Medicare patient signature requirements.
What to know about Medicare patient signature requirements for patient health records and submitted claims.
In the medical field, a healthcare provider’s signature is necessary to keep patient care flowing and prevent delays. These signatures signify knowledge, approval, acceptance, or obligation on the provider’s behalf and are incredibly important when it comes to insurance claims like Medicare. Let’s dive into signature requirements so you can keep the paperwork moving smoothly.
How does Medicare define a signature?
In order to review and process claims, Medicare requires providers to authenticate that the services provided or ordered in a patient’s health record are accurate and necessary for care. To authenticate, a provider will need to supply their signature and the date of care.
A Medicare signature:
- Can be a handwritten or electronic signature
- Cannot be a stamp
- Must be legible
What if my signature is not legible?
If a Medicare reviewer finds your signature illegible, they will cross-reference your name with a signature log. This log is a collection of typed provider names alongside their signature and credentials. Reviewers will use this to ensure signature identity.
While not required, you can set up a signature log with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) at any time in order to avoid potential signature discrepancies and help protect your identity.
You can also send a letter to the CMS along with your patient’s documentation to attest your signature. In other cases, a reviewer may contact you and request a written attestation, in which case you typically have 20 days to provide the requested information so they can continue to process your claim.
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