Isaac Bowen | Flickr.com
Isaac Bowen | Flickr.com

Everyone hates having to deal with insurance companies. You only contact them when you really need them, so you typically contact them in times of crisis. That said, the last thing that anyone wants to do when they are dealing with a serious issue is deal with a bureaucracy and all the associated red tape. Interestingly enough, patients are not the only ones who loathe handling insurance claims. A recent study found that doctors feel that barriers set in place by insurance plans are not only frustrating but potentially harmful for their patients.

Researchers with Aimed Alliance found that physicians do not tend to think very highly of health insurance companies. In fact, some doctors feel that policies such as prior authorizations ahead of filling prescriptions put patients at risk. Nearly 90 percent of the surveyed doctors said that they feel their patients’ conditions have grown worse due to bureaucratic red tape, and over 80 percent worry that their patients will suffer prolonged pain as a result. They said that the policy delays necessary care for patients and is made worse by what they called “non-medical switching” where patients are forced to take medications that cost less but may be less effective.

The red tape has grown so cumbersome and appears to be harming patients enough that doctors are doing more than just complaining about a few bureaucratic headaches. Nearly half of the surveyed doctors said the insurance red tape was so frustrating that they were considering a career change, and nearly two thirds said that they would advise others against taking a career in medicine in order to avoid the madness.

“As practitioners, much of our time is spent on burdensome paperwork required from health insurers for our services to be paid for,” said Dr. Shannon Ginnan. “This prevents us from spending as much time on patient care as we would like, and it doesn’t take much for all this paperwork to interfere with the services that we provide.”

The biggest issue for most doctors is that they feel that insurers have the ability to override the professional judgement of physicians or interfere with the physicians’ ability to provide individualized treatment to patients. Other issues the surveyed doctors mentioned included needing to hire more staffers to handle the massive administration load and a sense that they are going to be liable for decisions the insurers make. While doctors may disagree on the exact issues, they do seem to be in agreement on one thing. If the paperwork load gets any worse, they are going to need doctors of their own to treat the resultant migraines.

More from Beliefnet and our partners
previous posts

One of the United States largest generations is now starting to be heavily affected by the COVID-19 virus. As the number of cases increases, millennial’s are constantly being encouraged to take the virus more seriously as this generation has an enormous influence on the course of the pandemic. Recently a healthy 26 year old was […]

There has been a growing consensus in the medical community that staying active is the best way for seniors to live a longer and happier life. Staying active lowers risk of heart disease, strokes, and even some types of cancers. It can also improve mental health and a persons ability to think, learn and make […]

As the number of new coronavirus cases continues to rise, people are clearing masks off the shelves in hopes of protecting themselves from the deadly virus. The coronavirus is a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases.  Health officials have confirmed that there have been more […]

Most experts agree that creating a stress-free work environment is important for keeping employees happy and productive. Yet, there is data today that shows employees are more overwhelmed than ever. Businesses and employees alike are looking for new ways to help keep productivity up, an overall feeling of happiness in the workplace, and stress at […]