Thursday, December 1, 2022
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Paper scourge: GPs are fed up with insurance paperwork

Family physicians spend a quarter of their time filling out paperwork for insurance companies, employers, a fellow specialist, or other clerical tasks. Your federation wants to tackle this scourge of paperwork to recover thousands of hours of care.

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A comprehensive survey conducted last March among 2,248 members of the Fédération des médecins omnipraticiens du Québec (FMOQ) shows that forms take up 9.7 hours over a 40-hour week (24%).

“Imagine? Out of 9,000 doctors, if I cut the paperwork by two hours a week, I just got 18,000 hours back! It’s amazing, the time wasted on this,” D marveledr Marc-André Amyot, Chairman of FMOQ.

Many insurance companies require a medical certificate to reimburse a visit to, for example, a physiotherapist, massage therapist or psychologist. This is without counting the forms that need to be completed for SAAQ and CNESST, or the tickets that need to be signed to justify a worker’s absence.

Ottawa does

However, Ottawa has just demonstrated with its new insurance company that it is possible to operate without messing up doctors’ offices. “From July 2023, the insurance companies for federal officials will no longer require a doctor’s prescription to cover physio, masso, psychologist”, illustrates Dr Amyot.

“So if there are insurance companies that tell us it’s not possible: I’m sorry, yes, it’s possible, some do!” he says.

FMOQ wants to make insurance companies aware of this problem, but also the Quebec government, which insures workers and victims of traffic accidents.

One of the solutions to the crisis

Of course, all paperwork cannot disappear from doctors’ lives, but the proportion can be reduced to around 5% of office work, D.r Amyot. “In the context of the shortage of 1,000 doctors, we cannot afford to monopolize time for services that are not clinical services,” he says.

The issue even has an impact on the profession’s attractiveness to medical students, put off by the idea of ​​devoting a quarter of their time to filling out forms. Not to mention that they also have to work in an emergency. “Students look at this and think: not sure I want to be a family doctor, I think I’ll go to a specialist,” says Dr Marc-Andre Amyot.

While Health Minister Christian Dubé is trying by all means to facilitate access to the health network’s first line, part of the solution can be found in reducing the paperwork for simple treatment at the physiotherapist.

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