Given that it is May 1 and you will likely be staring at a stack of 100 time logs from physicians who want to be paid, here are 3 tips for minimizing compliance errors:
Make it easy for the physician to give you what you need to pay to pay them.
This sounds like a no brainer, but seriously, physicians are running 100 miles an hour everyday. They do not always know the compliance rules related to Stark Law and the Anti-kickback Statute. So, if your hospital needs the physician to document work performed, make that process easy for the them. Examples: Have a location where the physicians can login and provide you with the documentation. If you have a specific format required, email the physician the form each month you need it filled out. Or provide an online system that makes the submission of the time logs easy.
Provide a process that keeps the physician inside the lines with what they write.Not only is it difficult for you to read what physicians write on paper time logs, it is also super annoying for them to have to remember what is in their contract as they are logging their time. Offer the physicians a format that has the duties in their contract that they are required to provide each month. Examples: One idea is to have the submission form include a key that lists the duties in the contract. That way, the physician can first pick a duty and make a note. Or provide an online system that requires the physician to select a duty first, before recording any time.
Check the math… the hours worked, the payment rate and contract terms.Review the documentation submitted to ensure the math is correct, the hourly rate is consistent with the contract, and the monthly or annual hours do not exceed the maximum. Put a system in place to ensure you don’t exceed these maximums. Example: Make sure one and a half hours is not written as 1 hour 30 minutes and entered into Excel as 1.3. There are 60 minutes in an hour, so make sure you are not totaling “minutes” which is a basis of 60 in Excel without thinking through each entry. Or provide an online system that does all the calculations!
PS. Ludi can help!