2. Do your homework before hiring.
Ask your practice manager to research licensure requirements in your state. What services are included in each APP’s scope of practice, and will your payers allow direct billing for each of these services? When billing under a physician’s supervision, what type of supervision is required for each service? For example, payers may require that a physician is immediately available or even in the same room for certain services. For other services, they may only need to be accessible by phone. Documentation should clearly support the supervision requirements, said Hauptman.
3. Involve your coders.
They understand the billing requirements and can help you understand billing opportunities and limitations. They may also be able to help you anticipate how much revenue you can generate by hiring an APP.
Hauptman cited a hypothetical example in which a practice hired a physician assistant to see most new and established patients. The physician assistant also saw some post-op patients and performed some consultations. Hiring the physician assistant not only helped the practice increase its overall patient volume, but it also allowed the physician to add several hospital visits and an additional case to his or her operating room schedule weekly, yielding more than than $200,000 annually.
“The revenue is absolutely there if you use the APP correctly,” said Hauptman.