Certified Ophthalmic Scribes Can Enter CPOE Due to ASCRS/ASOA Advocacy Efforts

Today, CMS notified ASCRS/ASOA that certified ophthalmic scribes will be able to enter CPOE data for the purpose of attesting to EHR Meaningful Use.

ASCRS and ASOA always took the position that certified scribes were able to enter CPOE information based on the FAQ, that was issued by CMS after the Meaningful Use Stage 2 2012 Final Rule was released.  The FAQ provided additional guidance on who was able to enter CPOE information. In addition, CMS staff had informed both ASCRS and the American College of Medical Scribe Specialists (ACMSS) that as long as scribes were certified, and performed similar functions as a medical assistant, they could enter CPOE information.

Despite the fact that conflicting information was circulated that scribes were in fact not able to enter CPOE data for EHR Meaningful Use, we continued our conversations with CMS and ACMSS on this issue.

During ASCRS and ASOA conversations with CMS, CMS requested that we provide a crosswalk between the duties, functions and educational areas of a medical assistant versus an ophthalmic scribe. With input from the ASOA Board, we provided CMS with a crosswalk (the crosswalk can be viewed by ASOA members here and ASCRS members here).

As a result of these efforts, CMS stated that ophthalmic certified scribes will qualify to enter CPOE data under FAQ 9085, which states that "If a staff member of the eligible provider is appropriately credentialed and performs similar assistive services as a medical assistant but carries a more specific title due to either specialization of their duties or to the specialty of the medical professional they assist, he or she can use the CPOE function of CEHRT and have it count towards the measure."

CMS has asked that each provider or practice, retain a copy of the crosswalk documentation in their files, just as they would retain documentation outlining their individual approach and method, as well as staffing protocols for audit purposes.

Please note that this only applies to those ophthalmic scribes who have been certified and that this only pertains to scribes in ophthalmology.

If you have any questions, please contact Ashley McGlone at 703-591-2220.