Radiologists should expect to face Meaningful Use audits

While healthcare systems and general practitioners get much of the attention when it comes to undergoing Meaningful Use audits, radiologists should be prepared to come under the same scrutiny, as well.

In a recent SearchHealthIT article, Alberto Goldszal, CIO of University Radiology in Newark, New Jersey, pointed out that 15 radiologists in his group have already been audited. "You don't get money from the government and not expect to be audited," Goldszal said. "I don't think the audits are unreasonable. They ask what they should ask."

And while all 15 radiologists passed, Goldszal warned that unless other radiologists pay close attention to documenting their attestation, they could run into trouble.

The failure rate for Stage 1 Meaningful Use audits is around 5 percent for eligible hospitals and 22 percent for eligible professionals. 

Goldszal said he believes most failed audits are due to the failure of providers to perform security risk assessments, and pointed out that while standard Meaningful Use measures are straightforward, "when it comes to security they're tougher." He suggested that radiology practices consider hiring consultants to assist with security assessments.

The consequences of failing an audit can be substantial. While ultimately overruled on appeal, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services told Monticello, Arkansas-based Drew Memorial Hospital in September to return more than $900,000 in Meaningful Use incentive payments after a post-payment audit determined it had failed to meet the measure requiring it to conduct a security risk analysis in the year it was audited.

To learn more:
- see the article in SearchHealthIT
- see the article in EHRIntelligence