Physicians spend a significant amount of their workdays-probably 20% or more-on uncompensated tasks thanks to a barrage of regulatory requirements, says Joseph Valenti, MD, a board member of the Physicians Foundation, a nonprofit physician advocacy group.
“This equates to at least $50,000 of lost revenue per physician annually,” he says. “This magnitude of uncompensated time often leads to physician burnout and forces many physicians to close their practices.”
See the slides below for some tips from board members on reducing the amount of uncompensated time you spend in your practice:
Address prior authorizations and referrals
- Use buzz words that will gain approval from the payer
- Dedicate full-time staff members to obtaining prior authorizations
- Charge patients a nominal amount when they don’t follow thorough in a timely manner to obtain another authorization
- Have nursing staffers keep an external log to track referrals in progress
Take control of paperwork
- Dedicate an inbox specifically for forms requiring your signature, sign during lunch or between patients, and place in an outbox for staff to email
- Charge a nominal amount for FMLA and employer-required disability forms that don’t require an office visit
Streamline portal messages
- Triage incoming messages and respond only to those nurses flag as requiring physician attention.
Limit tasks to those that require a medical license
- Don’t open the mail, answer phones, or room that patient.
Be flexible with EHR documentation methods
- Work closely with your vendor to learn shortcuts and align your system to your workflow.
Be mindful of family conferences
- Ask families to join during the patient’s face-to-face visit or meet the patient at his or her hospital or nursing home. You can only bill for the time with family members when speaking with the patient.
Stay focused patient visits
- Keep visits and communication focused and on track.