No they cannot unless it is a nurse practitioner with privileges.
Outpatient orders need dates, signatures and indications (diagnoses)
Subject: Requirements for Ordering and Following Orders for Diagnostic Tests
An "order" is a communication from the treating physician/practitioner requesting that a diagnostic test be performed for a beneficiary. The order may conditionally request an additional diagnostic test for a particular beneficiary if the result of the initial diagnostic test ordered yields to a certain value determined by the treating physician/practitioner (e.g., if test X is negative, then perform test Y). An order may be delivered via the following forms of communication:
If the order is communicated via telephone, both the treating physician/practitioner or his/her office, and the testing facility must document the telephone call in their respective copies of the beneficiary's medical records.
No it is not – and outpatient regulations are changing in 2018
If I read your question correctly, you have two issues; one issue is obtaining an order with a clinical reason for the ordered service and ensuring the service ordered meets medical necessity.Do you have a compliance officer in your organization that can provide you with your state regs that define who can order a service, and who can sign orders? Each state may have different regulations surrounding authentication of orders. You may also reference the State Survey Manual Appendix A - Survey Protocol, Regulations and Interpretative Guidelines for Hospitals on the CMS website. It provides specific requirements surrounding verbal orders, protocol, orders, etc.Orders have to be provided by a physician, but a RN or medical assistant in a physician office works under the direct supervision of a physician and as such may be able to provide a "verbal order" which would be entered into the record as an order for the physician and subsequently routed to the physician for signature. State regs may provide some guidance on this practice.Medical necessity is another issue and another process. Do you have a precert or preauthorization team in place? Someone should be reviewing all clinical indications for outpatient services to ensure they meet medical necessity. CMS as well as most payers have coverage policies on line to assist in making this determination. When the service is not covered it may be necessary to contact the ordering physician and the patient with the cost of the procedure and obtain an Advance Beneficiary Notice from the patient.Start with your state's licensing regulations for hospitals, review the CMS regulations surrounding outpatient services and standards as defined by your accrediting body if it is someone other than CMS.I hope this makes sense!
That works like a verbal order – you need a provider signature/authentication. Do you have CPOE for outpatient?