ACMSS Applauds House Passage of VA Medical Scribe Pilot Act; Urges Scribe Certification


ORANGE, Calif., August 24, 2017. The American College of Medical Scribe Specialists (ACMSS) applauds the passage last Friday of a bipartisan bill in the U.S. House of Representatives to create a pilot study in Veteran’s Administration hospitals to determine whether using Medical Scribes to assist physicians will help shorten the VA’s notoriously long wait times and ease other patient service problems. ACMSS only asks that the Senate modify the language in the bill to ensure the VA employs only Certified Medical Scribe Specialists.

The purpose of The Veterans Affairs Medical Scribe Pilot Act of 2017 (HR 1848), introduced by Rep. Phil Roe, M.D. (R-Tenn.), is to create a two-year medical scribe pilot program under which VA will increase the use of medical scribes at ten VA medical centers, employing 30 scribes in all. It is hoped that the use of medical scribes in the program will reduce the amount of time physicians spend on daily documentation so that they may increase the number of patients physicians can see and the amount of time physicians are spending with each patient. Every 180 days during the two-year program the VA will be required to report to Congress the programs effect’s on provider satisfaction, provider productivity, patient satisfaction, average wait time and the number of patients seen per day.

After the bill’s passage, Roe, who is Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and a physician, released a statement on the purpose of the legislation. “Since the VA waitlist scandal broke three years ago, I’ve examined several ways to improve patient care for veterans, and one that came up repeatedly in discussions was cutting down on the time physicians spend entering data,” Roe said. “Many private-sector physicians report the use of medical scribes has a positive and meaningful impact on their ability to see patients. Scribes can help input patient data and allow physicians to focus on patient care and use their time more efficiently. That’s why I introduced legislation to start a pilot program to examine whether or not the use of medical scribes would have similar positive effects in the VA.”

ACMSS agrees with all of the elements contained in the Act, but is sending a letter to the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs, asking for one change before the bill goes to the Senate for a vote. “If this legislation is approved in the Senate and the program goes forward, employing Medical Scribes to assist physicians at the VA will undoubtedly improve efficiencies and have the positive effect the bill proponents desire, and more,” said ACMSS Executive Director Kristin Hagen. “However, in approving the language, ACMSS urges the Senate to insist that only Certified Medical Scribe Specialists be used in the program. Medical scribes provide real-time documentation and increase practice efficiencies in a great number of areas outside of clinical documentation, but they must be certified.”

ACMSS is an independent certifying organization and works in compliance with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to meet national goals and initiatives of Meaningful Use of Certified Electronic Health Record Technology (CEHRT), and Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) and its Merit-Based Payment Incentive System (MIPS). Certified Medical Scribe Specialists also meet the “qualified people” standard in CEHRT and assist with the design and infrastructure to support ongoing transformative care and change.

The ACMSS certification program meets current and proposed CMS certification requirements toward use of EHRs through its Medical Scribe Certification & Aptitude Test (MSCAT). In addition to the overall certification exam, ACMSS provides specialty certifications in vascular medicine, dermatology, oncology, primary care, internal medicine, emergency medicine and general patient care, enabling access to all across the specialties.

“Employing Certified Medical Scribe Specialists is the best way that care providers get can ensure they get back the time and attention they need to join the evolution of the outpatient healthcare industry into a patient-centered system that focuses on integrative medicine, prevention, disease reversal and wellness,” Hagen said.

Please contact ACMSS directly at, visit our website at, or phone 800-987-3692 if you have any questions regarding the ACMSS program and/or materials.

Medical Document Services of Kansas, LLC (MDS) is a Wichita, Kansas healthcare document service specializing in Medical Billing, Medical Transcription, Scribe Services, and AzaleaHealth EHR.   We provide efficient, accurate, affordable quality services for hospitals, clinics, and facilities of all sizes.   Call 866-777-7264 today, or visit our website for more information.  We have education programs in Medical Scribe Specialists. #MedicalTranscription #AzaleaHealthEHR #RevenueCycleManagement #MDSofKansas #MedicalBillingService #MedicalScribes

$68 Billion in Medical Billing Errors Puts Physicians’ Livelihood in Jeopardy

As many as 80 percent of all medical claims submitted to insurance carriers contain mistakes estimated at $68 billion (1). Approximately 55 percent of evaluation and management (E/M) claims are incorrectly coded resulting in $6.7 billion in improper Medicare payments.(2) Providers looking to avoid lost revenue and serious consequences are raising the training standards of its administrative staff seeking out those who have completed specialized training and certification offered by Practice Management Institute (PMI).

Watchdog agencies, enforcement, and penalties are on the rise, creating a high-risk environment for physicians. Tighter screening measures adopted by the Affordable Healthcare Act have resulted in 17,000 providers losing their license to bill Medicare (3). Doctors have ultimate responsibility for all claims billed under their unique provider number, and a physician’s signature on any claim is held as verification of the accuracy and legitimacy of each claim (4).

Increased scrutiny has prompted doctors and healthcare facilities to require their employees to become certified. From an enforcement perspective, staff who knowingly submit fraudulent claims for payment can be held liable (5).

David Womack, President and CEO of PMI, says, “It’s critically important that providers have well trained staff. The physician needs to have confidence that their personnel are running the business correctly so they can focus on quality patient care.”

Physicians dedicate their careers to quality patient care; most have had little exposure to the increasingly complex world of medical claims management. They rely on their billing and administrative staff to stay on top of the guidelines set forth by Medicare and third parties. PMI helps providers adopt higher training standards with specialized courses and certification exams that address these high-risk areas of practice administration.

Womack says, “Taking steps to successfully train and certify staff in these areas means physicians are more likely to submit accurate claims and receive correct payments for their services, and ensure that practice liability is minimized.”

About Practice Management Institute (PMI):

For more than 30 years, Practice Management Institute, also known as PMI, has helped physicians, hospital systems, medical societies, and educational institutions provide comprehensive education and training to medical office staff nationwide. By offering a variety of educational programs and professional certifications, PMI helps to build competency, compliancy, and effectiveness that assures the continued success of their clients.

Since PMI’s formation in 1983, more than 20,000 individuals have earned certification in one more areas of expertise. PMI is recognized by both the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Department of Labor for training in: medical coding, third-party billing, office management, and compliance. PMI training helps ease the burden of running a successful medical practice through thorough education and up-to-date training for non-clinical staff, allowing physicians to focus on patient care to improve the experience of the patient. For more information, visit

About David Womack:

David Womack, President and CEO, has been instrumental in PMI’s continued success since 1991. He has helped PMI transition into a cutting-edge leader in medical office staff education and training while developing key relationships with healthcare organizations, hospitals, colleges, and medical societies across the country. His commitment to excellence has helped PMI become an industry leader recognized by both governmental organizations and healthcare systems across the country.


1.    “Incorrect Medical Coding Corrupts the Core Data Used by Health Care Facilities, Has Negative Consequences Throughout Health Care Industry.” Integrated Healthcare Executive. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 May 2017.
2.     “55% of E/M Claims Incorrectly Coded – What’s Your EMR Software Doing to Help?” HealthFusion, June 24, 2014.
3.    The $272 Billion Swindle.” The Economist. The Economist Newspaper, 31 May 2014. Web. 05 May 2017.
4.    College, From The. “Who Is Liable for Coding Mistakes?” The Rheumatologist. N.p., 01 Oct. 2010. Web. 05 May 2017.
5.    U.S. Department of Justice Memo, “Individual Accountability for Corporate Wrongdoing” aka, the Sally Yates Memo, September 9, 2015.

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