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Dysfunctional office. Is it like this everywhere??

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  • Dysfunctional office. Is it like this everywhere??

    Employed by major health system south tx. Things seem to be unraveling. I’ll try to paint an accurate picture....
    - phone systems stink. Patients call, on hold for 30-60min. We had 3 staff answering phones but also trying to check in, check out, schedule appts. Got new system last mth that takes all calls for “questions for doctor” to the MA phones in the back...problem is we’re short MAs so they can’t answer. After so many rings it takes them to an answering service that’s sends message to a bucket . Takes messages hours to get routed to me, sometimes 1-2days.told this is thr best admin can do
    -always short MAs. 3 docs, 2 midlevels. We all mostly see 20 per day. Only have 3 MAs to room pts, vitals, do prior auths, referrals. It’s impossible for them to keep up. One day This wk 1 was sick, so had 2. Then one of the 2 leaves after lunch and doesn’t come back. So I had 16pts that afternoon and roomed/vitalizad almost all of them....office manager usually comes in to help on those occasions(happens usually once per wk) but this time she was “in meeting w admin?!?!?!).
    I guess all the issues stem from lack of support staff. We tell admin we need to hire ASAP, they say they can’t find anyone. Supposedly had 10 interviews scheduled Friday, nobody showed up? Maybe bc the pay is bad, think $12/hr although w benefits, insurance.

    are all you employed guys having them same issues?? I can’t stomach the fact that they take 50% for overhead yet I don’t get adequate support!

  • #2
    This is awful. You cannot do a good job with this amount of support. Do you have the option of going elsewhere?

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    • #3
      I'd definitely start looking at my options. They need to pay more if they want to retain good office staff.

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      • #4
        I think hiring people to do anything for $12 an hour is hard right now, let alone work in our suckfest of a healthcare system. There are millions of available jobs right now, and people are getting paid to sit at home and not be exposed to COVID.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Lithium View Post
          I think hiring people to do anything for $12 an hour is hard right now, let alone work in our suckfest of a healthcare system. There are millions of available jobs right now, and people are getting paid to sit at home and not be exposed to COVID.
          They're getting paid more to not work than they would make at a job. If your area is anything like mine, nobody is staying home anymore.

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          • #6
            Hatton- I’m in yr 3 of 5. Have a buyout that I can pay now however I think thr answer is to not be employed anymore. The other hospital systems here seem to be only slightly better

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            • #7
              Good MAs are hard to find, even in the best of times. their pay is low, but around me the going rate is $16 plus benefits.

              the bigger problem is if the employer is unwilling to hire enough staff

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              • #8
                $12/hour is unconscionable for that work. Nobody should have to work for that, but especially when you’re not talking about flipping burgers. Being an MA may not be super high-skilled if it’s rooming and taking vitals, but add in triaging patient phone calls, pre-authorizations, etc. and I’m not surprised they can’t stay well staffed. You get what you pay for.

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                • #9
                  are you saying that there are 3 MAs total for 3 doctors and 2 providers? or 3 per provider, as in 15 total?

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                  • #10
                    Hans fellow- 3 mas total

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                    • #11
                      A lack of control over your immediate staff and schedule just adds stress. Year 3 out of 5? What happens at year 5? Are you thinking of starting your own practice?

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                      • #12
                        Bmac- yea I hear u. I’ve taken over doing my own PAs due to the lack of staff. Although they are pretty quick since I know all the answers, before the MAs would have to wait around to find me to help fill out.

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                        • #13
                          Hatton- after completion of 5 yrs, the buy out ends so I can leave without owing anything. Although I can pay my buyout now, it’s only $11,000.....and technically I could potentially litigate my way out of it as they are in breach of my contract by not providing adequate staff

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                          • #14
                            Some locations the healthcare systems weathered the pandemic better than others.
                            An MA (as you know) requires some education and training. Staffing and turnover are difficult now.

                            The challenge is going out on your own means you are responsible for all of the staffing issues you mentioned. There is no one else to blame. You will be competing with the hospital systems for good staff in your area. You need to have your ducks in a row. It can work out very well and it can be a disaster. Plan carefully.

                            Easier to find a good MA than to set up your own practice. I know it is not your job, but it fixes staffing problem. My daughter's MA was hand picked. The problem was she had a health issue and was out for months with an "incompetent" temporary replacement. You are not alone obviously. Another WCI member had similar staffing issues as well. From your comment about the other hospital systems being slightly better, are you prepared to run it better? Backups alone will be difficult. Think this through.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Dontgetthejab View Post
                              Hatton- after completion of 5 yrs, the buy out ends so I can leave without owing anything. Although I can pay my buyout now, it’s only $11,000.....and technically I could potentially litigate my way out of it as they are in breach of my contract by not providing adequate staff
                              It sounds like it would be worth $11k to get out of that shootshow.

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