3 forces disrupting gastroenterology

Artificial intelligence, prior authorization and decreased reimbursements all have a big role in the future of gastroenterology. 

Here are three physicians' opinions on some of the major disruptors in GI: 

Artificial intelligence 

"I've been doing this for a long time and [gastroenterology] has changed dramatically in the last 10 years," Sheldon Taub, MD, a gastroenterologist at Jupiter (Fla.) Medical Center, told Becker's. "I anticipate further change in the next 10 years, or certainly a lot more. Artificial intelligence — I'm not smart enough to know where it's going to play out, but it's certainly going to have a role in the decision-making. It will have a role with radiology, with pathology and certainly with endoscopy."

Prior authorization 

"No matter what kind of physician you are, prior authorizations are something that physicians are concerned about because of the amount of extra time required to take care of those phone calls," Benjamin Levy III, MD, a gastroenterologist at University of Chicago Medicine, told Becker's. "On average it takes about 20 to 30 minutes per prior authorization for a physician outside of their clinic time. So anytime we have to do that, we have to set up the prior authorization and frequently it requires talking with several different people at an insurance company just to set up the prior authorization. It doesn't matter whether it's for a procedure or for a medication to get approved, we have to take time out of our schedules, in terms of taking care of patients, in order to have a conversation with the insurance company."

Decreasing reimbursements

"My major concern regarding procedure reimbursement is continued increase in costs of doing procedures and denials from payers with decreasing payments, especially by government payers," Pankaj Vashi, MD, department head of gastroenterology and nutrition at City of Hope Chicago in Zion, Ill., told Becker's.

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