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Thread: signature stamp

  1. #1

    Default signature stamp

    AAPC: Back to School
    Do you define the statement below as the stamp with the provider's written signature (not a stamp with the person's name and credentials)

    Took from website:

    Medicare requires a legible identifier for services provided/ordered. The method used shall be hand written or an electronic signature (stamp signatures are not acceptable) to sign an order or other medical record documentation for medical review purposes.

    Thank you

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Louisville, KY


    I also read this from a CMS source. However, I cannot locate that information now--my recall has short-circuited.

    This information has become somewhat pertinent, so I'm interested (also) in obtaining it. Any assistance is appreciated.
    Kevin B. Shields, RHIT, CPCO, CCS, CPC, COC, CCS-P, CPC-P, CPC-I

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007


    I just recently did a lot of research on this. I verified that my understanding was correct with a supervisor at our local Medicare carrier, even though they won't back up what their employees say... Anyway, they can not use a signature stamp in place of a handwritten or electronic signatures. They can still use a stamp of their name in addition to their handwritten signature for ease of identification, but the key is they have to actually sign the note in an accepted form.


    Hope this helps

    Laura, CPC

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007


    We just did a big company wide policy on this and are not allowing the signature stamp on any document that is part of the medical record. It is the stamp with their actual written signature. The stamps that have the name in block letters can be used to go under a signature but the document has to be actually signed.
    Pam Tienter, CPC, COC, CPC-P, CCS-P, CPMA, CPC-I
    AHIMA Approved ICD-10-CM/PCS Trainer
    AAPC National ICD-10-CM Trainer

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Kokomo, IN

    Default signature stamp

    I found this article here http://www.aishealth.com/Bnow/hbd082208.html

    Featured Story August 22, 2008

    CMS Explicitly Bans Physician Signature Stamps on All Medical Records

    Reprinted from REPORT ON MEDICARE COMPLIANCE, the nation's leading source of news and strategic information on false claims, overpayments, compliance programs, billing errors and other Medicare compliance issues.

    By Nina Youngstrom, Managing Editor, (nyoungstrom@aispub.com)

    CMS has now stated unambiguously that all providers and suppliers must stop using physician signature stamps. In an MLN Matters article (SE0829) released July 29, CMS states, "Stamped signatures are not acceptable on any medical record."

    In May, RMC reported that CMS said in Transmittal 248 (Change Request 5971) that Medicare would no longer accept medical records with physician-stamped signatures. But some people questioned whether CMS was really taking such a strong position because the transmittal originally was released in response to hospice-certification concerns, even though it modified the Medicare Program Integrity Manual for all prepayment and postpayment medical reviews. It's clear now from the MLN Matters article that CMS's intentions all along were to end the use of physician signature stamps: The article states that Transmittal 248 was issued to bar the use of signature stamps.

    "Medicare will [only] accept hand written, electronic signatures or facsimiles of original written or electronic signatures," says the article. This includes progress notes, orders and treatment plans. The reason for this crackdown is CMS's longstanding concern over abuse of signature stamps. "CMS has identified problems of noncompliance with existing statutes, regulations, rules and other systemic problems relating to standards of practice for a valid physician's signature on medical orders and related medical documents," the article states.

    Because the transmittal, issued March 28, revised the program integrity manual section on medical reviews, all claims are affected. Any documentation signed by a physician signature stamp will be null and void, so in the eyes of an auditor, the documentation might as well be nonexistent.

    Cheryl Rice, corporate director of corporate responsibility for Catholic Healthcare Partners in Cincinnati, says hospitals will have to convey to employed physicians that signature stamps are banned. Hospitals also should get the word out to community physicians because hospital payment may hinge on their compliance with the new CMS policy if their reports are part of a medical review.

    Also, as part of their certification process, Joint Commission surveyors are checking whether hospital medical record entries are dated, timed and signed as instructed by the Conditions of Participation. "Since the Joint Commission is checking for authentication, hospitals need to be diligent in making sure their internal documentation is stamp free," Rice says. But, she says, questions remain as to whether CMS will apply the same prohibition on community physicians and external documentation routinely submitted to hospitals as part of the order process. "Hopefully, CMS will adopt a uniform policy prohibition to make hospital enforcement and compliance easier," says Rice.

    To view the MLN Matters article, visit AIS's Government Resources at the Compliance Channel; click on "CMS's MLN Articles."

  6. #6

    Default Signature Stamp

    I used to work for one of the Program Integrity Contractors with Medicare and signature stamps are not acceptable. Have your provider sign, not stamp.

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