PTs Say Admin Burdens Impact Clinical Outcomes, Cause Burnout

A recent survey of physical therapists has found time consuming administrative tasks negatively impact outcomes, and contribute to clinician burnout.

A recent survey conducted by the American Physical Therapy Association has revealed that nearly 3 out of 4 physical therapists believe that administrative requirements and documentation demands negatively impact clinical outcomes.

The survey also found that these administrative mandates, such as the time consuming process of obtaining prior authorization, can delay access to medically necessary care by up to 25%–72.5% of survey respondents wait an average of 3 days or more to obtain a prior authorization decision.

These demands do not only negatively impact patients; 85.2% of those surveyed agree or strongly agree that administrative burdens contribute to clinician burnout.

The survey did more than point fingers, though. As it was performed by the APTA in an effort to take the temperature of physical to aid the association’s legislative and policy changes, it also asked respondents how these burdens could be alleviated. The top five items that PTs feel would create positive change in this area are as follows: standardization of documentation across all stakeholders (51.5%), elimination of requirement for Medicare plan of care signature and recertification (38.8%), standardization of coverage policies across payers (38.1%), unrestricted direct access per payer policies (36.1%), and standardization of prior authorization process (36%).

Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.