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Every second counts in managing your practice because the focus is always on the end user (client, patient, customer, etc.). In building an efficient practice, accounting for every second is vital. Anything that wastes time hurts you and your client/patient/customer. Focused processes are the key to practice success.  

Prior authorizations waste time. Period. Building the office infrastructure to handle these takes even more time and resources. Even though prior authorizations are related to your patients’ prescription insurance plan, be thoughtful of how you commit your office assets. Remember, wasting time tanks your quality of care. 

Ahmade, one of our awesome Account Coordinators, deals with prior auth chaos all the time. Some prior authorization requests take over two hours, bouncing back and forth between various people and phone robots. Frustratingly, at the end of the pandemonium, sometimes, the medication isn’t even approved for the patient. The worst part about suffering through PAs is having to explain to a patient that a random person who has no affiliation with the patient or their doctor has told them “No.”

“The fact that this external source even has such power to so negatively influence the care a patient receives is absolutely a nightmare,” Ahmade explains, recognizing that prior auths were initially meant to try and “protect” patients from unnecessary tests and medications.  

On average, physician practices have to process over 29 prior authorizations per clinician weekly, taking nearly 15 hours each week to complete these requests. (For our staff here at Simply Psych, they take an average of about 10 minutes to complete. Unless peer-to-peer communication is required, which could easily then encompass more than an hour of our staff’s time.) No wonder only 2 percent of physicians said prior authorizations had any positive effects at all. That is not worth the hours and hours of frustration and time spent away from caring for patients.

A study by Health Affairs further revealed that when this wasted time spent by doctors, administrators, and nurses is converted to dollars, practices spent an average of between about $55,000 to $68,000 per physician per year. This would be between $23 billion and $31 billion annually. What an absolute waste! 

To see just how wasteful a prior auth is, check out one of our physicians completing one in real time:

 

Here at Simply Psych, we are experts in practice management. We know the pain points and we know how to work around them. We review your goals and help you build processes so that your practice runs smoothly, focused on your patients’/clients’ needs. Contact us today to get started: admin@simplypsych.com.

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