will result in prosecution.

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