Have you performed a COVID data audit before? We ask because now may be the time to do so. While the requirements for one may vary based on your agency’s specific role in health care, it’s important to note that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is preparing a nationwide audit of its own. It’s intended for healthcare organizations that accepted relief funding during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read on to learn more about it, whether it applies to your organization, as well as audit recommendations beyond the scope of the HHS.
HHS Nationwide Audit
COVID-19 relief funding for health systems and providers came with an important requirement. As the American Bar Association summarizes, recipients were “to attest that, for all care of presumptive or actual COVID-19 patients, [they] would not seek out-of-pocket payments in excess of what patients would otherwise have had to pay if in-network providers had furnished the care.” HHS will now verify whether those organizations that accepted these funds also met compliance.
Why This Is Important
Generally speaking, it’s incumbent upon all healthcare organizations to verify the accuracy of their data. While this avoids the potential for misallocating or abusing these types of funds, it’s also about properly guiding public health policy. (For example, see our post on death certificate inaccuracies.)
A COVID data audit is particularly important because so much of the information recorded during the pandemic was susceptible to weekly updates to policy, reporting, and insurance. This came amid lockdowns, the rise of telehealth and remote patient monitoring, vaccine rollouts, and all of the associated changes to CPT codes — to name a few. That’s why it wouldn’t be surprising to find data inaccuracies, and why now is the best time to rectify them.
Benefits for Health Care
Depending on your role in health care, data management may be keeping you from your other priorities. Physicians, for instance, spend roughly 4.5 hours a day on electronic health records, notes Medical Economics. Juggling patient care and coding can lead to errors in both, as well as burnout.
Instead, providers can outsource this work to a data management organization that can oversee medical coding, core measures abstraction, and auditing on their behalf. That’s where HCRS can help.
We have a long history of healthcare partnerships with state and federal agencies, as well as the armed forces. Auditing has been one of our primary services during these contracts, and for good reason: on average, ours identify eight dollars in incorrect payments for every one dollar invested in our team. But beyond auditing, we’ve also assisted healthcare organizations when it comes to the following:
- Medical Coding
- Core Measures Abstraction
- Quality Management
- CMMC Preparation
- Cybersecurity Advice
- Research Support
Whether you’re ready for your own COVID data audit, or you’re curious about the other services mentioned above, we want to hear from you! We’ll discuss the timeframes required for implementing each of them, as well as any questions you may have. Contact us today to learn more.