We have a crazy situation that has come up and I am not sure of all of the legalities of how to handle it. I have searched many, many threads here for Locum Tenens, but haven't found what I needed. Hopefully, someone out there will have some insight.

We had a doctor leave our radiation practice and we have had a locum tenens covering his patients for the 60 day period. The 60 days are up. We had a doctor in last week as a locum, but then he was being credentialled and would be a contracted provider as of Monday. For some reason, the doctor is not coming back and now we are scrambling trying to figure out how to cover the patients. We brought in a locum we used previously, but our time for billing a locum is up. We are working on getting him credentialled. We do not want to interrupt our patient's treatments, so we are continuing to use the "locum" doctor even though we know we may not receive reimbursement for the treatments provided. First and foremost, our patients are safe and well cared for. The "locum" knows his stuff! But, we are a business and need to make money to continue to provide care.

Here is my problem. We have already hired a permanent provider that will start mid-September. The doctor that left unexpectedly was being credentialled and was only going to be working with us for about 6 weeks until the other provider could start. Someone in our organization is suggesting the following: Credential the current "locum" and when he has to leave for other assignments pull in another locum to cover for him since he will be credentialled. I think that is a very, very bad idea - legally, but I can't find anything to substantiate my feelings. I have done all kinds of searches on CMS, Noridian, just plain Googling! Luckily the "locum" doctor isn't too thrilled with it either and it may not fly. I don't think anyone is purposely trying to commit fraud. I think they truly are trying to find a way to take care of our patients appropriately.

I have to go to them with something in writing. Anyone have any suggestions? I really am at a loss. Coding is my specialty, not practice management!

Thanks all for your help and expertise.