Though physician advisors may sound optional to some healthcare centers, it is a key position that is more essential than ever. Let’s see who they are and how they contribute to the greater good of healthcare services.
What is a Physician Advisor?
A physician advisor is a professional who maintains liaisons between the hospital administration, clinical staff, and support personnel.
Physician advisor jobs are to aid in reaching organizational goals relating to the efficient utilization of health care services. They advise physicians on medical necessities, run interference for the hospital staff, ensure regulatory compliance, and tackle health care policy issues. Simply put, physician advisors deal with all the related issues so that other healthcare workers can focus merely on improving patient care.
What does a Physician Advisor do?
Typically, physician advisors’ job description includes the following responsibilities:
- Review and notify of any conflict of interest in reviewing patients’ medical records.
- Assist with the level of care and length of stay management, denial management process, and clinical review of patients
- Review and make suggestions about resource and service management
- Assess whether professionally recognized standards of quality care are met
- Provide feedback and seek additional clinical information while attending and consulting physicians.
- Act as liaisons with payers to facilitate approvals and prevent denials
- Facilitate, mentor, and educate physicians about payer requirements.
- Participate in the review of long-stay patients, and facilitate the use of the most appropriate level of care.
Physician Support and Education
- Provide physicians and other clinicians with education related to regulatory requirements, appropriate utilization, alternative levels of care, and community resources.
- Educate medical staff on the importance of complying with hospital policies and regulations and explain specific policy or regulation changes.
- Guide documentation training for physicians in person or in group settings.
- Remain updated on practice, procedures and treatment protocols.
- Provide education to physicians and other clinicians regarding inappropriate admissions and create action plans to address these cases.
Hospital Process Improvement
- Identify quality, safety, patient satisfaction and efficiency issues that are not optimal and take appropriate action to resolve.
- Promote and educate the healthcare team on a team approach to patient care.
- Promote coordination, communication and collaboration among all team members.
- Support the organization in quality improvement efforts requiring physician involvement.
Clinical Documentation & Medical Informatics Support
- Educate individual hospital staff physicians about ICD coding guidelines and clinical terminology to improve their understanding of severity, acuity, risk of mortality on individual patient records.
- Provide improved health record documentation that affects ICD code assignment capture of severity, acuity, risk of mortality, and DRG assignment.
How to Become a Physician Advisor
Aspiring physician advisors must follow the same educational path as doctors. They first need to earn a bachelor’s degree in biology, health sciences, or a related field, then complete medical school. They are also required to obtain a state license to be eligible to practice.
Employers often prefer candidates who have practiced medicine for several years so they have a comprehensive understanding of insurance industry practices and are familiar with documentation, business, and the role of multiple people within a hospital staff.
Why be a Physician Advisor?
While physician advisors’ role is non-clinical, they have considerable impacts on the quality of patient care. They also have the opportunity to not only make a difference in other physicians’ careers by educating and helping them cope with issues related to the medical setting. Regarding lifestyle, physician advisors are able to afford better work-life balance as Physician advisor jobs do not require night/weekend shifts and being on call for work.
Despite the fact that physician advisors are non-specialized professionals, they contribute to the medical field by balancing advocacy and support for patients, families, practitioners and professional staff and the organization that they are serving. If working directly with patients, providing treatments and surgeries are not your type yet you still love to work in the healthcare sector, physician advisor jobs can be your destiny.