I'm embarrassed to tell you how much of my day is spent in documentation. There are some moments during every day when I feel more like a secretary than a physician. But it's important to do, not just to communicate information and to cover my ass but also for the sake of reimbursement. In order to bill for my time, I have to document a certain way.
There are times when I get pissed off about the fact that I have to do all this documentation. Don't insurance companies trust me? I'm very honest. Then I hear a story like this:
A cardiologist told me that back in the "old days", he used to bill for reading arterial blood gases. Every time a patient on his service had an ABG, he would "read it" and then bill some ridiculous "reading" fee. He apparently made a ton of money doing this.
I have heard dozens of similar stories about the crazy things people used to bill for in the "old days."
Older generations of doctors: you ruined it for the rest of us.