OIG Audit Estimates $729 Million in Incorrect EHR Incentive Payments Were Awarded

In an audit completed by the OIG, it was found that millions of dollars in incorrect EHR incentive payments were awarded. These payments were connected to the Meaningful Use (MU) portion of the payment program, which encourages the use of an Electronic Health Record EHR). Providers across all disciplines were included in the audit of wrongful payments made between May 2011 and June 2014. Results showed that providers who were paid did not meet the MU criteria. The sample size used by the OIG in this audit was 100, and of the 100 audited, 14 did not meet the criteria for payment. This data was used to determine the overall estimated $729 Million in incorrect payments. Some have shown concern with these results based on the limited sample size.

The OIG has made recommendations on their findings, which include taking back payments based on their audit results and to annually review providers and recover any incorrectly made payments. Lastly, education on reporting and programming to increase reporting reliability were suggested.