Coding Cues: Locum tenens billing

April 18, 2008

A physician left our group recently and we hired a locum tenens until a replacement can be found. Can we use the previous physician's provider number with the Q6 modifier for billing purposes until then?

Key Points

A physician left our group recently and we hired a locum tenens until a replacement can be found. Can we use the previous physician's provider number with the Q6 modifier for billing purposes until then?

That depends. A physician who has left the group and been replaced with a locum tenens physician may still be considered a member of the group until a permanent replacement is hired. But this is a time-limited provision. You can use the previous physician's provider number with the Q6 modifier for no longer than 60 days. After that, the locum tenens provider, who must already be a Medicare provider, must use his own number. Keep a record of his NPI and legacy Medicare numbers on file.