There’s no better feeling than payday. Whether you’re cashing that hard-earned check or checking your banking app for that direct deposit notification, we all love that feeling of seeing transfer into your hands. For locum tenens, this process can be a little trickier. Both locum tenens and healthcare facilities have to be on the same page to ensure that the billing is correct. In other words, it’s a lot of paperwork that needs to be filled out correctly. The government is constantly changing the healthcare landscape. With that in mind, you can expect a ton of forms and stipulations to go over. Luckily, we’ve got some locum tenens billing tips to provide you below. Let’s give them a look!
Locum Tenens Billing Tips
This goes for both the locum tenens as well as the facility or program hiring them. It’s no secret that there’s a good amount of procedures and options when it comes to locum tenens billing, so planning ahead will save you a headache in the long run. When a locum tenens begins a new assignment, the details should already be ironed out. These include the length of the assignment, the pay of course, and the exact services the locum will be providing. It’s important so the facilities aren’t paying extra, and the locum tenens aren’t being underpaid. With some foresight, your locum tenens billing should be a breeze! There are normally two lengths that you’ll need to consider before the billing starts – locum tenens working for less than 60 days, and locum tenens who are working for greater than 60 days.
Get Familiar With Medicare
You might be asking why Medicare is involved in locum tenens billing. Well, billing falls under a Modified Q6 which is a form that designates proper compensation for locum tenens. The CMS (Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services says that a locum tenens physician can provide services to Medicare patients over a continuous period for no longer than 60 days. Utilizing the NPI number of the absent physician allows the absent physician to bill Medicare as if they performed the treatment themselves, but this period cannot exceed 60 calendar days. The locum tenens that is replacing the absent physician will be billed as a normal locum tenens.
Extended Stays are Trickier
If a locum tenens is working for greater than 60 days, that’s where locum tenens billing gets trickier. If a locum tenens works for longer than 60 days in a position, the absent physician’s NPI cannot be used. The locum tenens physician must enroll and register with Medicare as if they are a new physician starting with the facility. This goes back to planning ahead. You’ll want to try and schedule early enrollment for incoming locum tenens that plan to stay longer than 60 days. If you let the payer take care of the enrollment process for your new staff member, this can often take up to two months. This wastes a ton of time and can often put locum tenens and facilities in tough situations.
Alternatively, if the regular physician is able to return for even one day, then it is possible to utilize the same locum tenens doctor as before and begin a new 60-day period with the Q6 modifier and start utilizing the absent physician’s NPI once again. This can ensure coverage over a longer period of time and save some future headaches.
Locum tenens billing can be tricky, but it doesn’t have to be! We hope you were able to gain some insight from these tips to make the billing process as smooth as possible. What are some locum tenens billing tips that you recommend? Comment them below!