Some doctors are unaware of the fact that they are missing from billing for services provided that they have performed outside the office such as a hospital, or nursing home. With many specialties working outside the office, where in practice there is considerable billable value that is being overlooked and falling through the cracks.
A published example of this happening is when a physician went to his closet to take out his winter coat that he had not worn since the prior march. When he passed through his pocket, he found a piece of paper, where he had written a summary of the allegations of a patient he had seen in the emergency department 8 months earlier. His office was completely unaware of the patient, so in return he did not bill for any service during those 6 months.
Each physician needs a system to collect and report on information occurring outside the office. Some people use notebooks, hospital face sheets or diaries. Most hospitals send hospital notes or follow information about the patient directly to the doctor’s office. This is another way to track these patients and ensure that appropriate fees are being billed. In addition, the physician needs to be proactive in ensuring that they are keeping an eye on all patients and charges occurring outside the office. Before he gets out of the hospital, nursing home, or other outlying area, he must go to the patients’ names and all charges that are insured and correct and they are not leaving anything.
An office staff member should grieve the physician on a regular basis. Some physicians distribute hospital lists of patients to their billing clerks on a daily basis; Some compile a list for the week and give it to their billing clerk at the end of every week. Some doctors have a wall-mounted blackboard that lists patients in the hospital for that week so that it is visible to the physician and billing clerk. This method can also be used when billing for surgery. These should always be kept separate from the office charge and coincide with the surgery schedule to ensure that no one is being shunned and billed.
When a call is made to another office or physician, it is best to call the office where the person is an established patient and ask that the patient register letters to hospitalize you with this information and Insurance card information should be exhausted instead of fax.
Take some time to confirm that all your work is billed correctly, accurately and efficiently.