4 Top Complaints of Employed Doctors

Kenneth J. Terry, MA


May 08, 2013

In This Article

Having Less Authority Over Billing and Charge Coding

To the extent that their compensation is based on productivity, billing and collection are also very important to employed doctors. In private practice, the office manager or the physicians supervise those functions. But in many hospitals, the central business office does all the billing and collection work for employed doctors, and the hospital staff may not be attuned to the nuances of ambulatory care billing.

"The further you move that billing from the physician who is creating that charge for that service, the harder it is to get it right," Whaley says. "And the less the people onsite know about the billing, the less they're able to explain to the doctor the justification for why this bill won't get paid or why it was done incorrectly." These kinds of misunderstandings can lead to friction.

Charge coding is another area ripe for misunderstanding. Many doctors in private practice may pick an evaluation and management code on the basis of their experience, without making sure all the required documentation has been done, Whaley observes. In hospitals, they have to be much more careful. "They might have thought they understood coding, and now they don't understand coding," she says.

This is all about regulatory compliance, she notes. Hospitals are very used to being audited by the Joint Commission, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and other regulatory bodies. Most physicians are not used to that if they come from private practice, she points out.