Doctors and their staff are inundated with paperwork…and it is getting worse. Despite computerization, the volume is overwhelming, and the data collected is mostly used to substantiate insurance payment and has many times nothing to do with the care of the patient.
This week I had to “pre-authorize” test strips for a diabetic through Medicare Part D. Why? I have never had to do this in the past. It took 6 minutes to fill out the form, but multiply this by 10 more, and it becomes a full hour where I could have directly cared for my patients. From the pharmacy came the threat: the test strips cost $9.95. If you don’t fill out the form, it will cost your patient $449!
So when your doctor doesn’t return your phone call, think about the possibility your physician is taking care of their rising stack of paperwork.
Gene Uzawa Dorio, M.D.