You can’t always plan for the unexpected at your hospital or healthcare facility, and with the physician shortage, you probably have sometimes found yourself scrambling to find coverage for shifts. Using locum tenens providers to fill in during flu season, a physician’s maternity leave, and at other times can be a helpful solution. This is where enlisting a reputable staffing company can be an advantage to you.
With this in mind, have you ever wondered how to properly bill temporary providers? The process varies depending on the reason you are using locum services, so we have put together an overview with a few questions to ask yourself as you begin to tackle to process.
What will the locum tenens physician need?
Although the locum tenens physician does not have to be in the same specialty as the physician he or she is covering for, the locum tenens provider must have a National Provider Identifier (NPI). Additionally, the provider must hold an unrestricted license in the state of practice. If you work with a staffing company, they will help mediate the process and ensure that each provider is fully licensed and credentialed to work at your hospital or healthcare facility.
Why are you considering locum tenens physicians?
Are you seeking coverage while searching for a permanent doctor, augmenting permanent staff, or starting a new service line? If you are, then ask whether the locum is enrolled in Medicare. If so, you can link the provider to the group and bill using the locum’s NPI number. If not, then enroll the locum in Medicare and use his or her NPI number after Medicare approval.
Are you seeking coverage to hold the place of an absent physician who will return?
If you don’t need coverage for more than 30 days, then you can bill using the absent doctor’s NPI and Q6 modifier. If you will need coverage for longer than a month and the locum is enrolled in Medicare, then you can simply link the provider to the group and use the locum’s NPI for the duration of the assignment. If the locum isn’t enrolled in Medicare, then you can bill using the doctor’s NPI and Q6 modifier for 60 days and then use a new locum or enroll the existing locum in Medicare.
If you have additional questions about billing for locum tenens services, please feel free to reach out to one of our experienced business development executives today by calling 855-301-0563.