From prior authorizations to staffing, orthopedic surgeon Sohrab Pahlavan, MD, is thinking ahead about challenges in 2022.
Dr. Pahlavan, of Ventura (Calif.) Orthopedics, spoke about what he's expecting on the "Becker's Healthcare Spine and Orthopedic Podcast."
This is an excerpt. Listen to the full podcast here.
Question: What are the top challenges you're anticipating in 2022?
Dr. Sohrab Pahlavan: Some challenges are new. Some challenges are old. I think a lot of us in the private setting especially are seeing an increased pressure with prior authorizations and issues with insurance companies and getting care we need for our patients in terms of tests, imaging and procedures. So I have a feeling that this is gonna be an increasing nuisance and problem for us that we need to be proactive about and try to figure out ways to be effective and also make sure we're communicating the things we want properly. It's going to be something that as physicians we have to become increasingly aware of.
Another thing I think is very important is to increasingly maintain our level of advocacy in terms of what value we bring as physicians both for our patients and for the health systems as a whole. It's gonna be very important to always maintain our voice, advocacy and commitments, and to make sure that our patients, hospital systems, insurance companies, even politicians are aware that as physicians, we are bringing a lot to the able in terms of value in terms of quality of life and also of cost-effectiveness in terms of the care we provide.
Finally, in these ages of COVID-19, I think really focusing on optimizing how we manage elective surgeries will be a challenge. Staffing has become very difficult in the past year for obvious reasons. For our colleagues in nursing, it's been very difficult for them. They're taking the full brunt of the pandemic, and they're truly on the front line and just being able to keep morale up and to be able to keep the workforce going and being able to do the work that is demanded of us with appropriate staffing. That's gonna be an increase in challenge in the next year for sure.