Some of us pay our Macy’s bill online. Others bank. But pretty soon your doctor’s going to be able to submit his claims, and have them paid, by insurers – all online, which could save up to $9 billion over the next 10 years, HHS said this week. And make his life a whole lot less stressful, and maybe even, a better doctor.
The goal is to reduce inefficient manual administrative processes for physician practices, hospitals and health plans, HHS added.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said the new regulation also describes adjustments to claim payments.
Doctors have long mourned the amount of time paperwork requires of them that could be better spent with patients.
In fact, 95 percent of primary care providers surveyed have said their paperwork has greatly increased in the last three years, according to kevinmd.com.
The New York Times noted in November that “billions of dollars are wasted on billing,” adding that the administration accounts for roughly a shocking 14 percent of what the U.S. spends on healthcare, or about $360 billion per year.
Electronic health records (EHR) are supposed to take care of a lot of that, but sometimes they add to it. And there are still many arduous and time-consuming functions a doctor’s office performs to straighten out billing, or more importantly, payment, and this could go a long way toward fixing that problem while helping healthcare providers’ bottom lines – all while making the U.S. healthcare system more efficient, and dare we say it, cost-effective.
“A surreal series of demands from insurance companies and Medicare for increasing amounts of documentation on every patient has produced large inefficiencies in modern medicine,” Drs. Allan H. Ropper, Anthony A. Amato and Martin A. Samuels wrote in an opinion piece for the Boston Globe. “Intended to trim costs and improve care, these rules have instead burdened doctors with needless, time-consuming paperwork. As the state and federal governments look for ways to cut health care costs, adding more paperwork requirements can’t be part of the solution. Instead, it’s time for government to free doctors to spend their time doctoring – not checking boxes on forms.”
This new regulation should help cut down on much of that paperwork.
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Edited by Braden Becker