DATE: January 24, 2008
SUBJECT: Use of Electronic Signatures
DISTRIBUTION: County Directors of Social Services
Medicaid Eligibility Staff
During the past year, the issue of electronic signatures on Medicaid applications and related forms has been brought to the attention of the Division. Many county departments of social services are installing systems which use a digitized signature pad or they are imaging signed paper copies of records. There have been several requests that these electronic signature methods be allowed for Medicaid forms.
We have discussed this issue with a representative of the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) who reviewed the Electronic Commerce Act, North Carolina General Statute § 66-58.1,., the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act, North Carolina General Statute (UETA), § 66-311 et seq., and the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGNS), 15 U.S.C. § 7001 et seq. The OAG representative found nothing in these Acts that would prohibit electronic signatures.
We then contacted the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for further guidance. While 42 CFR 435.907 requires a written signature on the Medicaid application, CMS has verified that a digitized or scanned signature is acceptable for purposes of the application process.
If you have any questions regarding this information, please contact your Medicaid Program Representative. For any issues that are not able to be handled through that venue, Mrs. Angela Floyd, Assistant Director for Recipient and Provider Services, will be your point of contact and can be reached at (919) 855-4000.
William W. Lawrence, Jr., M.D., Acting Director
(This material was researched and written by Jon York, Field Staff Supervisor, Medicaid Eligibility Unit)
For questions or clarification on any of the policy contained in these manuals, please contact your local county office.