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Doctors Frustrated Over Health Insurance Headaches

9 months, 3 weeks ago

4342  0
Posted on Jan 03, 2020, 6 p.m.

According to a recent poll involving 600 physicians, most are frustrated over insurer policies and delays that leave their patients in need and prolonged pain. 

Health insurance policies appear to be creating red tape nightmares and hazards for patients and physicians alike, according to this study 9 in 10 doctors believe that barriers set by insurance plans have led to worsened conditions for their patients in need of care. 

According to Aimed Alliance doctors are so frustrated with the constant red tape and headaches caused by insurance companies that two thirds of them would recommend against pursuing a career in medicine, and 48% are considering a career change. 

600 American physicians were polled by the organization in the fields of pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology, internal medicine, or family medicine to try and understand the extent of which insurance policies make an impact on primary care physicians, their practices, and patients on a day to day basis. Additionally the organization wanted to getter a better idea of the mental health issues among providers as well as the causes behind the national provider shortage. 

Findings showed that physicians do not think very highly of health insurance companies at all, and the majority believe that these companies are putting patients at risk with their policies such as prior authorizations ahead of filling prescriptions; 87% of doctors believe that their patient’s conditions have grown worse because of all the red tape, and 83% worry their patients are suffering prolonged pain as a result. 

Prior authorizations are a big concern; 91% think the policy delays necessary care for patients, and 91% agree that insurers engage in “non-medical switching” which forces patients to take less expensive and potentially less effective medicines. 

All this red tape is stressing out most physicians who just want the best for their patients, but are having their hands tied. 37% reported that over half of their daily stress is caused by insurance issues, 65% feel they are facing greater legal risks due to decisions made by insurers, and 85% are left feeling frustrated by these issues and admit to taking the anger/emotions out on their staff and family members. 

“I can understand why many of the respondents reported that they would not recommend this career to anyone else,” Dr. Shannon Ginnan, medical director of Aimed Alliance, tells StudyFinds. “As practitioners, much of our time is spent on burdensome paperwork required from health insurers for our services to be paid for. This prevents us from spending as much time on patient care as we would like, and it doesn’t take much for all this paperwork to interfere with the services that we provide.”

77% report having to hire more staff to handle the heavier administrative load from all the red tape and insurance paperwork, and 90% report that they now have even less time to spend with their patients to provide actual care because of the burden which is inline with Ginnan’s comments. 

55% agreed that they would like to change/remove the ability of an insurer to override the professional judgment of trained and certified physicians, and 87% feel that insurer personnel interfere with the ability to provide individualized treatments to each of their patients. 

According to this survey doctors think that insurance policies are causing harm to patients in need of care, and insurers are also hitting patient bank accounts too as the doctors also agree that insurers are largely/widely contributing to the rising costs of healthcare more than anything else, which includes pharmaceutical companies, government policies, lawsuits, and hospitals. 

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This article is not intended to provide medical diagnosis, advice, treatment, or endorsement.

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