American Medical News
NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted June 3, 2013
A physician unable to sign his or her name because of a physical disability can use a rubber stamp for a signature on medical records, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has announced.
CMS generally prohibits stamped signatures to authenticate documentation. In most cases, a handwritten or electronic signature is required. Using a rubber stamp will raise a red flag during medical reviews by auditors, including recovery audit contractors that seek out improper payments. Stamped signatures are unacceptable on patient medical records and physician orders.
A May 17 CMS notice to contractors added an exception to the rule. A physician who provides evidence to a Medicare contractor of “his/her inability to sign” because of a disability will be permitted to use a rubber stamp. “By affixing a rubber stamp, the provider is certifying that they have reviewed the document,” the notice states.