No quick fixes
Fam Pract Manag. 2003 Apr;10(4):20.
To the Editor:
As doctors, one of our greatest faults is adapting to our profession’s problems instead of addressing their causes. In essence, we’re treating the symptoms and not the disease. Dr. Jodie Escobedo delegated reviewing and OK’ing prescription refill requests to her staff because it was requiring more than an hour of her time [“Rethinking Refills,” October 2002, page 55]. Physicians didn’t have this problem 10 or 20 years ago. Why now?
More people do take prescription medications these days, but insurance companies are discouraging it by raising co-pays and requiring preauthorizations. We’ve also seen an increase in paperwork intended to improve care, lower costs and reduce liability risk. But at what price?
We can’t do our paperwork between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. because now we have to see more patients to cover the additional overhead. As a result, we have to hire more help to delegate the refills and authorizations and also to verify eligibility and benefits, make referrals, and bill and collect from the insurers. I could just pack in more patients, but I can’t possibly make up the difference.
Let’s flash to the not-too-distant future: “Mrs. Smith, the nurse will see you now. Oh, Dr. Jones? He went bankrupt and sold his practice to the nurse practitioner.” Think that’s too farfetched? Just sit back and watch. Oh, yeah. I forgot. We’re doing that already.
WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU
Send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Submission of a letter will be construed as granting AAFP permission to publish the letter in any of its publications in any form. We cannot respond to all letters we receive. Those chosen for publication will be edited for length and style.
Copyright © 2003 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.
This content is owned by the AAFP. A person viewing it online may make one printout of the material and may use that printout only for his or her personal, non-commercial reference. This material may not otherwise be downloaded, copied, printed, stored, transmitted or reproduced in any medium, whether now known or later invented, except as authorized in writing by the AAFP. Contact email@example.com for copyright questions and/or permission requests.
Want to use this article elsewhere? Get Permissions
More in FPM
Related Topic Searches
MOST RECENT ISSUE
Access the latest issue
of FPM journal
This supplement provides answers to frequently asked questions to help physicians successfully participate in and navigate the QPP.