Thursday, August 4, 2016

I hate paperwork

One of my responsibilities as a physician is to sometimes fill out paperwork for disability or medical leave. I know, very glamorous.

Recently, I was filling out a form for the husband of a woman who had a significant stroke to take a family leave. I started filling it out, but I got really frustrated midway through the questions like these:



How the hell do you fill this out in any sort of accurate way? What sort of medical condition would result in a flare is that I could remotely estimate in an hourly way and describe exactly what care is needed during those flareups? And the page before it asked me in three different ways what sort of care exactly would be needed. The guy's wife had a freaking stroke. He wants to take an unpaid leave from work to take care of her. That should be all I have to say! Why is so much stupid paperwork required?

Who wrote this form? Certainly not a person with any medical knowledge or experience.

10 comments:

  1. Would "see attached" or "see previous page, #x" work for the entire page you pictured above?
    And include your full description, including "continuous care needed."

    I always figure if they have questions they'll let me know.

    This is the first time I've heard proof of medical necessity of care is needed for FMLA though.


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  2. I'm an NP and I loathe completing FMLA paperwork. I agree with you...who made this form? And why do they ask the same questions a million different ways.

    Recently I had to apply for FMLA for my son, who broke his leg. The orthopedic surgeon's office charges $25 to complete FMLA paperwork. Seriously. So I filled it out and asked the ortho to sign it, which he did.

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    1. It is the norm to charge for FMLA forms to be filled out. We already to too much administrative work for free (a mentor of mine aptly called these the ever-increasing number of "unfunded mandates."). Patients rarely fill them out for us even when we ask them to do so. I wonder if that's b/c the forms are so confusing.

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  3. Most of the questions are not reasonable for most of the conditions that come up.
    My answers have grown increasingly sarcastic over the years and I have NEVER had any reported repercussions from that for the patient, the family, or me.
    I really think as long as there is ink in the space, no one really cares.

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    1. Amen - I have filled out mountains of FMLA paperwork and answered it differently for different patients at times for similar conditions, or a tad sarcastically like you have, and have NEVER had an issue pop up. I'm still waiting for it tho! :-)

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  4. They must think you can predict the future with great accuracy. It seems rather absurd to me.

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  5. Probably truing to determine if he qualifies for continuous vs intermittent fmla. Intermittent is usually only approved in 2 hr blocks etc. Just write daily and move on

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  6. Doctors, from witchdoctors to burocrats.

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  7. I'm a pediatrician so most of those I fill out are for stuff like autistic kids who have regular OT sessions, etc, or NICU grads who get sick a lot/see a lot of specialists. I generally have the parents fill them out, drop them off, and I review and sign them. They know their kid's schedule better than I do. I guess if they look particularly egregious I'd call OT or whatever and verify the schedule, but I've not had to do that thus far. Takes like 30 seconds.

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