University radiology department could face investigation after audit

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An internal audit published in late 2010 showed that University of Missouri (UM) Health Care was providing unrequested radiology services, according to the Columbia Tribune.

A follow-up audit from September 2011 indicated the problems have been addressed, but the Columbia Tribune reported that sources in the radiology department have been instructed by the UM System General Counsel’s office not to delete or destroy emails and documents in anticipation of an investigation.

There has been no official comment from the UM System, the U.S. Department of Justice or the Missouri Department of Health and Human Services regarding an investigation.

The Office of Corporate Compliance investigated the department in December 2010 based on a tip that services were being provided without physicians ordering them, according to the Tribune. An audit of Medicare cases revealed that 62.5 percent of a random sample did not have proper physician orders.

“The fact that physician signatures didn’t accompany orders didn’t necessarily mean services were unnecessary,” UM System Attorney Paul McGuffey told the paper.

A corrective action plan was negated by improvements seen at the follow-up audit which were largely because of a computerized order entry system, according to the Tribune.