It was recently brought to our attention that using scribes to document on Medicare patients just became a bit more difficult.

Cigna Government Services just indicated in their latest bulletin that scribes must document the following “written by (Jane Doe), acting as scribe for Dr. (Smith).” Then, Dr. (Smith) should co-sign, and indicate the note accurately reflects work and decisions made by the physician. The scribe is functioning as a “living recorder,” documenting in real time the actions and words of the physician as they are done. If this is done in any other way, it is inappropriate. The real time transcription must be clearly documented as noted, by both the scribe and the physician. Failure to comply with these instructions may result in denial of claims.”

So your idea of having your Medical Assistant document everything and then typing “what she said” isnt going to work.

They just keep making it tougher to see patients. Options to offset the productivity losses from this requirement include optimizing your EMR and eliminating other non-essential functions. Look at every activity of your practice and staff and see what can be eliminated without impacting care or the patient quality experience.