Considering the circumstances...

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09/30/2011

Next week, we'll be hosting a webcast on audits. Webcasts about audits seem to be a dime a dozen these days, and it's no wonder with all the activity in this area, but this webcast is different. This webcast, presented by Stephanie Morgan Greene and Lisa Bargmann of The Audit Team/Harrington Management, is more about your operational strategy toward audits.

When it comes to audits, many providers are focusing on how to avoid them. That's important, don't get me wrong, but it's probably wishful thinking, at least for the time being. With so many auditors out there—CERT audits for compliance with Medicare coverage, coding and billing regulations; RAC audits for recovery of overpayments; ZPIC audits for identifying fraud—there's really no place to hide.

So like with everything else you have to deal with on a routine basis in your businesses, with audits, you need a plan. You need a systematic plan.

These are some questions that Stephanie and Lisa will be asking you in this webcast: Who receives the audit? Who pulls the file? Who prepares the response? Who sends the response? And this to me is the most important: Who tracks the findings?

Do you have an employee at your company or a group of employees at your company that fulfills all of these roles?

But this webcast is about more than just Stephanie and Lisa talking about what kind of plan you should have in place. They're also going to give you some tools to get you started, like a sample tracking spreadsheet that providers can use to keep track of what audits have been received, the timeframe for responding to the audits, when responses to the audits were sent, the results of the audit and the status of the appeals.

I'd think that these two strategies combined—a plan for avoiding audits, and a plan for dealing with them when they occur—would put most providers in pretty good shape, considering the circumstances.

Liz Beaulieu