Update! CMS Releases Transmittal Prohibiting the Use of Stamped Signatures
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) recently issued Transmittal 248 to clarify the instructions on signature requirements. Medicare Program Integrity Manual Chapter 3, Subsection 126.96.36.199B notes that Medicare contractors require a legible identifier for services provided/ordered. Transmittal 248/Change Request 5971 provides that all Medicare documentation for medical review purposes must include handwritten and electronic signatures—stamped signatures are not acceptable. Transmittal 248 was implemented April 28, 2008. It is important to note that although the subject of Transmittal 248 relates to hospice, the manual change applies to all settings. You may access full text of the transmittal through the link below.
AOTA staff has confirmed with CMS that stamped signatures are not allowed for signing orders or other medical record documentation. Occupational therapists should ensure that physicians are signing plans of care and certifications because Medicare contractors may deny or question a claim if they believe that a stamped signature was used. It is the therapist’s responsibility to make sure that physician signatures are original to ensure reimbursement.
Transmittal 248 is available on the CMS Web site:
The related MLN Matters article (5971) is also available on the CMS Web site:
A Provider Inquiry Assistance document on the CMS Web site, also provides a summary of the CMS clarification.
CMS has issued an MLN Matters article
to clarify its signature requirements.