A registered nurse who runs a patient advocacy firm in Chicago says one great way to improve U.S. health care quality would be to take an ax in Medicare and Medicaid paperwork requirements.
Teri Dreher, president of North Shore Patient Advocates, said well-intended efforts to increase the quality of health care and promote efficiency have backfired.
Her firm charges an hourly fee to help clients with issues related to care planning, care management, care coordination and insurance billing disputes.
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She said that she and her firm’s other advocates see plenty of low-quality and inefficient care, and that administrative overload seems to be a major cause of quality and efficiency problems.
“If I had a magic wand, I’d make the documentation requirements more efficient,” Dreher said.
Doctors and nurses are spending so much time feeding data into patient record systems that they barely have time to see the patients, or to try to use the information in the systems to improve patient care, Dreher said.
In the home health services field, for example, the nurses overseeing the care typically spend about 10 percent of their time on patient care, and about 90 percent on recordkeeping and billing, Dreher said.