Department of Health (DOH) audits in New York are rising for home care agencies. While nobody wants to be the subject of an audit, they are a fact of life. Whether or not you think your agency risks being audited this year, taking steps to prepare pays off.

Document, Document, and Document Some More

If the DOH or any other agency ever audits you, consistent, accurate documentation is always your friend during an audit. ‘Paper trails,’ whether physical or digital, can help you identify accidents, mistakes, or employee errors if there’s an issue. If you’re doing everything by the book, having documents to back up your team can completely exonerate your agency. CareConnect’s powerful tools can help you track and manage documents and ensure you have the proof you need to defend your agency if audited by the DOH.

Make Sure You’re Complying With All Necessary Regulations

During an audit, the DOH will review 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 ensure 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 ensure 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 non-compliant or violates specific policies or regulations. Properly training your workers can help you avoid issues that could lead to audits and reduce penalties if problems arise with your agency. CareConnect training tools can help administrators and home care aides get the necessary training. We offer an accessible, engaging, and interactive training platform. With eLearning from CareConnect, your staff and caregivers can get the training they need done in one convenient place, anywhere.

Make Sure To Document and Update All of Your Policies and Procedures

Ensure 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 valuable guidance as you prepare for a DOH audit. They also provide 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 authorizing services. By reviewing the audit protocols and updating your policies and procedures 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 many home care agencies. 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. Contact CareConnect now to see how we can help you prepare for DOH audits, run a more efficient business, and serve your employees and patients more effectively.