Follow these simple rules

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A. This month, we will focus on several issues that will help you as a supplier in the future, and in the present, to avoid costly mistakes. Recently, I conducted a self-audit based on the extrapolation method for a supplier and continuously thought of this article and issues that would help you as a supplier. 

Here are a couple simple rules for you to remember: No opaque medium, like liquid paper, should be used on CMNs, DIFs or any other important documents. Also, remember that any change you make on a document (even if it is before the document is sent out to a physician) should always be initialed and dated by you, the supplier. If you receive a CMN back and the handwriting is in different penmanship or appears to be different from the physician's signature and the party who completed it is not identified, you should question that as well. Also, remember to do further research if the physician's signature and date do not appear to be completed by the same person or if they are completed in different ink colors. 

Once you complete a self-audit, regardless of the type, you should make all efforts to reduce any potential errors. If you wrote or changed something on a CMN and you did not initial and date it, go back to the physician and find out if he or she kept a copy of the original document you sent to prove that the document was not altered after the physician signed it. 

There are so many issues that you need to address and this article just scratches the surface. Consult a healthcare lawyer or a healthcare expert and fight for your rights and reimbursement.

Tom Walters is the president of Total Office Management in Columbia, S.C. Tom can be reached at 803-920-0606 or