Monday, January 7, 2013

NEJM: Reducing Administrative Costs and Improving the Health Care System

David Cutler, Ph.D., Elizabeth Wikler, B.A., and Peter Basch, M.D.;
November 2012

The average U.S. physician spends 43 minutes a day interacting with health plans about payment, dealing with formularies, and obtaining authorizations for procedures.1 In addition, physicians' offices must hire coders, who spend their days translating clinical records into billing forms and submitting and monitoring reimbursements. The amount of time and money spent on administrative tasks is one of the most frustrating aspects of modern medicine.

Indeed, for the system as a whole, administrative tasks are extremely costly. According to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), the United States spends $361 billion annually on health care administration2 — more than twice our total spending on heart disease and three times our spending on cancer. Also according to the IOM, fully half of these expenditures are unnecessary.

Read the rest at NEJM.

No comments: