Published 08/03/2020

A scribe can be a nonphysician practitioner (NPP), nurse or other appropriate personnel designated by the physician or NPP to document or dictate on their behalf. A scribe does not have to be an employee of the physician or NPP.

Scribes are not providers of items or services. When a scribe is used by a provider in documenting medical record entries (e.g., progress notes), the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) does not require the scribe to sign and date the documentation. The treating physician’s or NPP’s signature on a note indicates that the physician or NPP affirms the note adequately documents the care provided.

The Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) is only required to look for the signature (and date) of the treating physician or NPP on the note. Services shall not be denied for items or services because a scribe has not signed/dated a note.

Reference: CMS Change Request (CR) 10076/Transmittal 713 (PDF, 79 KB).

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