Physicians: 5 ways insurers could make life easier

The relationship between doctors and payers can be a rocky one. So it’s not surprising that physicians have plenty to say when it comes to ways payers can improve.

From cutting red tape to making prompt payments, doctors had many suggestions, according to Medical Economics, which polled doctors to ask about their major pain points in dealing with payers. Nearly 1,100 doctors from across the country shared their complaints and ideas. Here are 5 of the 15 suggestions the story outlines:

  1. Make authorizations easier. Insurers that don't let office staff obtain a preauthorization drive busy docs up the wall.
  2. Pay faster. One physician suggested that payers pay physician fees within two weeks—and they'd like to penalize those who don't pay promptly.
  3. Cut bureaucracy. “Just about everything payers do is counterproductive, a time waste, obstruction-oriented and difficult,” said one doctor. 
  4. Improve customer service. One doc had what seems like a simple request of payers: Answer the phone. 
  5. Be more transparent. Both doctors and patients want to know what's covered and want transparent fee schedules, reimbursements and reasons for denials. 

Despite the complaints, providers and payers are finding new ways to chip away at years of built-up distrust through new partnerships aimed at reducing healthcare costs, improving care and sharing data. For instance, last September, Geisinger Health System and St. Luke’s University Health Network announced a new partnership aimed at lowering premiums.