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    ACP urges collaborative action to put patients before paperwork

    Internist Adi Puplampu, MD, considers himself a “wounded soldier,” having left the full-time practice of medicine after the strains of day-do-day patient care took a toll on his physical and mental health.


    Further reading: Why do women physicians experience burnout more than men?


    “I feel like physicians are a dying breed,” Puplampu told colleagues at this year’s American College of Physicians (ACP) conference in San Diego, California. “What is at stake is the health of a nation … and someday, we will all be patients.”

    The Wisconsin-based physician, who now serves as a payer consultant, detailed his personal story after a session on alleviating the stress on today’s internists due to mounting administrative tasks and paperwork mandated from insurance companies, government agencies, and others.

    “Time is the true asset here [for physicians], but unfortunately money controls that,” Puplampu said. “We need a ground strategy.”

    The ACP hopes it has that ground strategy through its new “Patients Before Paperwork Initiative,” identifying the major issues facing internal medicine physicians today and perhaps more importantly, putting in motion an action plan to reduce these excessive administrative burdens.

    Developed from a recently published position paper, the association was able to identify the main three administrative stressors for today’s internists: electronic health record (EHR) usability, quality measure reporting and dealing with payers.


    Hot topic: Here is the PCP crisis solution and it's simple


    To assist physicians, the ACP developed policy recommendations to work with healthcare stakeholders—from insurance companies to health IT firms—to alleviate the burdens facing physicians like Puplampu.


    Next: “We need to work together with payers"


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    • [email protected]
      Wow, good luck with this ACP, the solution looks as burdensome as the problem. May take as long to implement this plan as it did for healthcare to get to where it is now in this hot mess. I am loving a life of no insurance in Direct Primary Care!
    • [email protected]
      This article is laughable! I don't even understand the "steps" to avoid burnout listed above. More gobbledigoop from those entrenched in this mess we call healthcare. The ONLY viable solution is for more doctors to shed their practices of insurance billing and EHRs, return to well-kept written records and take care of your patients as your primary goal. Cash is king for many businesses including healthcare. Stop relinquishing control to NPs and PAs and take back patient care. Let patients know they are your primary concern. Charge a fair but low price for your services and only accept cash or check. Let the patients handle their insurance billing with a receipt from you for services rendered. Heck, they do it for their auto insurance when applicable! I have been doing this for years and have had to close my practice to new patients I was so over-whelmed. It is risky and scary but the overhead is much lower and the stress level is rock-bottom! Find a niche practice and talk to your patients. They are not getting that anywhere. They will value that above all else. Good luck. Things are not going to get better by creating more complicated business analysis steps that you have to have an masters degree to understand. We are physicians-not health care providers or wall street experts!
    • UBM User
      AMEN! You are right on! I bailed out of insurance and Medicare/Medicaid a few years ago and went back to practicing medicine the way we are supposed to: putting all our efforts and concerns into our patients. Now I really enjoy the calling God gave me.

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