Electronic filing simplifies review of Medicare payments

Providers have complained a paper-based process is burdensome.

Electronic submissions are simplifying the process of providing documentation for Medicare payment reviews.

Participation in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Electronic Submission of Medical Documentation system is growing. In the 12-month period ending Sept. 15, 85,000 medical records were transmitted electronically to review contractors. That equates to 5.5 percent of the total requested for review, CMS says in an announcement.

Almost 1,778 Medicare providers used esMD to respond to medical-record requests issued by contractors hired to identify and correct improper payments from Medicare, CMS says.

“Providers have often complained that [a] paper-based process is costly and time-consuming,” CMS says in the announcement. “Many providers, especially those who use electronic health records, have requested an electronic means to respond to these documentation requests.”

CMS has approved 21 contractors to accept medical records via esMD, which uses CONNECT gateway software developed by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT and meets ONC’s Nationwide Health Information Network standards.