new patient charges
At 09:14 AM 10/29/98 -0600, you wrote:
>If you are covering for someone else's practice and see a patient for
>the first time, do you charge the new patient charge? Do you make up a
>new chart and have them do the usual intake forms? If you don't, then
>what do you do if the patient subsequently informs you that you are
>going to be their physician? Do you charge a new patient visit, then?
When I see a patient on another provider's behalf, I treat and bill the
patient as if I *were* that provider. The patient shouldn't get penalized
financially because their provider had someone else covering. One ENT
office locally has one doctor who's part of Blue Cross and two who don't.
When a patient with Blue Cross see's the Blue Cross doc they have a $20.00
co-pay but if he's not in the office and one of his associates see's the
patient the family get's charged $100.00, Blue Cross pays an
out-of-network rate of about $20.00, and the patient gets a bill for
$80.00. I don't send Blue Cross patients to that practice anymore.
We have a "One Time Visit Form" which skips some of the usual new patient
information but is appropriate for an urgent care type of visit.
I don't accept new patients into my practice if they met me as a result of
my covering for another provider. There have been a couple of times when
the family made a follow-up appointment without explaining that they were
planning to switch practices or there was already a connection to my office
(a relative or friend who already was a patient in the practice, etc.). In
those cases I personally called the previous provider, explained the
situation, and in most cases they were happy to see the patient leave their
practice (and I later found out why).
Michael Sachs, M.D.