Mandatory Therapy Sign-In Logs

I have a suggestion for insurance companies that would protect their interests and the interests of their members who use behavioral health services. It’s a very simple idea, It would require providers to maintain session log sheets for each client.
I had a therapist commit insurance fraud by triple billing for sessions one month. When the insurance company had to investigate it they had to go through mountains of paperwork to conclude that the therapist billed for sessions that did not occur, utilizing more time and company resources than necessary.
Had they had one simple form it could have been proven that I was or was not in therapy for the a particular date that was billed for, saving precious time and resources.
Since were talking about mental health services these log sheets would have to be kept in each clients file and every session they would have to sign in on a form that would look something like this with a column under each heading:

Date_________Printed name_________ Signature__________ .

Simple right???

This log would have to be sent in once a year to the insurance company and scanned into a database for the record. This would make insurance fraud much more difficult for mental health professionals, who often practice in situations where there are no “witnesses” to the “comings and goings” of clients, no diagnoses are made or tests performed for each session that would validate a client was actually there.
My insurance company never sends me notifications that my insurance has been billed. The only way I can find out is by going on line and checking the billing. This is how I caught my former therapist. He of course was shocked, and attempted denial, but eventually had to pay back the insurance company and was then dropped as a provider….(longer story available elsewhere on my blog)

I know other medical professionals use this system, and have for years. When you enter the office , you sign in.
Due to extra confidentially issues in the Mental Health Profession, again, a sheet could be kept in each clients file and signed at the start of the session, or when co-payment is paid to the therapist. If a therapist is accused of insurance fraud, the client could be sent the log sheet to verify that their signatiures are in fact their own.

After my experience, I think this practice should be made mandatory!

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2 Responses

  1. Sign in logs dues sound like a good idea. However, one of the main tenants of psychotherapy is confidentiality. This would prevent any mandatory reporting to insurance companies without written consent from the client. HMO’s already have more access to client information than is ethically comfortable for most therapists. Depending on your HMO’s policies, they can require access to everything from attendance to case notes.

  2. Hi Anita

    An insurance company/HMO is already being billed for services provided to a behavioral health client. This record only would serve a verification that services were in fact provided for the dates billed for, and does not provide any further information that violates confidentiality. It would protect the therapist, the client and the insurance company
    I believe I covered the other confidentiality issues that could arise in the blog.
    (If you’d like to know more of my “experience” read the rest of my blog)

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