Friday, December 2, 2011

Working From Home Part I – Chart Review

Author: Heather Fork, MD, CPCC

I’m hearing from more physicians who want to work part-time from home. The reasons vary: more time with the kids, a less stressful environment, greater job flexibility and some extra income.

With advances in communication technology and the availability of digitalized information, the opportunities to work from home are increasing in many professions, including healthcare.
While the electronic medical record may be challenging for a variety of reasons, it is providing more options for physicians to work in the comfort of their own home. Two areas that are a natural fit for this type of work are doing Chart Reviews and Telemedicine.

Today, I will be discussing Chart Reviews, and in Part II, I will cover Telemedicine. Chart Reviews, also called Independent Reviews, provide a third-party evaluation on a matter relating to patient care.

Some examples of Chart Reviews are:

▪ Utilization of Services
▪ Quality of Care
▪ Disability
▪ Workman’s Comp

In doing their review, a physician may be determining if a procedure is covered on a patient’s plan, determining if an inpatient hospitalization should be covered, or reporting whether or not an off-label medication use is appropriate. These types of reviews can require only a matter of minutes in some cases, while determining disability eligibility would naturally be a more involved process.

Physicians need to be board certified with a current license, and in many cases, be in active practice. Certain specialties are more in demand than others, and the workflow can be unpredictable. The compensation varies, ranging from $85-$200 or more per hour.

To get started, a physician would first submit their CV and go through the credentialing process. Once approved, training is provided (often web-based) and the physician is eligible to receive cases pertinent to their specialty. Depending on the physician’s specialty and the needs of the company, there could be a significant number of reviews per month, or very few.

To increase the number of reviews, a physician can be on the panel of more than one review company, or instead, work exclusively with a company that contracts with multiple review organizations.
The longer a physician does this type of work and establishes a reputation for quality work, quick turn around, and reliability, the more cases they are likely to receive.

While most physicians do this type of work to supplement their clinical practice, there are a small percentage who have developed this niche into their full-time occupation.

Up Next Week: Doctors Working From Home Part II: Telemedicine

About the author:

Heather Fork, MD, CPCC, is owner and founder of the Doctor’s Crossing. As an ICF certified coach, she works with physicians who are seeking to renew and reinvigorate their careers and avoid burnout. She helps doctors tap into their natural abilities and passion to create new and inspiring opportunities within clinical medicine or through non-clinical options. Knowing that too many physicians are suffering from stress and burnout, Dr. Fork is dedicated to improving physician well-being collectively, as well as individually.  

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