Your Fax Machine is Not Your VCR

I have to rely heavily on our company’s fax lines, like everyone else in the healthcare industry, to do my job.  Most fax machines, if not all of them, have a time & date stamp feature that you set just like a clock. Two days ago, I received orders from a physician’s office for a scooter, along with the examination notes from the face-to-face office visit/mobility exam.  The time & date stamp at the top showed ‘ 6/20/2006  14:15 PM’.  Now for anyone who’s not aware of this, Medicare & many insurance carriers accept that stamp as the actual ‘received by’ time/date. So why is this so important?  Medicare, & the insurance companies who follow Medicare’s documentation criteria, only allots DME providers a 45-day window from the date of the face-to-face exam to receive the required documentation.  Now of course, all the documtation indicated the actual date of the order & the exam, so in this particular case, I wasn’t compelled to bother the physician’s office to update their fax machine. But doing so can prevent processing delays, & be a big difference in whether a claim is paid or not–not to mention auditing purposes. If you are aware of the problem, fix it or find someone who knows how to.  Just my OCD rearing it’s ugly head again.

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