The increasing complexity of healthcare regulations has placed a significant burden on specialty healthcare practices. The administrative burden associated with compliance with the various regulations has become a significant challenge for many healthcare providers, as it takes away from the time they could be spending on providing quality care to their patients. This blog will discuss the various forms of administrative burden at a high level in specialty healthcare practices, and the ways in which providers can reduce or mitigate these burdens.
The administrative burden imposed on specialty healthcare practices has been increasing in recent years. This is due to the increasing complexity of healthcare regulations, and the need for healthcare providers to comply with the various requirements. In addition, the administrative burden is exacerbated by the need to maintain and update patient records, and to track and report data for reimbursement purposes. This can take away from the time that healthcare providers could be spending on providing quality care to their patients.
One of the most significant forms of administrative burden for specialty healthcare practices is the need to comply with coding requirements for reimbursement. This involves ensuring that the correct codes are used for each service provided and that the codes are accurately reported to the payer. This is an especially arduous task for specialty practices, as they may need to use codes specific to their specialty. In addition, providers must be aware of coding updates, as codes can change from year to year. This can be a significant burden, as it requires providers to stay up to date on coding requirements and to train staff in the correct use of codes.
Another form of administrative burden is the need to track and report quality metrics. This is particularly burdensome for specialty practices, as they may be required to report data on quality measures that are not relevant to their specialty. For example, a rheumatologist may be required to report data on diabetes quality measures, even though they do not provide any diabetes care. This requires providers to spend additional time collecting and reporting data, which could be better spent on caring for patients.
Finally, providers must also comply with various regulations related to patient privacy and security. This includes ensuring that patient data is kept secure and that patient privacy is maintained at all times. This can be a significant burden, as it requires providers to invest in secure systems and to train staff in privacy and security protocols.
Fortunately, there are ways to reduce or mitigate the administrative burden imposed on specialty healthcare practices. One way is to outsource administrative tasks such as coding, billing, and quality reporting. This can be beneficial, as these tasks can be completed more quickly and efficiently by a third–party vendor. In addition, providers can use technology to streamline administrative tasks. For example, electronic health records (EHRs) can be used to track patient data, and automated systems can be used to generate reports and to submit claims.
Another way to reduce administrative burden is to take advantage of available resources. For example, providers can access coding and quality reporting resources from professional organizations or from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). This can help providers stay up to date on coding and quality requirements, and can reduce the time needed to train staff in these areas.
Finally, providers can also work with their payers to identify areas where administrative burden can be reduced. For example, payers may be willing to provide additional resources or to adjust requirements in order to reduce the burden placed on specialty practices.In conclusion, the administrative burden imposed on specialty healthcare practices has become a significant challenge for many providers. The complexity of healthcare regulations and the need to track and report data for reimbursement purposes can take away from the time that providers could be spending on providing quality care to their patients. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce or mitigate the administrative burden, such as outsourcing, using technology, and taking advantage of available resources.