What Is a Superbill?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 31 August 2019
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A superbill is a form used by healthcare providers to list services for the purpose of generating an invoice or insurance claim. Such forms offer a standardized method for quickly noting itemized services and transferring them to patient records. They are also used in some veterinary practices to streamline billing and payment, which often rely on systems similar to those used in human medicine. This term is also used to refer to a highly accurate and detailed counterfeit bill that may evade detection by conventional means.

Health care providers use generic forms for superbills. They are broken up into a number of categories by service type, with a listing of common services. Providers may have multiple forms for different kinds of consultations, to ensure that they are able to accurately record the services rendered. They check boxes on the superbill applicable to the visit, like “recheck exam” and “glucose check” for a patient with diabetes stepping into the office for a quick examination and blood sugar evaluation.

These documents typically have a space at the top with provider information, including the care provider’s name, address, and medical license number. Care providers can also list insurance identification numbers and other relevant data on the superbill. The patient’s information is recorded, sometimes with the use of a sticker applied to the document by a receptionist or nurse, depending on how a practice is organized. Date, time, and location of the services are also noted for convenience.


Each entry on a superbill can be matched against a medical code used by insurance providers to standardize the claims process. Instead of listing a procedure, for example, physicians list the applicable codes for the procedure and accompanying services like injections and medications. By using a standardized form to record services at the time of the visit, care providers can transfer the information easily into a medical billing system that can convert internal codes to the appropriate ones for insurance billing.

Copies of superbills can be retained in patient files along with copies of the bills generated with the use of the document. These are available for review if patients have questions or concerns. It can be advisable to closely check each line item on the superbill to make sure each listed service was actually provided. Any disputes can be brought up with the billing office to resolve the problem before making a payment or appealing an insurance denial, if the bill was sent directly to the insurance company.


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