Like a substitute teacher filling in for the regular teacher, the locum tenens is covering the absence of a regular physician. The doctor they are working for is not billing or working on the same day.


The locum usually does not have his own practice. The absent physician will pay the locum a fixed fee or fee for time per your group. We will bill under the NPI of the absent physician for a maximum of 60 consecutive days.  Do not use the NPI of a doctor who has left the practice.


Locum Tenens is not used to cover an overbooked schedule.  They are a substitute only.


Locum Tenens (modifier Q6) is not to be used while waiting for the credentialing of a new doctor.  It is possible to hire a locum physician, but once that decision is made to hire, billing will stop as Locum Tenens. Decide if you will hold the claims or waive the fees for this new hire until credentialed.


Modifier Q6 does not apply to a substitute CRNA. He/She is an independent contractor.


About the author: As a lead, expert anesthesia coder for Perioperative Services, LLC (Periop), Diane has coded more than 500,000 anesthesia claims as well as audited thousands more. She regularly conducts coding, documentation and compliance seminars and training sessions for anesthesiologists, CRNA’s and residents.