June, 2018

Dave Gilchrist, MD

The ever-growing administrative burden put on family physicians is a source of significant burn out that we all face.

For some, it is the tipping point that forces many family physicians to retire, cut back on clinical care, pursue a non-clinical role, or switch to models of care like direct primary care. The AAFP has heard this frustration loud and clear and has made it one of their priorities to reduce the administrative burden family physicians face. I wasn't quite sure what the approach was but I liked the phrase I kept hearing "Patients over Paperwork".

The AAFP has come up with five solutions to reducing administrative burden. The first is to streamline prior authorizations with a more standard format, encourage automation in the EHR and a variety of tactics to use common sense approaches. The second solution is to streamline quality reporting including having payors adopt a set of core measures and remove old measures when new ones are added. The third solution is to fix E&M coding requirements that were developed in a paper world and are not team oriented with no value added for the patient or physician. Fourth, the AAFP has worked to develop a new model of payment for primary care known as the advanced primary care alternative payment model. Fifth, family physicians need to continue to work on practice improvement and innovation. This is where each of us can make a difference in our practices through measures such as pre-visit planning, team documentation, workflow task distribution, prescription management and expanded rooming protocols.

Family physicians are great at being innovative to care for our patients and communities. We need to apply that innovation to improving and sustaining the work that we do.

Dave Gilchrist, MD