Saturday, March 22, 2014

Audit Time

I have been absent from the blog for almost a week now. In fact I've been pretty much absent from anything else but work for the past week. Why? It's audit time!

Twice a year our agency gets audited by APS insurance.
APS is what we call "straight Medicaid." It's the highest tier of government healthcare that you can get. Most people on Medicaid have Wellcare or Peachstate or another CMO. APS is reserved for kids on social security or in the foster care system. If you are a foster parent or adopted a child from the foster care system then you are probably familiar with APS. APS offers a lot of good options, namely, the most units of mental health care (though they have been cut a lot over the years).

I have a love/hate relationship with APS. Generally speaking we are able to get enough units to keep our kids in care for as long as they need. And kids who have APS are likely to need mental health services for a while. However, because APS is such a high tier and the kids are such special exceptions they are sticklers for rules. You better cross your t's and dot your i's and put a signature and date beside them too. And don't forget to file it away in alphabetical and numerical order in a 9x12 file folder within 5 days of the date of service. Ok, so those aren't really the rules but they might as well be.

Once we get the email that we are being audited we have two weeks to make sure our files are in tip top shape. All notes filed, all billing billed, all papers signed, all psychological assessments with original signatures...When you have 80+ kids (active and discharged because they look at both) who at one time or another had APS healthcare, that's a lot of checking. We usually work 12 hour days during the work week for two weeks plus 8 hours on Saturday.

I had fully prepared for that onslaught this week after we got an email stating our audit would be April 31st. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday I worked from 7 to 7. Then something magical happened. I worked a regular day on Friday and was told that I didn't need to come in on Saturday! We've been auditing files twice a month in preparation for an audit and the work seems to have paid off. There were fewer things that I needed to be around to fix. Most of the files have been looked at two or three times. Now, we are just waiting on corrections. I'm praying that this trend will keep up. As much as I like having the extra comp time (paid time off) I like keeping my sanity more. And audit does not keep me sane.

With all this free time I think I'll catch up on Romanian homework...and sleep.

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