OHCA to submit emergency rules on three day signature rule

Posted on: 8/30/17

Late last week, OHA received good news from the Oklahoma Health Care Authority regarding the three day signature rule. OHCA stated they intend to submit emergency rules to Gov. Fallin rolling back the required timeframe to that currently in effect, and then further to draft new, permanent rule changes that will address our concerns. In the meantime, the three day signature rule “will not be added to the OHCA audit protocol.” The following message was sent by OHCA to providers last week:

“As part of its 2017 permanent rule changes, OHCA amended OAC §§ 317:30-3-4.1(1)(E) and 317:30-3-30(b) to clarify when medical records must be signed and dated, for the purposes of Medicaid reimbursement. The changes were made through the usual permanent rulemaking process, and the agency did not receive any negative comments about the proposed changes during the thirty-day public comment period. In accordance with Oklahoma law, these amended rules will become effective on September 1, 2017. 

OHCA, however, has recently received concerns from numerous SoonerCare providers about the feasibility of the rule changes – specifically, the revised language that requires medical records to be signed and dated within three days of the provision of the underlying service. OHCA is committed to working with our partners to ensure that a more flexible timeframe for record authentication is established via rulemaking, as quickly as possible. OHCA plans to accomplish this by:

1) submitting emergency rules to Governor Fallin that would return the timeframe for medical record authentication to the timeframe in effect today (where authentication is “expected on the day the record is completed,” or, if the medical record is transcribed by someone other than the provider, “within three business days from the day the record is completed”); and

2) in collaboration with our partners, drafting new, permanent rule changes for medical record authentication that are both clear and unambiguous, and respectful of the realities of healthcare practice.

It is expected that OHCA will be able to submit the aforementioned emergency rule changes to Governor Fallin’s office shortly after its scheduled October 12, 2017, Board meeting. In the meantime, OHCA would like to assure its providers that during this limited window (from September 1, 2017 until the emergency rules become effective); the 3 day rule will not be added to the OHCA audit protocol.”

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