Atkinson once again called Moring, who helped her gather the final round of documentation and draft a cover letter. Finally, in July, the final letter from CMS arrived: South Arkansas Eye Clinic had passed the audit.
It must have been a great feeling.
"It was," Atkinson said with a laugh. And it didn't hurt that the Meaningful Use Stage 1 incentive check arrived shortly thereafter.
One other note for specialists reading this: Atkinson checked with the American Association for Ophthalmology Practices and the regional Arkansas Eye Association to determine and confirm which exclusions to Meaningful Use quality measures applied to them. "A good example would be, when you go into a doctor's office, they're going to take your basic vitals and record your height and weight and your blood pressure," Atkinson said. "We don't do that. It's not in our scope of practice, and so we took that as an exclusion." Other specialists are well-advised to check with their own professional associations for similar information.
Want more good news? Atkinson says future CMS Meaningful Use guidelines will change some criteria to be more specific for specialists, meaning faster attestation and simpler audits. Hooray for that.