The normal item when I get asked to review a consultant’s invoicing process is the potential for weakness in the area of records on his/her part.
Sometimes, I’m presented with a carrier bag full of invoices, remittances, and receipts. My favourite though remains the cardboard box stuffed full of pieces of paper. That was the filing system. Close examination of the pieces of paper in the cardboard box suggested they were invoices. Many in fact did not have an invoice number on them. Indeed the majority did not actually have the word INVOICE printed on them either.
That can be a problem when I come to reconcile payments against such payments IF they’ve been paid at all. That is important because it’s difficult to contact an insurance company and discuss invoices for one individual patient if the invoice does not show a specific invoice number. In fact, the only way you can tell them apart is if the values are different and they are on different dates.
It’s always best to have a unique reference number on an invoice i.e. an invoice number and a date. And don’t forget to print the word INVOICE on it. At least that way, you stand a chance of knowing which ones have or have not been paid.
Then the hard part starts as you begin to look at what is or is not on the invoice and get a feel for what was likely to be paid anyway and what was likely to be rejected due to total lack of detail. Normally this is followed by a request to see clinic lists and the process of obtaining the right data off the clinic list for submission to the insurance company.
There is also an additional cost to not keeping accurate records. When it comes to tax time, its going to take a lot longer – and thereby cost much more – for your accountant to do the necessary computations. At worse you could end up paying too much tax.
All because records aren’t kept correctly. Please keep accurate records if only because it means you stand a much higher chance of being paid!
Please email me if you want details of the bare minimum records you should be keeping for invoicing purposes.