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Mississippi Code Title 73. Professions and Vocations § 73-21-183. Audit procedures;  reports

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(1) The entity conducting an audit shall follow these procedures:

(a) The pharmacy contract must identify and describe in detail the audit procedures;

(b) The entity conducting the on-site audit must give the pharmacy written notice at least two (2) weeks before conducting the initial on-site audit for each audit cycle, and the pharmacy shall have at least fourteen (14) days to respond to any desk audit requirements;

(c) The entity conducting the on-site or desk audit shall not interfere with the delivery of pharmacist services to a patient and shall utilize every effort to minimize inconvenience and disruption to pharmacy operations during the audit process;

(d) Any audit that involves clinical or professional judgment must be conducted by or in consultation with a pharmacist;

(e) Any clerical or record-keeping error, such as a typographical error, scrivener's error, or computer error, regarding a required document or record shall not constitute fraud;  however, those claims may be subject to recoupment.  No such claim shall be subject to criminal penalties without proof of intent to commit fraud;

(f) A pharmacy may use the records of a hospital, physician, or other authorized practitioner of the healing arts for drugs or medicinal supplies written or transmitted by any means of communication for purposes of validating the pharmacy record with respect to orders or refills of a legend or narcotic drug;

(g) A finding of an overpayment or an underpayment may be a projection based on the number of patients served having a similar diagnosis or on the number of similar orders or refills for similar drugs, except that recoupment shall be based on the actual overpayment or underpayment;

(h) A finding of an overpayment shall not include the dispensing fee amount unless a prescription was not dispensed;

(i) Each pharmacy shall be audited under the same standards and parameters as other similarly situated pharmacies audited by the entity;

(j) The period covered by an audit may not exceed two (2) years from the date the claim was submitted to or adjudicated by a managed care company, nonprofit hospital or medical service organization, insurance company, third-party payor, pharmacy benefit manager, a health program administered by a department of the state or any entity that represents those companies, groups, or department;

(k) An audit may not be initiated or scheduled during the first five (5) calendar days of any month due to the high volume of prescriptions filled in the pharmacy during that time unless otherwise consented to by the pharmacy;

(l) Any prescription that complies with state law and rule requirements may be used to validate claims in connection with prescriptions, refills or changes in prescriptions;

(m) An exit interview that provides a pharmacy with an opportunity to respond to questions and comment on and clarify findings must be conducted at the end of an audit.  The time of the interview must be agreed to by the pharmacy;

(n) Unless superseded by state or federal law, auditors shall only have access to previous audit reports on a particular pharmacy conducted by the auditing entity for the same pharmacy benefits manager, health plan or insurer.  An auditing vendor contracting with multiple pharmacy benefits managers or health insurance plans shall not use audit reports or other information gained from an audit on a particular pharmacy to conduct another audit for a different pharmacy benefits manager or health insurance plan;

(o) The parameters of an audit must comply with consumer-oriented parameters based on manufacturer listings or recommendations for the following:

(i) The day supply for eyedrops must be calculated so that the consumer pays only one (1) thirty-day copayment if the bottle of eyedrops is intended by the manufacturer to be a thirty-day supply;

(ii) The day supply for insulin must be calculated so that the highest dose prescribed is used to determine the day supply and consumer copayment;

(iii) The day supply for a topical product must be determined by the judgment of the pharmacist based upon the treated area;

(p)(i) Where an audit is for a specifically identified problem that has been disclosed to the pharmacy, the audit shall be limited to claims that are identified by prescription number;

(ii) For an audit other than described in subparagraph (i) of this paragraph (p), an audit shall be limited to one hundred (100) individual prescriptions that have been randomly selected;

(iii) If an audit reveals the necessity for a review of additional claims, the audit shall be conducted on site;

(iv) Except for audits initiated under paragraph (i) of this subsection, an entity shall not initiate an audit of a pharmacy more than one (1) time in any quarter;

(r) A recoupment shall not be based on:

(i) Documentation requirements in addition to or exceeding requirements for creating or maintaining documentation prescribed by the State Board of Pharmacy;  or

(ii) A requirement that a pharmacy or pharmacist perform a professional duty in addition to or exceeding professional duties prescribed by the State Board of Pharmacy;

(s) Except for Medicare claims, approval of drug, prescriber or patient eligibility upon adjudication of a claim shall not be reversed unless the pharmacy or pharmacist obtained the adjudication by fraud or misrepresentation of claim elements;  and

(t) A commission or other payment to an agent or employee of the entity conducting the audit is not based, directly or indirectly, on amounts recouped.

(2) The entity must provide the pharmacy with a written report of the audit and comply with the following requirements:

(a) The preliminary audit report must be delivered to the pharmacy within one hundred twenty (120) days after conclusion of the audit, with a reasonable extension to be granted upon request;

(b) A pharmacy shall be allowed at least thirty (30) days following receipt of the preliminary audit report in which to produce documentation to address any discrepancy found during the audit, with a reasonable extension to be granted upon request;

(c) A final audit report shall be delivered to the pharmacy within one hundred eighty (180) days after receipt of the preliminary audit report or final appeal, as provided for in Section 73-21-185, whichever is later;

(d) The audit report must be signed by the auditor;

(e) Recoupments of any disputed funds, or repayment of funds to the entity by the pharmacy if permitted pursuant to contractual agreement, shall occur after final internal disposition of the audit, including the appeals process as set forth in Section 73-21-185.  If the identified discrepancy for an individual audit exceeds Twenty-five Thousand Dollars ($25,000.00), future payments in excess of that amount to the pharmacy may be withheld pending finalization of the audit;

(f) Interest shall not accrue during the audit period;  and

(g) Each entity conducting an audit shall provide a copy of the final audit report, after completion of any review process, to the plan sponsor.

Cite this article: - Mississippi Code Title 73. Professions and Vocations § 73-21-183. Audit procedures;  reports - last updated January 01, 2018 |

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