Physicians must regularly sign prescriptions and other medical forms so that patients can receive the proper medicine or payments from Medicare places. This can be time consuming and distract them from more important ways they can be using their skills and time. So many physicians use rubber stamps with their signatures on it, so that they don't have to take the time and energy to actually sign the form or can have a nurse or assistant sign the forms for them. However, there are certain rules in regards to these stamps which must be followed if they are to be used.
Information on Stamp
There must be a set amount of information on the physician's rubber stamp, including her signature, address, a date for when the form was signed and sometimes even her medical license number. This means that stamps must be changed out regularly so that they do not appear to be outdated when they are used for certain purposes.
Denial of Rubber Stamps
Medicare has begun denying rubber stamp signatures from physicians recently, requiring a real signature in ink or an electronic signature for the specific medical forms. Other major medical payment companies have also begun denying the use of rubber stamps, so it is important for physicians and their staff to know what their local medical-payers policies are. In Michigan, for example, according to Hall Render Health Law News, rubber-stamped signatures are not acceptable on any medical record. Much of this was put into place to curb the counterfeiting of Medicare payments. What has made this more confusing in many states like Michigan, is that hospitals Conditions of Participation do not prohibit the use of rubber stamps, making them accepted in some cases and denied in other cases.
Rubber Stamp Security
Rubber stamps with doctor's signatures should be locked up in a secure place or destroyed, so they cannot be stolen and used for counterfeiting purposes. Even if medical payment providers are not accepting rubber stamp signatures, official signatures of doctors can still be stolen and counterfeited electronically by using these rubber stamps as a guide. If they are not being accepted for medical documentation, then there is no reason to keep them around where they may be lost or stolen.
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