The Agnew Clinic, 1889.
Thomas Eakins
The Agnew Clinic (1889).
In the rancorous to and fro over the repeal of ObamaCare and its possible replacement with the American Health Care Act, an elephant in the room has remained unnoticed. It’s that giant bundle of burdensome regulations that is crushing physicians, their staffs, and sending the costs of healthcare soaring.
A recent, detailed study published by the American Medical Association (AMA) sheds a common-sense light on what Washington chooses to ignore. For every hour physicians spent with patients, almost two additional hours are spent pushing papers. Even when face-to-face with patients, doctors spent 37% of their time filling out forms.
Burdened with the weight of regulatory paperwork, doctors are becoming increasingly unhappy – more paperwork, less time with patients. Indeed, in a typical day, during office hours, doctors spent only 27% of their time attending to patients face-to-face and 49.2% on electronic health records (EHR) and desk work. Even during after-hours work, doctors spent a whopping 59% of this time dealing with electronic health records.