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Myndshft Blog

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June 6, 2023

Staffing Challenges and Clinician Well-being: Prior Authorization Software as a Supportive Resource

by Susan Lawson-Dawson | Healthcare Technology, Prior Authorization

Staffing challenges and clinician well-being have emerged as critical concerns in the healthcare industry.  While “mindfulness” is a popular coping mechanism for daily stressors, some problems are too big. Recently, Politico interviewed American Medical Association President Jack Resneck about a number of challenges in healthcare. Responding to a question about solving burnout he said, “You can’t yoga your way out of severe burnout because you’re spending hours a day doing prior authorization.” And therein lies the reason that a growing number of healthcare providers tackle this administrative burden with prior authorization software. Let’s delve into how this software offers much-needed support.

Understanding the current challenges in healthcare staffing

Staffing has been a perennial issue in healthcare. For years, healthcare leaders have been sounding the alarm about staffing shortages as baby boomers hit their high healthcare utilization years.  As Resneck told Politico, “Even if nobody leaves medicine, we don’t have enough doctors to take care of baby boomers as they age—across primary care, specialty care, you name it.”  Unfortunately, they’re leaving in droves. 

The COVID-19 pandemic stretched providers to their limit, and the post-pandemic recovery has been slow. At the end of 2022, Newsweek reported, “Thanks largely to the continuing strain of the pandemic, the industry has been losing more than 500,000 employees per month.” Furthermore, the exodus is likely to continue. A  study by Elsevier Health found that up to 47% of healthcare workers plan to leave their jobs by 2025. 

Even as providers try to fill vacant clinician roles, the financial pressures of the last few years have forced many to lay off non-clinical staff.  As a result, both non-clinical staff and clinicians feel overworked. While staffing issues rein supreme, the causes of burnout go beyond it. “People love their jobs but there are a lot of things getting in the way of what drew them to medicine in the first place—whether it’s government interference in health care, whether it’s all the disinformation they’ve had to fight back against in the last few years, whether it’s all the administrative burdens and Medicare payment issue,” Resneck told Politico. 

This constant grappling doesn’t just  negatively impact healthcare workers. It trickles into patient care too.  

The role of prior authorization in burnout

Many physicians point to prior authorization—a process used by payers to determine if a prescribed procedure, service, or medication is necessary—as a significant source of frustration. 

The typical process is time-consuming for both clinicians and administrative staff. It typically involves gathering information from numerous sources, extensive paperwork, phone calls (don’t forget hold times)  and delays. According to the 2022 AMA Prior Authorization Survey

  • 88% of physicians rate the administrative burden of prior authorization as ‘high’ or ‘extremely high’
  • Physicians and their staff spend an average of nearly 2 days a week completing prior authorization requests

Not only does this contribute to the overall workload and stress of healthcare teams, but it slows patients’ access to care, with 94% of physicians reporting care delays due to prior authorizations.  

How prior authorization software alleviates staffing challenges and reduces burnout

Prior authorization software like Myndshft automates the process. It integrates with your existing EHR or other system of record, becoming a smooth component of your existing workflow. Because it leverages Collective Healthcare Intelligence™, you don’t have to go on a scavenger hunt for information. Instead, you have seamless connections to patients’ health and benefits information, providers’ clinical documentation, and payers’ plans and policies. 

In addition, by automating manual processes, you reduce opportunities for preventable errors. Fewer typos or missed data fields means fewer denials to rework, saving more time and expense. 

The resulting decrease in tedious paperwork means less frustration and burnout, both for clinicians and non-clinical staff. In turn, this leads to higher job satisfaction, contributing to lower turnover and better patient interactions.

In the current complex healthcare landscape, prior authorization software presents a powerful solution to some of your most pressing challenges. By streamlining processes, reducing workload, and enabling a renewed focus on patient care, prior authorization software serves as a supportive resource for you and a crucial tool for shaping a more efficient, patient-centered healthcare system.

Connect with Myndshft to learn more.