• Best of E-Talk: Expired Authorizations


    Question: A patient’s authorization expired, but we continued to see them not once, but twice, after that. This proved a big mistake, since we were unable to get a retroactive authorization. Is the patient responsible for the charges? Can we write off this mistake?

    Answer: Most believe authorizations are the practice’s responsibility — not the patient’s. Upon check in, your staff needs to ensure that the patient has the proper paperwork for the visit. If, for whatever reason, the patient’s paperwork slips through the cracks and you still see the patient, it’s probably best to simply write off the charge rather than bill them. However, always do your best to get retroactive authorization.

    Keep in mind that there are a few insurance policies in which the responsibility for authorization falls on the patient. In that case, you would bill the patient regardless of any issues with the paperwork.