Magazine article Medical Economics

Q&A: Practice Management

Magazine article Medical Economics

Q&A: Practice Management

Article excerpt

Billing for wasted time and supplies

For certain procedures that require an extensive setup, we prep the room in advance of the patient's appointment. If the patient doesn't show up, some of the items have to be discarded or sterilized and repacked. Is there any way we can bill for our preparation/clean-up time or the lost supplies?

No, sorry. No carrier will reimburse you for expenses you incur when a patient misses an appointment. To solve problems like the one you cite, establish a cancellation policy: Inform patients that they'll be charged a noshow fee for any appointment missed or cancelled without 24-hour notification.

Send employees to the doc's vacation home?

One of my partners owns a beach house. We've been tossing around the idea of awarding one week at the house to an employee and spouse. We'd draw the winner's name out of a hat at our year-end party. Will this boost morale or cause problems?

This exciting prize will no doubt boost morale around contest time, but our consultants see a potential for trouble. How comfortable is your colleague with giving employees full rein at his vacation home for a week? For example, if something gets damaged or lost, or if someone is injured, would that affect his relationship with them at work? Moreover, from a legal point of view, it sounds like a business use of the premises. Will your partner's homeowners' insurance policy cover any losses or injuries that occur under this arrangement?

Also, our consultants think the prize might unintentionally emphasize the lifestyle difference and salary disparity between the doctors and employees-and only make things more difficult when time comes to pare down annual raises or trim back office spending. …

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