Shirah Vollmer MD

The Musings of Dr. Vollmer

Office Management

Posted by Dr. Vollmer on February 24, 2011

“Do you charge when someone calls you to ask for a refill?” a colleague asks me. Once again, I feel the contradictory pulls of my older colleagues who would say “no way” and my younger colleagues who would say “time is time”.  Do I bill like a lawyer or an accountant who charges for their time or do I bill like an old-time physician who charges for a service? Or, as one would imagine, is there some combination of service and time which goes into this fuzzy world of billing? Emails take time. Phone calls take time. Faxes take time. Prior authorizations, letters for insurance, letters for school, they all take time too. Sure, billing for my time makes sense. Time is limited. I have to figure out a way to use it most efficiently and effectively.  On the other hand, there is a service aspect to what I do, which would get lost if every minute was “on the clock”. It is a tough question. I have to think about it.

2 Responses to “Office Management”

  1. Shelly said

    Will insurance cover the bill for refills? If not, perhaps your patients will move on to other psychiatrists who do not charge for those services. It’s an open market……..

    • It is an interesting question. No, insurance covers for appointments, which would cost the patient more money then getting a refill, but of course, sometimes, many times, an appointment is clinically indicated, and that is a completely different story.

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