Advice from our community message board on handling outpatient charges
EDITORS' NOTE: Veterinarians, practice managers, and team members are asking questions and getting answers at the dvm360.com community message board. Below is one suggestion from the Practice Finances category for organizing patient travel sheets from Claire Garcia, office manager and owner of Your Family Veterinarian in Orlando, Fla.:
This works well in our hospital:
1. Before a pet is checked in for hospitalization, the doctor produces a detailed estimate. The client signs this and is told what the charges will be within a couple hundred dollars depending on the progression of the patient's condition.
2. Create hospitalization sheets for each day. Highlight times for checking basic vital signs, medication administration, changes in fluid rates, and so on. Then have technicians make notes on these forms throughout the day for additional items. For the most part, though, the doctor's medical plan determines most of the items on the sheet.
3. Each morning the technician caring for that patient looks over the charges that were entered the previous day and enters the charges for that day. For large cases (more than $1,000), the office manager also reviews the charges.
4. Before a patient leaves, have the person discharging the patient review the charges along with the discharge instructions. In simple cases, this is our trained receptionist. In more complicated cases, it's the technician.
This process ensures that it's not just one person's responsibility to get all the charges entered, which means we're less likely to miss charges.
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