Last Modified: 2/18/2021
Location: FL, PR, USVI
Business: Part A, Part B
Q. When should a “signature log” be used? Are there any specific requirements regarding its use for authentication?
A. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) requires that any Medicare service provided or ordered must be authenticated by the author -- the one who provided or ordered that service. The purpose of the authentication (signature) requirement is to ensure that the services rendered have been accurately and appropriately documented, reviewed, and authenticated.
A “signature log” may be used to provide authentication for a physician or non-physician practitioner’s initials or illegible signature and should satisfy the following requirements:
• Information: The signature log should list the typed or printed name of the author associated with initials or an illegible signature.
Note: Although reviewers may encourage providers to include their professional credentials in the signature log, it is not required for authentication.
• Location: The signature log may be included on the page where the initials or illegible signature is used, or it may be submitted as a separate document.
Note: In order for a signature log to be considered valid for Medicare medical review purposes, the log must be included as a part of the patient's medical record.
For more information regarding signature requirements, please refer to:
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