Paperwork Shouldn’t Distract From Long-Term Care

Long-term care is an important part of medical care, especially for elderly patients who have lost the ability to care for themselves on their own.  The term covers all sorts of facilities, including assisted living homes, nursing centers, and even an extended hospital stay.

Unfortunately, the field faces many problems.  Regular health insurance doesn’t cover most forms of long-term care, and long-term care insurance isn’t as protected or regulated (at least for the moment).  This is especially hard on the patients, since the majority of them don’t have a steady income beyond what they get through Social Security.  Long-term care can quickly eat through a person’s retirement funds, and thanks to people living longer these costs can go on for decades.

Another problem is one the long-term care sector shares in common with seemingly every other part of the medical industry:  the number of direct care providers is less than what we need.  In their case, the problem is aggravated in part because of the relatively low pay and the work that’s often hard on both body and mind.  Not everyone goes gently and cleanly into that good night, and no one enters a long-term care facility unless they already have trouble caring for themselves.  Even those who knowingly choose this profession can have problems coping with loss and end-of-life care.

However, another contributing factor is definitely shared across the medical community:  paperwork.  Like hospitals and clinics the nation over, long-term care facilities have to wrestle with Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurers to make sure their fees are met and the residents get access to all the medical attention, supplies, and prescriptions they need.  They have to coordinate with primary care physicians and all the specialists needed for all the different medical conditions residents have, and they need to fill out all the paperwork demanded by insurers and the government.

Direct care specialists usually don’t have the training or the years of education needed to be a licensed physician.  However, it can still be wasteful for professional caregivers to spend their time filling out forms and submitting information when they could be checking up on the residents and helping them when help is needed.

That’s why long-term care facilities can benefit from hiring medical scribes the same as clinics and hospitals.  A dedicated administrative staff with the training to understand medical terminology lets the caregivers spend their time doing exactly that, and it can save your facility money by letting you care for more patients with fewer direct care workers.  Here at ProScribe, we carefully screen and train our scribes to give our clients the most professional assistants available.