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Linda Collins Blogger

Signature on File

Posted by Linda Collins | March 01, 2018

When is it appropriate to indicate "signature on file?" CMS has specific signature guidelines and requirements for documentation, prescriptions, and claim forms.

CMS requires a provider's signature on all medical records, prescriptions, and claims. There are specific guidelines to follow. According to Medicare, a valid signature:

  • Is legible
  • Contains your professional DESIGNATION (e.g., MD, DO, NP)
  • Contains the date you signed

If you use electronic medical records, the following guidelines are in place:

  • contain date, time stamp,
  • and include printed statements, e.g., "electronically signed by," or "verified/reviewed by,"
  • followed by the practitioner's name and preferably a professional designation.

"Signature on File" is not acceptable for medical records, prescriptions or claim forms.

What does this mean for you?

Failure to submit medical records with a valid signature is one of the top reasons for claim denials and payment delays.Medicare services provided/ordered must be authenticated by the author using an acceptable signature. Check your signatures, handwritten and electronic, for compliance with Medicare requirements.

For more information about signature requirements, follow these links:

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