DOH audits in New York are on the rise for home care agencies. And while nobody wants to be the subject of an audit, DOH audits are a fact of life – and it pays to be prepared. So whether or not you think that your agency has a risk of being audited this year, there are a few steps you can take to prepare for a DOH audit. Read on, and learn more in this blog from CareConnect.
Document, Document, and Document Some More
If you are ever audited by the DOH or any other agency, consistent, accurate documentation is always your friend during an audit. “Paper trails” – whether physical or digital – can help you identify accidents, mistakes, or errors by employees if there’s an issue.
And if you’re doing everything by the book, having documents to back up your team can even completely exonerate your agency and prevent any kind of findings against your company. CareConnect’s powerful tools can help you track and manage documents, and ensure you have the proof you need to defend your agency if you’re audited by the DOH.
Make Sure You’re Complying With All Necessary Regulations
During an audit, the DOH will go over your regulatory compliance with a fine-toothed comb. Despite the reduced importance of COVID-19, infection control is still a high priority. You’ll need to make sure you have policies documenting your illness screening policies, employee vaccinations, medical exemptions, and procedures for replacing any aides who may be out sick.
In addition, make sure that you have updated your other policies and documents, including your Emergency Action Plan (EAP), clinical records, and personnel files. You’ll also need to make sure that new hires meet all DOH, HCR, and CHRC requirements.
Invest in Education and Training to Prevent Errors and Noncompliance
Most mistakes at home care agencies are not due to malice, but human error. Still, these can be costly if the DOH finds your business to be non-compliant or to have violated certain policies or regulations. Properly training your workers can help you avoid issues that could lead to audits, and reduce penalties if problems are found with your agency, too.
CareConnect training tools can help both administrators and home care aides get the training they need. We offer an engaging, interactive training platform that can be used anywhere. With eLearning from CareConnect, your staff and caregivers can get the training they need in one convenient place.
Make Sure All of Your Policies and Procedures are Documented and Updated
You’re also going to want to make sure that all of your policies are fully documented, updated, and compliant with DOH audit protocols. If you need a refresher, you can access the latest audit protocols directly from the Office of the Medicaid Inspector General by clicking here.
Reviewing these audit protocols can provide you with valuable guidance as you prepare for a DOH audit. Also, these audit protocols have information about what issues may trigger an audit by the DOH.
For example, audits of home care agencies can happen because of missing or insufficient documentation, excessive billing, or billing Medicaid before services are authorized. By looking at the audit protocols and making sure that your policies and procedures are updated to address these areas of concern, you can virtually eliminate your audit risk.
DOH Audits are a Fact of Life – Be Prepared
DOH audits are not the end of the world. They happen to lots of home care agencies. And with just a little bit of preparation and investments in technology such as CareConnect, you can ensure your compliance, avoid fines and penalties, and get back to your true passion – caring for the patients you serve. Get in touch with CareConnect now, and see how we can help you prepare for DOH audits, run a more efficient business, and serve both your employees and your patients more effectively.