Can a provider charge a medical records requestor a fee when there are no records? There is no clear answer to this question.
A client was served with a subpoena for medical records, but the patient in question did not have a record (i.e., had not been a patient). The provider’s ROI company responded with a letter stating that there was no patient and invoiced for a processing fee and postage. The lawyer responded that the fee was illegal under the section of R.S. 40:1165.1 which states that “the health care provider … shall not charge any other fee which is not specifically authorized by the provisions of this Subparagraph…”
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According to a report released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General (OIG) on June 12, 2017, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) overpaid an estimated $729 million in Medicare electronic health record (EHR) incentive payments to participating providers. (The full report is available at https://oig.hhs.gov/oas/reports/region5/51400047.asp). The OIG reviewed whether CMS’ oversight of the Medicare EHR incentive program was sufficient and whether eligible professionals (EPs) nationwide met Medicare incentive payment program requirements and received appropriate incentive payments. Alarmingly, the OIG urged CMS to recoup and audit these incentive payments based on its findings. Participating EPs and hospitals should be cognizant of the ramifications of CMS’ recommendations, including the potential for an audit and recoupment. Continue reading →
On May 31, 2017, the U. S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that eClinicalWorks (ECW) agreed to pay a $155 million settlement and enter a corporate integrity agreement with the OIG to resolve allegations that ECW caused its health care provider customers to submit false Medicare and Medicaid claims for meaningful use payments in violation of the False Claims Act (FCA). Under the corporate integrity agreement, ECW agreed to strict compliance and reporting obligations and to provide the latest version of ECW’s EHR software to each of ECW’s current customers free of charge. Continue reading →