Farzad Mostashari, M.D., national coordinator for health information technology, has asked the advisory HIT Policy Committee to study if providers are using electronic health records to up-code billings to Medicare, according to the Center for Public Integrity, a nonpartisan investigative journalism organization.
In an interview with the center, Mostashari said he wants to know if EHRs trigger higher billing codes when physicians cut-and-paste information from prior encounters with a patient when updating documentation. The center recently published a study that suggests overbilling is increasing as providers adopt EHRs. In part because of suspicions of up-coding, four powerful members of the U.S. House of Representatives recently sent a letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius calling for an immediate halt to the electronic health records meaningful use incentive program, which they consider to be weak.
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