New website puts face on audits

Friday, August 23, 2013

WATERLOO, Iowa – On the new web site, providers have a new platform to discuss audit issues. Lisa Ziehl’s take: Audits aren’t a bad thing—if they’re done the right way.

“There’s so much opportunity to do audits the right way, before the claim is paid,” said Ziehl, operations manager for Willmar, Minn.-based Rice Home Medical. “Right now they’re coming in four or five years after the fact, sometimes on the same claims that have already been audited. It becomes unrealistic and difficult to manage.”

Ziehl is taking her experience and her opinions to the web, joining nearly two dozen other providers that have agreed to share their stories on, which The VGM Group launched in July. VGM helps providers create and edit videos of providers talking about audits and their impact on patients. 

VGM President Ron Bendell says the site will help convince lawmakers that there needs to be more oversight of CMS’s independent audit contractors. 

“Congress is the only thing that can help with these audits, but lawmakers are being told by CMS that there are no problems, just successes,” he said. “We need to bring these stories to lawmakers, and show them the real people and emotions behind them.”

The site is similar to VGM’s, an orthotics and prosthetics-focused site launched in February. Bendell said the success of that site, combined with requests from lawmakers for personal stories from their constituents, inspired

Bendell’s goal for is 250 providers representing all 50 states sharing their stories.

Many providers have expressed support for the site, but are nervous about filming themselves—they shouldn’t be, Bendell said.

“Everyone looks good on camera when they’re being truthful about how important this issue is for their business and patients,” he said.