We now know the extent of the HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG)'s fraud and abuse fishing expedition regarding electronic health records, which came to light in the CHIME Fall CIO Forum in Palm Springs, CA, last week.
According to the American Hospital Association, the OIG letter went to all hospitals that received an incentive payment between Jan. 1, 2011 and March 31, 2012, directed specifically to the CEO's or administrator's office. The letter requests that responses be submitted by this Friday—one week from issuance.
The AHA says OIG will use the information from the survey as part of a report expected out next year. OIG staff informed the AHA that hospitals may take additional time to respond to the survey if needed. In addition, OIG will allow a health system to file a single response for all facilities, where the survey responses would be the same for each entity in the system.
(Health systems that choose to submit a single response for all their facilities should contact Kim Yates at email@example.com prior to completing the survey, to ensure that OIG properly accounts for their system-level response. AHA urges hospitals that respond to the OIG survey to e-mail a copy of their responses to the association at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
The day before this story unfolded before me at CHIME, I thought I would get into the spirit of the season and started asking some CIOs which part of technology or their job was scary. Little did I know the scare they were receiving in the mail while we were all in Palm Springs.