The word “audit” usually accompanies thoughts of penalties, stress, and fear; however, a pro-active audit is an effective tool that should be used by all practices. In order to conduct an effective audit there are a few tips that should be considered:
1- If you do not currently audit your practice, what are you waiting for? The first audit will allow you to tailor subsequent audits, further educate coders, and give you a more in-depth perspective of what is going on in the practice.
2- If you already conduct audits, maintain a routine schedule. Depending upon the results of your initial audit, you may need only schedule audits once per year or twice per year. Perhaps you can audit the entire practice only once per year, yet you must audit a particular weak point four times per year. The frequency of the audits should be decided by each practice individually, but no less than once per year.
3- Ensure a qualified auditor is conducting the audit. Under no circumstances should the individual auditing the codes be the same person who coded originally. There is certainly little downside to hiring an independent coding auditor to conduct your audits.
While conducting pro-active audits may be a laborious process, it is a worthwhile endeavor that can save both time and money. Further, if you are selected for an audit, your practice should rest easy knowing there will be no unexpected (and unfortunate) surprises.