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ACP’s 7 recommendations for addressing insurance-paperwork nightmare



The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters” (Francisco de Goya, c.1797)

The American College of Physicians is making a renewed push to reduce what it sees as  crushing paperwork imposed for insurance reimbursement that it says is driving physicians out of practice and ruining the patient-doctor relationship.

It published seven recommendations in the Annals of Internal Medicine to address what it sees as a crisis for the profession:

“1. The ACP calls on stakeholders external to the physician practice or health care clinician environment who develop or implement administrative tasks (such as payers, governmental and other oversight organizations, vendors and suppliers, and others) to provide financial, time, and quality-of-care impact statements for public review and comment. This activity should occur for existing and new administrative tasks. Tasks that are determined to have a negative effect on quality and patient care, unnecessarily question physician and other clinician judgment, or increase costs should be challenged, revised, or removed entirely.
“2. Administrative tasks that cannot be eliminated from the health care system must be regularly reviewed, revised, aligned, and/or streamlined in a transparent manner, with the goal of minimizing burden, by all stakeholders involved.
“3. Stakeholders, including public and private payers, must collaborate with professional societies, frontline clinicians, patients, and electronic health record vendors to aim for performance measures that minimize unnecessary clinician burden, maximize patient and family centeredness, and integrate the measurement of and reporting on performance with quality improvement and care delivery.
“4. To facilitate the elimination, reduction, alignment, and streamlining of administrative tasks, all key stakeholders should collaborate in making better use of existing health information technologies, as well as developing more innovative approaches.
”5. As the U.S. health care system evolves to focus on value, stakeholders should review and consider streamlining or eliminating duplicative administrative requirements.
6. The ACP calls for rigorous research on the effect of administrative tasks on our health care system in terms of quality, time, and cost; physicians, other clinicians, their staff, and health care provider organizations; patient and family experience; and, most important, patient outcomes.
“7. The ACP calls for research on best practices to help physicians and other clinicians reduce administrative burden within their practices and organizations. All key stakeholders, including clinician societies, payers, oversight entities, vendors and suppliers, and others, should actively be involved in the dissemination of these evidence-based best practices.”
To read the article in the Annals of Internal Medicine, please hit this link.

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