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CMS: Revise clinical templates for home health

February 9, 2015
by Richard R. Rogoski
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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is working to develop a series of electronic clinical templates that would assist clinicians in their face-to-face encounters with Medicare patients receiving home healthcare.

The move to improve clinical documentation is the result of increasing errors discovered by the Comprehensive Error Rate Testing, or CERT, program, noted a CMS press release. More than half of home health claims were improperly paid, according to CMS. In addition, the error rate for FY 2014—51.4 percent—was significantly higher than the error rate of 17.3 percent in FY 2013.

The majority of those errors were due to a lack of documentation when satisfying the requirement of face-to-face encounters, according to program data.

"CMS is developing a list of clinical elements within a suggested Electronic Clinical Template that would allow electronic health record vendors to create prompts to assist physicians when documenting the Home Health (HH) face-to-face encounter for Medicare purposes," the agency explained in a press release. "Once completed by the physician, the resulting progress note or clinic note would be part of the medical record."