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Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #1 

I need an answer to a question that his comingup often in our practice.  Is there a window of time that a physician hasin order to sign the H&P or Progress notes in order to bill for it? 

Example:    Patient came in on 12/22/11….had surgery on 12/23/11 and was discharged on12/25/11.  The H&P was not signed…until after the physician returnedfrom the holiday vacation on 1/3/12.  Can we still bill for the 12/22/11as of that date?

Thank You



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Reply with quote  #2 

I am not aware of any time limit on when a physician may sign a document.  Hopefully, we can get some other members to post opinions on this matter.


Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #3 

CMS issued a transmittal (#6698, 3/16/10) entitled signature guidelines for medical review purposes but does not specifically indicate a time limit for signing a note.  You may want to check with your carrier to see if they have specific guidelines though.  In my opinion I would bill the service.


Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #4 

Thank you for your imput. 


Posts: 39
Reply with quote  #5 

I'm not aware of any time limit on signing the document.  I've seen instances where the hospitalist hasn't "signed" the note until medical records contacts him about the incomplete chart 30+ days later, and we still bill with the date of service.  However, CMS is clear that a claim must not be sent without supporting documentation being complete.  The charge should be held and not submitted for payment until the Physician has signed off on the chart.


Posts: 4
Reply with quote  #6 
There is no time limit for the physician to sign the note as stated but what  you may want to bring to his/her attention is that there is timely filing limit for all insurance carriers and I would not submit anything for payment without the physician signauture as that could become a leaga issue if you had to send supporting documentation. The physicain could always state that they did not do the procedure or had not completed their docuementaiton before you sent the claim to be billed.

When the physician realizes that they are losing monies due to timely filing becuse their note is not signed then they may start paying attetion and get their notes signed in a timely manner. I do know that some hospital will fine  physicians for not signing their notes in a timely manner as it can cost them monies when it come to billing also.

hope this helps and good luck
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