Prompt Authentication of Verbal Orders ; Verbal Order Risks
The failure of a physician to timely sign a verbal order can have reimbursement implications. In some cases, in some states, another responsible provider can sign a verbal order that is originally given by another practitioner. This option is not always available and depends a lot on whether state law permits the practice. Some states require the practitioner who gave the verbal order to authenticate the order. With the use of electronic medical records, practitioners cannot expect leniency on these types of requirements.
In states that permit one practitioner to authenticate for another, the authenticating proxy practitioner should understand that he or she is accepting responsibility for the authenticated verbal order. State scope of practice rules apply to cross authentication of orders. In otherwords, the practitioner authenticating the order must have practice authority to have provided the original verbal order. Facilities can develop policies that a more restrictive then what the law permits. Policy can eliminate or restrict cross authentication practices. There is inherent risk in permitting cross authentication because the authenticating provider did not give the original verbal order. Additionally, as covered in previous blog articles, verbal orders are over-used in many facilities and carry inherent risks. Facilities can enact policies to curtail the use of verbal orders. At minimum, facility policy should echo the CMS comments regarding the appropriate scope of use of verbal orders. Practices can be audited to determine whether a practitioner is overusing verbal orders.
Source: Health Law Blog