It’s not uncommon to spend hours of practice time (not to mention money) on administrative tasks. It’s one of the reasons cited by many physicians who experience burnout.
You and your staff can reduce the time spent on these burdensome processes by implementing standard electronic health care transactions to complete practice revenue functions. The good news is there are tools you can use to help you out! The American Medical Association’s (AMA) electronic transaction toolkits offer a wealth of information to help practices transition to electronic processes and improve the efficiency of their business. The College also has tips on how your practice can save time and money using electronic transactions. And, for more tips on practice efficiency, check out our newly updated Practice Profitability toolkit.
If you are not already an AMA member, now is the time to join. The AMA does so much work on your behalf often to little or no fanfare. For example, they have been working on eliminating virtual credit card service charges. How have they helped?
- After receiving over 300 complaints from state medical societies about these charges, AMA has been working directly with CMS to reduce or eliminate them.
- After learning that a North Carolina practice paid $10,000 for these extra fees, the AMA testified before CMS and even got Congress involved in petitioning for the dissolution of these practices.
- CMS relented – direct bank transfers are now allowed, which prevents insurance plans from requiring payment via virtual credit cards.
The AMA has also provided extensive testimony to The National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics (NCVHS). NCVHS is a federal advisory body charged with making recommendations pertaining to electronic health care transaction standards and administrative simplification – to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The AMA testimony is focused on ensuring physicians’ interests in fully automating their practices are represented. Elimination of the manual processes and current administrative burden can only occur if NCVHS adopts standards that meet the needs of all stakeholders, rather than just the interests of health plans. The following is a list of separate, pertinent AMA testimony and presentations given to NCVHS on various administrative simplification issues in just one month:
- Health care claims
- Prior authorization
- Mandatory submission of supporting clinical claims
These are just two examples of how we all benefit from the work of the AMA. The credit card scenario alone is estimated at saving you about $2,000 annually. That certainly exceeds the yearly AMA member dues. Consider joining or renewing your membership to the AMA – your membership dues enable them to continue doing this work on your behalf.