Providers: Fraud not the same thing as additional coding

From FierceHealthcare:

“We will continue to escalate our efforts to prevent fraud and pursue it aggressively when it has occurred,” HHS and the Attorney General said.

AHA responded, saying although the hospital trade group supports HHS’ hard-nose stance again EHR cloning and upcoding, “more documentation and coding does not necessarily equate with fraud,” according to a Tuesday statement.

With more than half (55 percent) of hospitals qualifying for incentive payments under Meaningful Use, according to HHS, EHRs could put hospitals and other providers in a sticky situation to more accurately code, yet may expose them to risk for increased coding and higher payments that could be interpreted as fraud.

“One of the biggest selling points of EHRs is that this wonderful new electronic tool automatically captures additional data providers may have missed when manually coding, enabling providers to bill more accurately for their services. It’s called ‘right coding,'” FierceEMR columnist Marla Durben Hirsch wrote.

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