Documentation update: Stakeholders push templates, e-prescribing

 - 
Friday, February 8, 2019

WASHINGTON – What’s to come of all of those draft clinical templates that CMS released in 2018?

There seemed to be a flurry of them last year, but the agency’s efforts in this area go back years, including a template for prostheses in 2013.

“We’re hoping this year to really push them on this,” said Kim Brummett, vice president of regulatory affairs for AAHomecare. “The thing with CMS is that everything takes so long, so we plan to continue to pressure them.”

When stakeholders make their push, they plan to argue that the only way templates will work is if 1.) physicians and hospitals are required to incorporate them into their EHRs, and 2.) they replace “all the other stuff we’re doing,” Brummett says, like CMNs and chart notes.

If this ideal were to become a reality, it would solve a lot of the pain points for providers, stakeholders say.

“Templates would help to direct the physicians to document properly and to help them determine that the patient really does need the equipment,” said Ronda Buhrmester, director of reimbursement for VGM. “That way the supplier doesn’t have to make the interpretation, ‘Well, they have four of the five criteria, should we send it or not?’”

Templates go “hand in hand” with e-prescribing, and stakeholders would like to see CMS mandate that, too, Brummett says.

“They’re not going to approve solutions per se, but they could release an FAQ with guidance, so providers feel better about using these solutions,” she said. “We have heard of many more suppliers doing demos with vendors on this. It’s cool to see that kind of activity.”

Stakeholders have calls scheduled with CMS on both matters.

“If we could get templates and e-prescribing, it would be so much easier,” Brummett said. “Audits would be easier, too, because everything would be standardized.”