The Crucial Role of Physician Assistants in EHR Implementation and the Reforms

The role of Physician assistants (PAs) is accentuated in a country such as United States where the physician to patient ratio is very low. The recent health reforms have added to the responsibilities of physician assistants due to numerous changes in policies and technologies. The implementation of Electronic Health Records (EHRs) or Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) is one of the biggest challenges that PAs face in the changing healthcare environment. Moreover, since physicians need time for numerous other core activities, PAs are the professionals who handle such important auxiliary functions such as successful implementation of EMRs or EHRs and handle other office based departmental processes. The health reforms also present opportunities for PAs in the country to take on more responsibility as well as prosper financially.

The incentives offered by the government for successfully implementing an EMR or EHR is not just limited to physicians but also include PAs. However, in order to receive such incentives, the PA must work in a Federally Qualified Health Center or Rural Health Clinic that is led by the PA. The need for PAs is strongly felt as a coordinator between physicians and nurses in order to provide better service to patients. They also take on numerous other responsibilities such as being on call, making house calls, providing therapy, and even prescribing medications in addition to all the work assigned by the supervising physicians and thus PAs have a holistic understanding of the various departmental processes as well as proficiency in the core aspects of medicine. These processes today cannot be carried out without extensive use of EHRs/EMRs and PAs utilize all their knowledge to optimize the EMR/EHR implementation process.

Since PAs work in such a demanding environment, they are most likely to succeed in implementation of EHRs and EMRs due to their knowledge of other aspects of medicine such as some “back-office” or departmental processes. However, for many PAs the workload is continuously increasing due to policy changes and the skyrocketing demand for healthcare services. Some factors that are hampering the handling of EHR systems by PAs are increasing demand for healthcare due to newly insured 31 million Americans, increased scrutiny by the government in the form of HIPAA, and ‘Meaningful Use’ (MU) policy compliance. Although PAs are qualified to handle EHRs and other related processes, it would definitely become difficult for them to handle the core functions involved in health care delivery due to workloads in various auxiliary processes.

The ideal solution for making time and saving money is to delegate some of these processes to experienced professionals through outsourcing. This would ensure that processes such as revenue cycle management, denial management, interaction with payers, accounts receivables, and charge entry, are carried out in a scientific and professional manner. Medical billers and coders at not just provide these services but also offer EHRs software that is suitable for almost all specialties and suggest after studying your practice’s processes the software best suited for your practice which would cover the gaps and shorten the revenue cycle. also offer other value added services such as consultancy for keeping you updated on the changes taking place in the health industry.