Using The Calendar For Billing, Meds & Other Tasks

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Using The Calendar For Billing Issues, Meds, Other Tasks

Those who must request Medication Prior Auths, produce scripts in advance of patient appointments, wish to remind patients, etc. without cluttering their own calendar can use the Calendar as a powerful tool by creating a "pseudo User" with calendar privileges. That pseudo user can then be viewed by actual users by using the ctrl-click when viewing their own calendar, which will make the pseudo another "user" alongside their own calendar.

The most powerful way to use it is to create special Calendar Categories for specific needs - patient prompts, OTR, Prior Auth, Needs Script, needs Renewal, etc., with different colors to allow for fast visual selection for processing. Setting these up is done using Admin - Calendar - Categories. These will show up as added types in the Visit Type in Encounter dropdown, as well as within the calendar New Appointment window.

Make certain to select the Pseudo User as the "Provider" when setting these, as the default will be the actual user logged in. Also, to assure greatest likelihood of seeing them (ie not overlooking them) it is best to use the smallest time segments, and use them in the earliest sequence per day available, since the Calendar always opens at the first hour defined in Globals.php. Your Globals.php settings may be set to more than 15 minutes (the default), but that should be a sufficient time element for each of these task reminders.

It is best to NOT allow the automatic creation of an encounter with "@", which can interfere with the normal billing and accounting, but they will show up as upcoming "appointments" in the patient demographics if you link the patient in setting the appointment, which can be a good reminder to the providers, and you can use the other Status characters as appropriate.

These are also a great way to use the "repeat" functions available in the calendar. As with all calendar items, though, you should generally avoid indefinite repeats (ie make an end date for the repeats be no more than three years hence, then update as that approaches).

In use, the provider will ctrl-click to add the pseudo to their calendar listing, which will be a task prompter, and they can checkoff each item using the same "Status" characters. As an example; Joe Holzer needs his Controlled Substance paper script on specific state script form every month. So the provider uses the pseudo user (Tasks) calendar to create a repeating reminder every month a few days before the patient would expect to pick it up, or have it mailed to him. The provider can then prepare them within the state's typically 30 day limit of use, but at the provider's convenience, and have them available for pickup at the front desk, thereby training patients to follow the schedule so as to minimize those Sunday "crises" for meds.

It should be equally obvious the savings of time for prior auths, etc such usage provides. A very useful tool.

By the time you read this there may be a patch for versions 3.1 and above to allow comments for all appointments to display in the Fancy or Outlook Day views, which will allow you to also use the Calendar to remind on issues such as Copays, especially at the new year when annual deductibles often apply, to minimize delay in receipt of your payments due, or for other important messages, which can be added using the "Comments" in the Appointment setting window. Access these in existing appointments by clicking on the Time displayed within them. The comment text displayed is limited only by the size of the displayed block, and will follow the patient name.

Lastly, the Calendar can allow grouping process activities by use of the color codes, to gain the time efficiencies for task consolidation - for example do all prior auth request forms first thing, rather than have such interfere throughout the day disrupting other processes. Best of luck. Let us know via the Users forum if this helps you. Thanks.