Medicare backdating documentation
Past notes were being electronically copied and pasted into current records.Old services rendered were being documented over and over again, with additions to reflect any new services.Such documentation may also show physicians performing services they only performed once in the past, leading to over reimbursement.Documentation should be recorded for each specific encounter, Trites says. That’s because providers are paid for the work they perform in each encounter, and that includes part of the documentation, she says.1990) held that: “Illinois courts have, in the past, permitted the “relation back” theory of contract effectiveness: that is, contractual terms may be effective for a period before the contract is executed, so long as such coverage is clear from the face of the contract: In the law of contracts, it is elementary that ordinarily a contract speaks from the day of its date, regardless of when it was executed and delivered.It is of common occurrence in connection with deeds, leases and other contracts that, while they are not in effect at all and have no legal existence until delivered, yet, in respect to the date of delivery, they, in point of commencement, relate back or commence in the future.It would not be uncommon for there to be a lapse of days or even weeks between the time commercial terms are agreed and the date of final contract execution.
But the practice can lead to serious consequences for both patient care and reimbursement, some auditors say. A lot more than you would expect,” says Patricia Trites, MPA, CPC, CHP, HCC, CHCO, cofounder of the Advocates for Documentation Integrity and Compliance and CEO of Healthcare Compliance Resources, based in Augusta, MI.
Copying information can go farther, as noted in a paper in the April 2008 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Authors Pamela Hartzband, MD, and Jerome Groopman, MD, who practice at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and teach at Harvard Medical School, write, “Many times, physicians have clearly cut and pasted large blocks of text, or even complete notes, from other physicians; we have seen portions of our own notes inserted verbatim into another doctor’s note.
In the US, however, there seems to be have been much more consideration of the issue (at least according to my Google search results).
Despite recent controversies surrounding the backdating of executive stock options, the general attitude in the US is that backdating is not wrong (or right), per se.