Why Administrative Burdens Keep Physicians Away From Patients
by C. Mazzolini; http://medicaleconomics.modernmedicine.com; 11/6/14

Most physicians embarked over a career in medicine to help patients. But today, lots of people are finding their days consumed using the administrative burdens necessary to manage a practice and adapt to the massive changes brought about by healthcare reform efforts, according to results from the 86th annual Medical Economics 2014 physician survey.

The result: Physicians will work the same extended hours, but you are seeing fewer patients, despite widespread reform efforts that needs to be leading to more patient visits, not fewer.

The data paint a photo of a physician who feels overburdened, burned-out, disrespected and disenfranchised, who increasingly Mean salary comparison for employed physicians and employ ownersMean salary comparison for employed physicians and practice ownersbelieves how the power to make positive changes in the lives of patients has become ripped from her or his grasp and concentrated at the disposal of the government and insurance agencies, seeking to downplay the value of medical judgment in favor of “assembly line” medicine.

These burdens are exemplified by time-consuming challenges including prior authorizations, International Classification of Diseases-10th Revision (ICD-10) preparation, electronic health record (EHR) hassles, upkeep of certification pressures, payer audits plus more.

“What’s happening to medicine is it’s no longer about patient care,” says David Cohen, DO, a survey participant that's an independent practitioner in Oakwood, Georgia. “It’s about the bottom line. Healthcare has become taken over by MBAs who're not physicians.”

Still, most primary care physicians want to help patients and love the method of medicine when they can cut with the red tape. About 6 in 10 practicing physicians surveyed said they'd choose the identical specialty when they had a chance to do-over their career.

Yet you will find there's creeping sense the lives of physicians are receiving worse. Only 43% of practicing physicians said they'd recommend that their youngster or a friend’s child pursue a profession in medicine, frequently citing the enormous debt load required to study medicine.

Asked to name the biggest issue facing primary care, physicians cited the paperwork burden (69%),

as well as reimbursement rates (68%)

and third-party interference (47%).

Other commonly-cited issues include: value of primary care vs. specialty care and employ of midlevels (44%),

healthcare reform (41%),

malpractice/tort reform (38%),

EHRs (38%),

doctor shortage (24%),

and accountable care organizations (20%)

Our coverage on this exclusive research focuses on four areas: physician productivity, ICD-10 readiness, practice finances and compensation and malpractice insurance.

Patient visits

Prior on the launch of the Affordable Care Act, policy experts predicted that the influx of a lot more than eight million newly insured patients would overwhelm the key care system. So far, however, the modern patients are already absorbed with little problem.

Practice finances

Financially, most physician practices are generally stuck in neutral or losing ground. Eighty-four percent in the physicians surveyed say their practices are doing a similar or worse compared to a year ago. Nearly 40% say they are performing worse.

ICD-10 readiness

With 11 months to look until the transition to ICD-10 in October 2015, half of the physicians who responded to the survey said they're not ready for ICD-10.

Malpractice insurance

On the surface, wrongful death premiums appeared little changed in 2013 for primary care physicians. But a closer inspection at the results reveals fluctuations in payment amounts depending over a doctor’s age, location, workload and use size.




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