3 Ways Radiation Oncologists Can Prevent Burnout

June 1, 2021 by Antonio Arias, MBA, CHBME

Topics: medical billing services, Radiation Oncology

Medical Burnout

Radiation oncologists are under constant stress, pressure, and emotional overload. Leading the fight against cancer in your patients means you have to manage a plethora of medical and emotional tasks in your daily work, which can wear on even the strongest person. We understand, and we recognize your efforts are worthwhile, yet draining. Preventing burnout in radiation oncologists is critical in the battle against cancer; this blog addresses a couple of ways to implement this in your practice.

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What is Medical Burnout?

Medical burnout is classified as a psychological syndrome that results from prolonged exposure to chronic occupational stressors. In other words, it’s a never-ending cycle of feeling fatigued, uninspired, and generally frustrated. Symptoms can manifest physically, emotionally, and behaviorally; such examples include feeling tired all the time, feeling a sense of impending doom and heightened anxiety, increased cynicism, procrastinating, and more. 

Long-hours, mounting pressure to see more patients, increased government interference, and non-patient-centered duties all contribute to physician burnout. 

Why Does Preventing Radiation Oncologist Burnout Matter?

The healthcare industry is not always forgiving when it comes to workload and burnout. Long hours, high-pressure situations and continually growing administrative tasks can lead to a variety of problems: increased medical errors, low-quality patient care, higher risks for malpractice, and much more.

The danger lies in the fact that physicians who suffer from burnout are more disposed to errors, provide less quality of care and receive lower patient satisfaction. Additionally, it can lead to higher rates of depression, alcoholism, and even suicide.

Radiation Oncology

Tips to Preventing Medical Burnout Among Radiation Oncologists

Streamlining office duties with a comprehensive practice management system can greatly decrease stress levels associated with the day-to-day hassles of running a practice. In addition, the following steps can help alleviate stress contributing to medical burnout:

1. Identify the Root of the Problem

It’s important to understand where the problem is stemming from. Oftentimes, the problem stems from a lack of time in the day to complete everything. But what’s important to identify within this is why there isn’t enough time. Is it a staffing issue? Is it over-scheduling patients? Is it an influx of new patients? Is it an increase in administrative responsibilities? Whatever the case may be, it’s crucial to pinpoint the source and create a game plan from there.

2. Be Proactive, Not Reactive

Preventing burnout must be taken from a proactive approach—not a reactive one. Once the root of the problem has been identified, you can then find ways to be proactive and anticipate physician needs in the future.

For example, if the problem is a lack of sufficient staffing, see if hiring another team member is an option for your practice. If not, consider scheduling fewer patients per day to anticipate time to handle administrative tasks. You could also consider using a remote assistant to help your practice’s behind-the-scenes team, or using other technology to streamline your practice’s operations.

Sometimes, however, burnout is the product of multiple factors weighing on the physician, whether literal problems or intangible stress. As counterintuitive as it might sound, the best plan of action is to take a break and rest. As the radiation oncologist, you can’t continue to drag yourself along for months on end without any time for yourself. Both your mental health and patient care quality will drastically drop; practicing self-care along the way is the better way to go.

3. Outsource Your Medical Billing

When it comes down to it, insurance billing has to be done efficiently for a radiation oncology practice to be successful in the healthcare industry. For many practices, trying to balance treating patients while handling contract negotiations and other billing-related tasks can be overwhelming. The source of the problem is almost never related to the competence of the team, but rather the lack of time available to manage ever-changing insurance billing tasks expected of practices today.

The best way to handle this dilemma is to get expert help from professionals who work with insurance billing on a daily basis. Outsourcing radiation oncology medical billing allows for:

Faster Payments

When reimbursement experts can provide contract reviews and medical record audits to your team, you can ensure your radiation oncology practice is compliant and is receiving the maximum benefit possible. With a dedicated credentialing staff and provider enrollment team, you can ensure your applications are completed and submitted, and that your credentialing data and CAQH credentialing are properly maintained.

Fewer Financial Headaches

With radiation oncology, there are many detailed intricacies that need to be handled with care and expertise. An experienced medical insurance billing firm like NCG Medical can use their knowledge of hospital-based and standalone facility radiation oncology to help boost your bottom line by assessing missing revenue opportunities and recovering expenses. You can’t help patients in the long-term if your practice is operating below value in the short-term; utilizing a team of experts to produce accurate medical billing means you protect your bottom line.

More Time for Patients

The more time is spent on paperwork, the less time there is to spend on patients. That’s where a team of insurance billing experts can step in—to provide value to existing patients who deserve your undivided attention. Rather than dealing with the frustration of paperwork, keeping up to date with codes and regulations, or researching new insurance claims processes, you can focus on delivering the best care to your patients.

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See How NCG Medical Can Help Your Radiation Oncology Practice Today

NCG Medical understands billing can be rife with challenges and confusion. We’ve spent more than 40 years tailoring our medical billing services to meet the needs of many different specialties, including medical billing, revenue cycle management, credentialing, and more. Our radiation oncology billing services can give you the medical billing expertise your practice needs to grow and thrive in today’s modern medical landscape. Contact our billing experts today and experience what NCG Medical can do for your revenue cycle management!

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