Healthcare and the way it is practices has certainly changed over the last few years, no doubt about it. Technology though is not the reason to blame in it’s entirety though, it’s the other stuff that goes along with others initializing technology and software benefits that hits below the belt to a degree.
Non-clinical paperwork and red tape is right up there and from consulting over the last few years and seeing what occurs on the back side of offices, it is continuously going in in upwards spiral with no relief in site. I try to use technology to make of of these processes easier, thus I am examining this issue from a technical side all the time. Processes change quite frequently too, and that adds one more left hook.
Compensation rates are not going up, but their malpractice insurance certainly has over the years and the new algorithms created there to be eligible and approved have changed. Health insurance algorithms have changed and what is covered and not covered for patients has changed tremendously and just the idea of helping a patient get either a referral to a “in network” specialist, or get a drug that is covered under the complicated tiering programs is another area of research that takes time.
Another issue is the decision making processes with Medicare feeling they should be able to make the decisions on what a patient can receive as far as medications and treatments, only to be stopped by a federal judge. This definitely impacts and intrudes upon the decision making process here of the physician being able to prescribe a line of treatment and/or drug that he/she feels is appropriate for the patient.
Those using electronic records may be finding it a bit easier by taking advantage of filtering and algorithms to sort some of the information out for them to have at the point of care and those with paper records may find the the information almost impossible to locate without sometimes hours of research time. Take a look at the post below and it may help make some sense as to why I consider algorithms one of the hottest issues in healthcare today, software sorts, evaluates and does so much with healthcare today and by not automating some of the processes, you have an information nightmare, both doctors and patients included.
In short, there are so many elements today tugging and pulling at the profession with daily changes and procedures, how does on feel confident with decisions made today, only to find a new algorithm in place that may have a tendency to nullify the decision made yesterday based on information available then, as it does change in some areas day to day.
The coding processes have become so very complicated as well, I just heard a comment yesterday from a patient who visited a surgeon’s office, which was fairly new and the office staff asked him to bear with him as far as billing as they were just getting started and were not real familiar with all the codes to properly bill his procedure and to let them know if he was billed for something they thought should be covered, and that happens all the time as codes change and new diagnosis codes are introduced every quarter and some are dropped.
Where’s the education processes to help support the processes? The doctors do need a little bit of time to consult somewhere along the line with us too. We all have need a feeling of accomplishment, especially in healthcare when we rely on physicians to guide us with treatment and healthier lifestyles, but the brick has hit the wall for many with keeping up with the demands of healthcare today. Being an informed patient certainly can help too in working with your physician as a team, but keep in mind the algorithms and layers of information flowing at physicians today is huge and there seems to be little or no relief coming soon. BD
Doctors sure seem unhappy these days. Just take a look at the downbeat results from a survey out from the Physicians’ Foundation.
Here are some of the bracing findings from 11,950 primary care docs and specialists who responded to the survey:
94% said the time they’ve devote to non-clinical paperwork in the past three years has increased. 63% said the paperwork has meant they spend less time per patient.
82% said their practices would be “unsustainable” if proposed Medicare pay cuts were made.