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Office of Mental Health

Use of Electronic Records by Medicaid Providers

In 2000 the federal "Electronics Records and Signatures in Commerce Act" was enacted into law to facilitate the use of electronic records and signatures in interstate or foreign commerce.

In 1999 New York enacted the Electronic Signatures and Records Act (Chapter 57-A of the Consolidated Laws, also known as ESRA) and subsequently promulgated at title 9 NYCRR Part 540.

With the advancement of technology, an increasing number of Medicaid providers are seeking to use electronic records to support their Medicaid claims and to record the care, services and supplies that have been provided. We are providing these guidelines for the use of electronic records in the Medicaid program. These guidelines permit, but do not require, the use of electronic records, and are intended for Medicaid providers.

Electronic records are acceptable under the following circumstances:

  1. The electronic format conforms to the requirements of federal and State laws and regulations;
  2. The electronic record is the original record and has not been altered or, if altered, shows the original and altered versions, dates of creation, and creator;
  3. The electronic record is accessible to any auditing agency and is capable of reproduction in paper form at the provider's expense. The Department, or any other government agency, may require a certification that the paper reproduction is an exact copy of the electronic record;
  4. The content of the record meets the applicable requirements of the Medicaid program found in federal and State (18 NYCRR) regulations to support the claim for payment.

Confidentiality requirements mandated by HIPAA and other statutes are applicable to electronic records.

These guidelines do not supercede requirements which mandate the maintenance and retention of records in the form in which they were originally created.

Laboratory providers must also make sure that any electronic records used to order lab services comply with 18 NYCRR 505.7.

These guidelines should not be construed as either authorizing or otherwise applying to electronic signatures.

Should you have any questions regarding this, please direct them in writing to:

Mr. Gregor Macmillan
New York State Department of Health
Division of Legal Affairs, Bureau of Medicaid Law
Corning Tower Building, 24th Floor
Empire State Plaza
Albany, NY 12237