Revenue Cycle

Ensure valid physician orders

Patient Access Weekly Advisor, June 18, 2008

With a few exceptions, such as flu, pneumonia vaccines, and screening mammograms, scheduled service requests must be based on a valid physician order.

Although verbal orders can be initially accepted under certain circumstances defined in an organization’s bylaws, all orders must be formally signed by the ordering physician. An authenticated signature can be written, stamped, faxed, or digital.

According to Medicare, a physician order must include the following elements in order to be considered valid:

  • Reason for ordering the test or service (diagnosis description, ICD-9 code, sign(s), symptoms)
  • Test or service requested
  • Provider’s name
  • Provider’s signature
  • Patient complete name
  • Patient date of birth

Note: This tip was featured in The Patient Access Director’s Handbook.To learn more about this book, click here.


1 comments on “Ensure valid physician orders

gail meredith (12/29/2014 at 9:17 PM)
I need to find the information about having a r/o diagnosis on a physician order for a lab or radiology test. I believe there is some place in the medicare/Medicaid website that gives guidelines to acceptable verbage in a physician order. Rule/out, not supposed to be acceptable. Can someone help me with that information.


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