Does anyone know of a resource that explains the rules about amending a note
in a patient's chart? For example, if I have a critical care note where the doctor
forgot to list the time spent- can he go back and indicate that time in an amendment if he dates it and describes it as an amendment?
Any help would be appreciated.
I don't think it is in writing anywhere but the lawyers will tell you to tell the truth. If you omit something, add it at the end and reference where it belongs with a notation about being left out of the original note. Your plan makes perfect sense.
When records are requested, it is important that you send all associated documentation that supports the services billed within the timeframe designated in the written request. Elements of a complete medical record may include:
• Physician orders, and/or certifications of medical necessity
• Patient questionnaires associated with physician services
• Progress notes of another provider that are referenced in your own note
• Treatment logs
• Related professional consultation reports
• Procedure, lab, x-ray and diagnostic reports
Amended Medical Records
Late entries, addendums, or corrections to a medical record are legitimate occurrences in documentation of clinical services. A late entry, an addendum, or a correction to the medical record, bears the current date of that entry and is signed by the person making the addition or change.
A late entry supplies additional information that was omitted from the original entry. The late entry bears the current date, is added as soon as possible and written only if the person documenting has total recall of the omitted information.
Example: A late entry following treatment of multiple trauma might add: "The left foot was noted to be abraded laterally."
An addendum is used to provide information that was not available at the time of the original entry. The addendum should also be timely and bear the current date and reason for the addition or clarification of information being added to the medical record.
Example: An addendum could note: "The chest x-ray report was reviewed and showed an enlarged cardiac silhouette."
When making a correction to the medical record, never write over, or otherwise obliterate the passage when an entry to a medical record is made in error. Draw a single line through the erroneous information, keeping the original entry legible. Sign and date the deletion, stating the reason for correction above or in the margin. Document the correct information on the next line or space with the current date and time, making reference back to the original entry.
Correction of electronic records should follow the same principles of tracking both the original entry and the correction with the current date, time and reason for the change. When a hard copy is generated from an electronic record, both records must be corrected. Any corrected record submitted must make clear the specific change made, the date of the change, and the identity of the person making that entry.
Providers are reminded that deliberate falsification of medical records is a felony offense and is viewed seriously when encountered. Examples of falsifying records include:
• Creation of new records when records are requested
• Back-dating entries
• Post-dating entries
• Pre-dating entries
• Writing over, or
• Adding to existing documentation (except as described in late entries, addendums and corrections)
Corrections to the medical record legally amended prior to claims submission and/or medical review will be considered in determining the validity of services billed. If these changes appear in the record following payment determination based on medical review, only the original record will be reviewed in determining payment of services billed to Medicare.
Appeal of claims denied on the basis of an incomplete record may result in a reversal of the original denial if the information supplied includes pages or components that were part of the original medical record, but were not submitted on the initial review