Why HIPAA Compliant Patient Sign-Sheets Are So Important
In today’s world of extensive HIPAA regulations, patient scrutiny, risk assessments and audits you should start your compliance mission with the first piece of information that the patient fills out when they come into your practice…The Sign-in sheet. Many offices still use a lined sheet of copy paper that patients sign in on and then the receptionist attempts to scratch off when called. The problem is names are still visible to the next patient and you can’t use them for billing audits.
The solution is simple, use a specially designed sign-in sheet that has a peel off label. Best of all it keeps a copy of the patients name clearly legible under the sheet (so the public can’t see it) and once the sheet is full it can be filled away for reference later.
Providers find that having a daily record of all patients in their own handwriting is undeniable proof that the patient was actually there when billing questions come up. CMS and insurance companies are questioning the validity of a patients visit more today than ever before. EMR claims and other forms can be falsely submitted but it is nearly impossible to insert a patients name on a sign-in sheet with everyone else that visited the office that day.
The cost of this system can be less than a penny per patient. Now think about how much the HIPAA fine is or the loss of revenue and time you experience while the claim is being questioned. This system even works better than having patients sign in on an electronic device because it is more legible, offers a back-up and is more user-friendly. Patients also feel more secure seeing the professional privacy form as opposed to a messy sheet of paper that has names halfway scratched out on the front counter.
For more on compliance related issues about Sign-In sheets, read this article.