OHCA three-day signature rule to be modified

Posted on: 8/23/17

The Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA) has issued a rule that requires providers to sign the medical record within three days of service. The rule goes into effect Sept. 1. OHCA has stated the rule was intended to clarify ambiguous language cited as a problem by its compliance auditors, requiring a more specific time frame in order to properly authenticate a chart for billing purposes.    

OHA has communicated and met with the OHCA staff about our objection to this rule. Based on these discussions, and comments from other providers, the OHCA staff recognizes the rule as enacted is problematic and intends to modify it through the emergency rule making process. The agency is required by law to notify providers of the current requirement while they work toward a more reasonable solution.  
The emergency rulemaking process is as follows: The agency will propose a new rule (clarifying the requirement) through the state’s emergency rule-making process, which includes public comment and public hearing. Following approval by the OHCA board, the newly modified rule will go to the governor for action. We anticipate this process will be completed before the end of the year.
NOTE: Some members have expressed concerns that non-compliant claims submitted prior to modification of the rule could be deemed “fraudulent.” Additional conversation with OHCA confirmed that if there is no intention by the provider to deceive or mislead, they would not assume grounds for enforcement. OHCA plans to publish additional guidelines prior to Sept. 1, 2017.

OHA will continue working closely with the OHCA staff on this matter. Please direct any questions to Rick Snyder, OHA VP/finance and information services, at rsnyder@okoha.com

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