To help with these matters it is useful to use the Internet as much as possible as well as any other automated processes you can. The front office responsibilities eventually over flow to the back office these days too. When using the Internet, data bases are not always updated as quickly as they need to be and there still is the occasion when a phone call needs to be made to check eligibility and claim processing. Take advantage where you can and do the best to take advantage where possible, including streamlining other office and charting functions to get some relief. BD
It is not the back office staff -- the hands-on medical help -- that has grown in the typical doctor's office, but the front office staff. The business of managing the doctor's office is growing and growing.
"The typical doctor in the early '90s had a front office person and a back office person, a medical assistant. "It is the only commercial transaction I can think of where the patient is not responsible for paying. A person providing the services has to go to a third party and fight them for their payment."
Reed argued that with managed care now in its second decade in Atlanta, it takes more people not directly involved in the health care of a patient to make the system work. On the other hand, insurance companies argue that they are weeding out waste and unnecessary procedures and keeping costs down.
Reed said doctors spend more time than they should trying to collect payment, and that has been the biggest change in the institution of being a physician. "The presence of a third-party payer has contributed to a fragmentation in care and the skyrocketing cost of health-care delivery."
He said the median income nationally for an internist is $160,000, but the sole practitioner is making less than half that because of business costs.