Doctors at such hospitals are miffed over the unnecessary paperwork as well. The photo with all details, they said, is not always possible and never easy. "Patients often return to their home districts, and a fresh photo with the doctor when they return for the follow-up is sometimes beyond the claim period," another doctor at Nair hospital said.
Das said, "Doctors here are too overworked to do such silly jobs, we have asked the RGJAY CEO to resolve this issue at the earliest, and clear rejected claims on priority basis. We have also asked BMC for data entry operators for each department, instead of making doctors do it."
Piyush Singh, CEO, RGJAY, said, "Yes, I am aware that many claims were rejected. I met the doctors' team on Thursday. I can only be a mediator. I can arrange for the insurance company and hospitals administration to meet. In fact, I have spoken with the insurance company, but they said that they have their own rules and regulations and if documents are not provided, claims will be rejected."
The Health Ministry constantly complains about the chronic shortage of doctors in India and is planning so start new medical colleges to train more doctors, to improve the doctor-patient ratio.
So what do we do with the existing doctors we do have ? Rather than make optimal use of this scarce and precious resource, we ask them to waste their time filling up forms !
So this is why doctors need 6 years of medical college - so they can become form-fillers !
What a shame and a waste of time and energy. Ideally, the documentation which insurance companies require should be a by-product of the medical documentation which doctors routinely perform when taking care of their patients. By providing all hospitals with EMRs ( electronic medical records), not only would medical care improve by leaps and bounds ( because all the clinical data for the patient could be accessed 24/7 on the web), but insurance companies would also get the administrative data they needed , without duplicating and increasing the overloaded doctor's burden.
Thanks to cloud computing, EMRs are now very inexpensive, and can easily be implemented for just a few rupees per patient !