(HealthDay News) — Strategies can be employed to help physicians deal with the increasing burden of uncompensated tasks, according to an article published in Medical Economics.

Physicians probably spend 20% or more of their workday on uncompensated tasks, mainly due to regulatory requirements, equating to at least $50,000 of lost revenue annually, according to the article.

Strategies to address the problem of uncompensated tasks include addressing prior authorizations and referrals, such as with use of key words that ease approval or hiring a staff member to obtain prior authorizations. Some physicians charge a nominal amount for patients who do not follow through on test or procedures and need another authorization. Use of an inbox and outbox system for signing forms can improve the efficiency of dealing with paperwork. Streamlining portal messages using a triage system could reduce the time needed to address these messages; furthermore, shortcuts should be implemented for electronic health record use. Certain practices charge patients for forms that need to be completed and don’t require an office visit. Physicians should limit their work to tasks that need a medical license and should delegate unlicensed tasks to others. Having patients present during family conferences, and staying focused during office visits are also important.

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“This magnitude of uncompensated time often leads to physician burnout and forces many physicians to close their practices,” Joseph Valenti, MD, board member of the Physicians Foundation said, according to the article.

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  1. Eramo LA. 7 ways physicians can take control of uncompensated time. Medical Economics. 10 January 2017. http://bit.ly/2j3cQQz