Importance of Signature Logs

Date: February 24, 2012

Comments from OIG in support of signature logs:

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG), in comments on CERT program claims payment denials, noted that CERT reviewers did not follow existing guidelines for signature attestations, and some claims were improperly denied. These guidelines require that CERT contractors follow established procedures in seeking signature attestations when signatures on chart notes are illegible or missing so that notes can be properly attributed in support of the provider. OIG noted CERT review contractors were able to overturn payment denials in 34% of claims after the OIG obtained the information and forwarded it.

The important points in the OIG report for providers and practices emphasize:

1) The need to establish a provider signature log.
2) If you already have a signature log, it is imperative to keep it current.
3) When payers perform audit chart reviews, you should provide them with a copy of your most current version.

You can download the entire OIG document by clicking on this link.

We believe providers should immediately review current signature logs for accuracy, and establish such a document if one does not exist. Contact our office if you have questions about this crucial supporting document.

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