Too often hospitals and medical practices do not maximize their reimbursements. This is particularly true on the locum tenens side of the business, where a lot of money is either left on the table or not collected at all. On average, a physician can generate $10,122 in revenue per day. If you are not billing for the full scope of the physician’s work, you are handcuffing your organization.
It’s actually a common problem. From my work, I estimate between 30-40 percent of organizations that utilize locum tenens clinicians don’t understand how to properly enroll their locum’s providers in order to receive reimbursement for their services.
At the heart of the issue is the answer to a simple question. Can I receive reimbursements for locum tenens providers? While the answer may obviously seem to be yes, it’s not as simple as it seems. There are two ways to receive payment for locums work. I like to think of it as a fork in the road.
Short term—This is the simplest way. If a physician is on leave for 60 days or less, you can file a Q6 Modifier which allows the locum’s clinician to bill under the permanent clinician’s enrollment. But this is rarely the case in today’s world. Often clinicians are staying at locums assignments for a year or more, meaning that we need another solution.
Long-term—A clinician does not have to be a permanent employee to be enrolled as a provider at a facility. You can have 1099 contractors who are enrolled as providers, which accounts for most locum tenens clinicians. This is only for enrollment terms. This option is a more labor-intensive path to receive reimbursements and it takes longer, but it allows you to receive full payment for the care provided. This is also the path that would need to be utilized by any Advanced Practice Practitioner.