They had not. It was also one of the first pre-payment Meaningful Use audits. "Initially when Meaningful Use came on, a lot of the providers who jumped on board really fast, they attested, and CMS just basically just paid them right and left," Atkinson said.
In fact, approximately 5 to 10% of providers will be selected for pre-payment audits. Selections will be made both randomly and also based on protocols that identify suspicious or anomalous attestation data. Post-payment audits will also affect approximately 5-10% of providers who submit attestations through the program. The scope of both the pre- and post-payment audits is consistent with the scope of audit strategies for similar CMS programs.
CMS said "wait, hang on just a minute. We shouldn't be auditing after the fact. Maybe we should stop, slow down and before we give the money out, and we have to take it back, let's start doing pre-payment audits. And that's what they've started doing this year."
CMS speeds up the audit process by providing a portal, operated by the accounting firm Figliozzi & Company, allowing providers such as South Arkansas Eye Clinic to scan and upload required documents, rather than trusting them to the U.S. Postal Service.
With recent talk about the forthcoming ending of funding for HHS' national network of Regional Extension Centers, it's worth noting that HITArkansas is part of a larger concern, the Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care, a 40-year-old state quality improvement organization.