athenahealth makes an attempt to sort out doctor burnout by medical coding

(Photograph by RUNSTUDIO/Getty Photos)

Supplier burnout is a persistent downside in healthcare, and it has solely been made worse by the added pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic. To handle this, software program and providers firm athenahealth has rolled out its new Medical Coding answer that goals to ease the executive burden attributable to coding-related work that slows suppliers down and delays declare submissions.

With the service, athenahealth prospects will acquire entry to coding help through licensed specialists who assist ship medical coding throughout the platform. Communication between the apply and athenahealth’s medical coders is built-in immediately into the interface and launches from the supplier’s workflow. 


Physicians spend a mean of 90 minutes after hours centered on coding work, in response to time and productiveness research performed by athenahealth. Releasing up that point would ostensibly enable workers to concentrate on higher-value work and spend extra time with sufferers.

The software has already produced tangible outcomes, with Village Pediatrics – a two-clinician pediatrics major care apply in Seattle – seeing a 50% discount in clinicians’ time spent coding, a streamlined integration and extra billable codes recognized.

To be eligible for this service, prospects have to be stay on athenaCollector and athenaClinicals, or the total athenaOne suite. These providers are at present obtainable to practices with seven or fewer physicians and can be obtainable to bigger prospects later this yr. 


The pandemic is taking a toll on the psychological and emotional wellbeing of physicians, with feminine physicians and people in important care and infectious illness reporting the very best burnout charges throughout the public well being emergency, in response to findings from a December doctor burnout report from Medscape.

Burnout and the stress of the pandemic – together with components comparable to private threat, social distancing and monetary uncertainty – appeared to decrease physicians’ total work-life happiness, with solely 49% reporting they had been comfortable in 2020, versus 69% pre-pandemic. A couple of-third (34%) reported feeling sad final yr, in contrast with 19% in 2019.

Practically 80% of physicians mentioned they felt burned out previous to the pandemic, however one in 5 mentioned their burnout emerged solely final yr. Crucial care (51%), rheumatology (50%) and infectious illness specialists (49%) ranked among the many highest in reporting burnout for the primary time since Medscape started surveying on the difficulty in 2013.

Even previous to the pandemic, burnout amongst healthcare professionals was a pervasive public well being concern, with some research reporting burnout for greater than 50% of clinicians.

One latest research discovered that decreasing supplier burden by optimizing flowsheets could have an considerable impact on this pattern.

Most lately, within the 2021 Healthcare Tendencies Survey Report by staffing options firm AMN Healthcare, executives recognized restoring elective procedures deferred by the COVID-19 pandemic as their major development technique for 2021.

The survey additionally signifies telehealth administration can be an important talent healthcare executives might want to develop within the coming yr.


“We’re excited to formally announce our medical coding service, and we’re already thrilled with the advantages we’re bringing to suppliers throughout the community,” mentioned Paul Brient, chief product officer at athenahealth.

“Supplier organizations are seeing a 30% discount in coding-related declare scrubs and coding-related denials, based mostly on knowledge from prospects utilizing the service for six months or extra.

“We imagine this service will assist cut back cognitive overload and enhance work-life steadiness for the suppliers in our nation that work tirelessly every day to serve their sufferers.”

Twitter: @JELagasse
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