OIG’s Revamped Work Plan Sums Up 2015 Focus

Posted on 17 Sep, 2015 |comments_icon 2|By Chris Boucher
oig-work-plan-mid-year-2015-update

HHS watchdog to put EHRs, generic drugs, ACOs in its sights.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently released its 2015 Work Plan Mid-Year Update for fiscal year (FY) 2015. If you haven’t at least given it a look, you should probably do so to be sure you aren’t missing out on some vital news.

The update “summarizes new and ongoing reviews and activities that OIG plans to pursue with respect to HHS programs and operations during the current fiscal year and beyond,” according to the report.

Rundown: This edition of the Work Plan, effective as of May 2015, describes OIG audits, evaluations, and ongoing legal and investigative initiatives. “In “response to adjustments made to our Work Plan, this mid-year update removes items that have been completed, postponed, or canceled and includes new items that have been started since October 2014,” according to the report.

New areas: There are several new or updated topics in the update. For instance, OIG is focusing on certain accountable care organizations (ACO) that use electronic health records (EHR). “We will review the extent that providers participating in ACOs in the Medicare Shared Savings Program use … EHRs … to exchange health information to achieve their care coordination goals,” according to the OIG report.

Other new items in the update that might be of interest include:

  • Access to durable medical equipment in competitive bidding areas;
  • Annual analysis of Medicare clinical laboratory payments;
  • Inpatient rehabilitation facility payment system requirements;
  • Billing trends for Part D drugs and commonly abused opioids,
  • Completeness of data in Transformed Medicaid Statistical Information System: early implementation;
  • CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] — Award process for Ebola preparedness and response funding; and
  • CCDF [Child Care and Development Fund] — Licensing and oversight of health and safety standards at federally funded facilities.

Best bet: You never know if the update will affect your practice — until you check it out for yourself at: http://oig.hhs.gov/reports-and-publications/archives/workplan/2015/WP-Update-2015.pdf.

Author

Chris Boucher


Chris Boucher has nearly 10 years of experience writing various newsletters and other products for The Coding Institute. His blog will cover several areas of coding and compliance, including CPT® coding, modifiers, HIPAA compliance and ICD-10 coding.

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2 thoughts on “OIG’s Revamped Work Plan Sums Up 2015 Focus

  1. I’m a solo practitioner geanrel surgeon and have been using an integrated medical records system for the last 10 years. I believe that many physicians do not completely understand why an electronic medical record system is so valuable. They are lost in the fact that it seems cumbersome to enter the patient’s information. I strongly believe that there is no role for drop-down menus when recording a patient’s history. I continue to use a dictated note as has been done for years, but in my case I use voice recognition to directly import my note into my record system. A computer generated note from drop down menus is really not helpful.The fact that a patient must provide each physician’s office with a medical history at each new patient visit is ridiculous during this age of information technology . A patient transferred from one hospital to another arrives with hand written scribble is ridiculous in 2012.I have worked with a small, user friendly company for 10 years. The system is adaptable and has continued to improve. As a solo practitioner it has been easy to transition my office staff to the current chartless status. I have sought the opportunity to share my thoughts however no one wants to hear from a solo country surgeon. I will continue with my system and continue to enjoy the benefits. I would leave this final note: If a doctor believes that an EMR is there to make things quicker and more economical than he will struggle with the transition. If the doctor realizes that the EMR will make the records transferable and accessible that adoption will be more smooth.

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