"Patients Over Paperwork"
The “Patients Over Paperwork” has picked up a lot of momentum over the last few months. A drive to reduce the administrative side of healthcare, in favor of better patient outcomes, has been recently aimed towards simplifying billing codes. Sure, anytime simplification is mentioned, one can be certain that anything but simplicity is taking place behind the scenes. And while groups like the American Medical Association have lauded this effort, it is being met simultaneously with resistance by many care providers.
So, why is a reduction in administrative duties a negative thing for some? That’s a complicated issue. You see, the challenge is that the new requirements, while streamlining documentation, don’t allow for as much variability in billing codes. The requirements create a single blended payment rate for a wide variety of illness. So, for example, a very sick patient would potentially be properly cared for with much more involvement and complexity than a less sick patient; however, both patients would be billed the same. There are also a number of stipulations that designate the number of visits and scope of work that can be completed within those billing codes.
With the increase in availability of connected healthcare solutions, care providers are now able to access much more patient data, in real-time, alleviating the diagnosis work that is often required on-site. This type of data can be used to turn potentially complicated and time-consuming visits into much more efficient and prescriptive sessions.
A patient with a heart condition, for example, can now be remotely monitored with a cellular enabled device. That patient’s data can then be securely made available through a variety of EMR solutions, allowing physicians to see much more than just a snapshot of one’s health.
This advanced intelligence has the potential to level the playing field as it pertains complexity of treatment, especially when billing codes may not take into full account the situational complexity.