This article in Forbes is one of the major reasons which also contributes to the cost of medicine and it really comes from insurance driven bureaucratic burden with medicare being the worst! One has to also look at the cost of doing paper work. If a doctor effectively is seeing 2/3 less patients due to bureaucratic burden, he has to extract that cost from the 1/3 he sees. While the legal system started the paper work nightmare for physicians, medicare took it to levels unimaginable. Also, the new scheme for cutting costs in health care by Obama care is going to magnify paper work through what is called ACO’s (Accountable Care Organization) to levels that will make the present amount seem like preschool. When I started my training 29 yrs ago, our documentation would be just the pertinent positives sometimes only a few sentences long! Ironically, in the primary care world of doctors, who have kicked out all insurances and medicare, their documentation and hence the paperwork burden has been kicked out as well.
At a recent seminar I attended through the Free Market Medical Assoc. some of the primary care doctors gave examples of their documentation such as: “ patient came in with a sliver in the thumb and it was removed”. That's it! With Medicare or commercial insurance this would mandate a 3 page note of information that is effectively useless and has no benefit to patient care. Many are unaware that in the Obamacare mandate every doctor is to ask questions whether patients have guns or how many are in the home and then must document this in a visit note. The patient came with a sliver! In addition, in order to not have your reimbursement cut by medicare for the visit, a doctor must ask if the patient has had a recent colonoscopy? And document it! Remember, the patient came in for a sliver-absurd! This is the absurdity that comes from the insurance driven 3rd party payer and the best solution is eliminate the “devil” in the room between doctors and patients.