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Patients Before Paperwork

An ACP initiative to reinvigorate the patient-physician relationship by challenging unnecessary practice burdens.

ACP has long identified reducing administrative complexities or burdens as a priority. Ongoing actions to achieve this goal have included developing and maintaining related policy, participating in various efforts to work to alleviate specific regulatory and insurance requirements, and eliminating other unessential tasks that detract from patient care and contribute to physician "burn-out."

In March 2017, ACP published a foundational set of policy recommendations on reducing excessive administrative tasks. "Putting Patients First by Reducing Administrative Tasks in Health Care: A Position Paper of the American College of Physicians" provides a cohesive framework for identifying and evaluating administrative tasks and outlines detailed recommendations to reduce excessive administrative tasks across the health care system. 

Additionally, in October 2017, ACP published a paper titled "Promoting Transparency and Alignment in Medicare Advantage." This paper calls on Medicare Advantage plans to increase transparency and align their processes, policies, and procedures in order to reduce excessive and burdensome administrative tasks.

ACP Strategies for This Initiative

  • Identify and prioritize which complexities are of the top concern for ACP members and their patients.
  • Educate ACP members, other physicians, consumer advocates, and policy makers on what makes up administrative complexities, including the intent of the requirement and how the complexity impacts patients and physicians.
  • Implement the most effective advocacy, stakeholder engagement, and practice support approaches to help mitigate or eliminate the top priority complexities and to help ACP members (and other physicians) address those complexities that cannot be eliminated.
  • Achieve results that reduce physician burn-out, help restore the joy of practice, and reinvigorate the patient-physician relationship.

What ACP Is Doing

Policy Development and Education

Feedback to Regulatory Agencies, Congress, and Other Key Stakeholders

Collaborations with Other Stakeholders

  • Collaborating with key regulatory agencies, including CMS and ONC, to update regulations and policies to reduce excessive administrative tasks.
  • Collaborating with ACP’s Physician Wellness Taskforce to align ACP’s broader efforts to promote physician wellness.

Tools and Services Offered by ACP

What You Can Do to Help

We are asking you to provide direct input into this work via a new online data collection tool. This tool allows you to enter either an administrative task or a best practice (i.e., approach to dealing with an administrative task—this could be one you are using already or a new idea), and entries will be added to the Administrative Tasks and Best Practices Library.

This tool ultimately will serve as a means for physicians to communicate administrative pain points with ACP staff, share best practices and innovative ideas with each other, and help inform the creation of additional tools and services.

You may also contact us directly at or discuss these issues in the Member Forum on Promoting Physician Well-being and Professional Satisfaction (ACP Membership required).

  • Tell us about your ideas to address administrative tasks.
  • Send in specific examples or vignettes explaining how these tasks have had an impact on your ability to care for a patient.
  • And finally, how can ACP best serve you to address these issues?