Administrative Workload Grows For Physicians

Medical Economics released its annual report that details the most pressing challenges physicians face for the coming year. It’s no secret that doctors offices have changed drastically over the past 10 years. Most of us have noticed a double or triple increase in administrative staff. There was a time when doctors had one receptionist who greeted you and also managed much of the office. There may have been additional staff but certainly not in the numbers we see now:  at least 4 to 5 physician administrative staff managing medical coding, insurance verification, pre-authorizations, and much more. The expense of  running their office is skyrocketing. Meanwhile, reimbursement rates are decreasing. In short, doctors face financial obstacles and require working capital to keep their practices not just solvent but also prospering.  

While the obstacles doctors face change each year, one factor has remained constant: surveys reveal that physicians see their primary goal of delivering patient care taking a backseat to the flurry of administrative tasks forced upon them. Meanwhile, as doctors increase staff to lighten their workload, a new problem arises. The expense of running their practice rises. Larger staff=more expenses, and not just to payroll. Training, investments in new computers, additional workspace and certifications are costly but essential for compliance in this new environment of ever-changing reimbursement procedures and regulations. 

Reduced compensation leads to a heavier workload for the doctors as they try to keep expenses down by doing the work themselves rather than delegating it. Doctors are feeling the pinch and voicing these “pain points.” Surveys also reveal increasing dissatisfaction among doctors with their practice. The average physician works 60 hours per week. Along with increased demands on their practice from regulations, patients require more attention that is not even directly medical-related. Patients are overwhelmed by complicated rules and fee structures encountered with the healthcare system. Trying to ease their frustrations, patients turn to doctors for help with this “non-medical” problem.  

Reasons Doctors Face Increased Demands 

  • Requirements for expensive and complex automation 
  • All-consuming administrative tasks 
  • Decreasing reimbursement rates
  • Overall rising costs of running a practice
  • Patient frustration with complicated multi-tiered fees and pre-authorizations 

Another common denominator the report revealed is that time is what physicians need most to solve these growing problems. More time and flexibility would enable doctors to provide patients with better solutions for new challenges such as higher healthcare costs and increased complexity dealing with insurers. Time to relax would reduce stress doctors face and increase their overall satisfaction with their job. 

Being that we’re just at the beginning of 2017 and some of the struggles presented in the 2017 report study were also reported in the 2016 report, a solution physicians can implement now is accessing working capital to hire more staff to free up their time. The additional working capital can reduce the pressure that decreasing revenues place on the physicians. Not worrying about cash flow and collecting on accounts receivable will free up the doctor’s innate capital: knowledge and talent. 

Physicians can learn how a merchant cash advance¹, small business loan², physician business loans or invoice factoring from Greenbox Capital can help put their focus back where it belongs, delivering quality healthcare and not performing administrative tasks. 

¹ Greenbox Capital Merchant Cash Advances may not be available in all regions of the United States and Canada.
² Greenbox Capital Small Business Loans may not be available in all regions of the United States and Canada.

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