Administrative Efficiencies: How to Help Doctors be Doctors

Doctors enter the field of medicine with a deep passion for helping people with health problems, day in and day out. However, they soon discover that inefficiencies in administrative tasks consume approximately eight hours - or 16.6% - of the average U.S. doctor’s workweek, which cuts into their time to be doctors to their patients.[1] This fact is frustrating to all doctors, young and old. 

The sheer waste of time and resources in the American healthcare system is no less than an “administrative monstrosity,” declares economist Henry Aaron.[2] Tragically, the very system built to help those in need is what prevents doctors from providing the care patients deserve, leaving both parties in a state of constant frustration.

Change is necessary to help doctors be doctors again.

Administrative Waste in the Health Care System

Waste comprises an astounding 25% - between $760-$935 billion - of annual healthcare spending, as per a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The biggest contributor to that total is administrative complexity, which accounts for about $257 billion yearly.[3]

One of the most significant expenditures in the U.S. healthcare system is the extraordinary cost of paper waste and checks. Under traditional payment processes, paper checks and printed Explanation of Benefits (EOB’) are slow and costly. This waste does not embrace the environmental movement to “go green” either and is harmful to the environment. [4]

Additional money is lost to administrative errors and fraud. Manipulated claims through upcoding is one example of fraudulent activity that still occurs today.[5]

The damaging effects of administrative waste are not to be underestimated. It adversely affects physicians’ time, health care system costs, and patient care.

But just knowing the issues isn’t enough. Change requires integrating quality tools into a strategy that aims to reduce unnecessary costs while decreasing how much time doctors spend on administrative tasks. 

An excellent place to begin is by changing a focal point in physicians’ administrative activities: the payment system.

Better Processing with Zelis Payments

Cutting healthcare waste requires payment processing that makes transactions as efficient as possible. Zelis Payments is designed to do precisely that with an advanced electronic system that moves from paper to electronic checks, which reduces the need for internal resources and transaction fees.

A fee reduction is integral to the action plan - given the astounding $23-$31 billion that doctors spend every year on interactions with health plans, as per this survey.[6] Further savings stem from Zelis Payments’ ability to deliver electronic payments and EOB’s, which reduces not only processing costs but also workload volume.

Moreover, automatic processing is faster, with fewer administrative errors than manual rekeying - all with more than 150 payers available through Zelis Payments. Best of all, our software meets SOC, HIPAA, and CAQH Core guidelines to curtail any fraudulent activities.

Benefits over lockbox users are clear too. The Zelis software automates the process of matching payments and claims data to internal records, which medical practices would otherwise have to do manually.

The efficient solution must include the use of an accurate payment system, such as Zelis Payments, to reduce the time doctors spend on payments, claims, and remittances. Less time attending to admin tasks will enable doctors to spend more time tending to their patients.

How the Zelis Dashboard Simplifies Administrative Tasks

The Zelis Payments dashboard reconciles different types and formats of claims, payments, and remittances- all conveniently in one location. This intuitive dashboard is designed to avoid costly administrative mistakes that occur frequently in today’s U.S. healthcare system.

For example, Zelis Payments routes the payments to multiple locations to avoid sending them to the wrong address. Missing remittance details are no longer a problem because Zelis includes CARCs, RARCs, and CAGs for error-free remittances.

Direct EDI integrations with top claim adjudication vendors are also built into the portal. Doctors can access their private, secure dashboard - 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Using this system, physicians also control payment choices and can customize several features. All of which makes for a smoother, more comfortable, and efficient work environment than ever before.

Conclusions on Doctors’ Administrative Burdens

A waste reduction strategy is necessary on an administrative level now more than ever. As America’s healthcare system continues to evolve, this strategy must change with it.

Reducing wasted time, resources, and money involves using a modern payment processing platform, such as Zelis Payments. Streamlining administrative tasks and improving their accuracy is a viable way to combat the burdens that admin tasks currently put on doctors’ shoulders.

This platform has the potential to improve doctors’ satisfaction with their roles and enables them to spend more quality time on patient care while reducing overall medical care costs.

Patients can then take precedence over paperwork, enabling doctors to be doctors once again.

The positive effect is apparent and provides hope within a healthcare system that has broken parts. It can be mended with better administrative efficiency and less complexity. 

[1] https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.2190/HS.44.4.a?journalCode=joha

[2] http://www.milkenreview.org/articles/priced-out

[3] https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2752664

[4] http://www.hercenter.org/wastereduction/paper.php

[5] https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/health-quest-and-putnam-hospital-center-pay-147-million-resolve-false-claims-act-allegations

[6] https://www.healthaffairs.org/doi/full/10.1377/hlthaff.28.4.w533

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