Some physicians fail to properly charge their patients for services they have provided outside of their office, such as at a hospital or nursing home. There is a lot of commercial value in the medical field that is being missed and forgotten due to the fact that many specialists spend significant time working away from the office.
According to one account, this occurred when a doctor dug out his winter suit from March the previous year. As he searched his pockets, he came upon a piece of paper on which he had jotted an inventory of charges regarding a patient he had seen in the emergency room eight months before. During those six months, his office did not provide any services since they had no idea who the patient was.
A method of collecting and reporting out-of-office charges is essential for every practicing physician. A notepad, hospital face sheet, or journal may be used by some. The majority of healthcare facilities now electronically transmit patient data directly to the primary care physician or specialist. This is yet another method for monitoring these individuals and ensuring accurate billing. In addition, the doctor has to take preventative measures to ensure that they are keeping tabs on all of their patients and their out-of-office expenses. Prior to leaving the facility, he or she should double-check the patient’s identity and any costs to make sure they are right and that nothing has been overlooked.
The doctor should get frequent updates from office workers. Some doctors hand over their daily patient roster from the hospital to their billing clerk, while others save it up for the week and hand it off during the weekend. Some physicians have a whiteboard on the wall that details their hospital patients for the week, making it easy to see for both the doctor and the billing specialist. This concept may be used to surgical billing as well. These should be maintained separate from office fees at all times and coordinated with the surgical schedule to avoid any billing discrepancies.
Instead of patiently waiting for the healthcare facility to send over the patient’s enrollment sheet & insurance card information, the doctor on call could contact the patient’s regular office and request that they fax it over.