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Can EMR Reduce Workload When Completing 3rd Party Forms?

Posted Oct 30 2008 3:21pm

An interesting article published by the CMA is targeted directly at an issue that the majority of Canadian physicians are facing in their practices. That issue: The amount of time committed daily to the completion of 3rd party forms. Prior to leaving my medical practice in July 2007, I had become increasingly aware of the additional workload of these forms. Not only would employers want a 3 page document completed (in place of the old note written or typed on a prescription pad), there was increasing pressure from insurance companies and employers on the patient to have these documents completed in order to pay the employee.

How could EMRs help in this situation? A standard insurance form template (or templates for other categories) that is pre-formatted to extract information from the EMR in the right order and format would be very useful. The physician would still need to review the data to ensure that there was no breach of privacy, however this could be a significant time saver.

From By Patrick Sullivan

CMA Creates a 'Bill of Rights' for MDs as complaints about 3rd party forms multiply

The CMA hopes its new policy on third-party forms, which received final board approval in May, will become a bill of rights for physicians trying to cope with the blizzard of forms arriving daily from governments, insurers, schools and employers.

"Filling out one form is goodwill," says Alberta FP Eric Wasylenko, who chairs the CMA's Council on Health Policy and Economics. "Filling out 50 forms in a week is an entirely different thing. And it's not just numbers. There's also frustration about being asked to do work that is not a physician's responsibility, such as policing employee absenteeism."

"I have over a dozen of them in my pending basket right now," says Saskatoon FP Anne Doig, "and three more arrived today."

The issue is not new. It was raised 26 years ago during the CMA's 1982 annual meeting and one year ago at the 2007 meeting, and policies have previously been drafted to deal with specific irritants. However, Third-party Forms: The Physician's Role (.pdf), is the first omnibus document that attempts to define all the issues, including compensation. It was drafted during the past year with input from all CMA divisions.

To read the full article, click here

Do you agree that 3rd party forms are a problem in your practice. Could you see an EMR being helpful? To add your thoughts or comments, click on the Comments link below

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