I work in the medical field, focusing in the pharmaceutical department, getting scheduled drugs authorized.

Due to the "opioid Epidemic" there is a major increase in the work load for Narcotic authorizations. The new laws have turned something that used to be 15 minutes per patient to 1-2 hours per patient and includes a whole new job descriptions.

Do we have the right to ask for more money due to the nationwide epidemic resulting in increased duties at work?

  • 5
    Are you working more hours?
    – cdkMoose
    Sep 29 '17 at 18:14
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    @GrayCygnus The people in my field can not attend less patients per day, they are critically ill and in pain and can not wait. I am more wondering if the change of work load to my my position will be enough to request said raise. Some physician offices (including mine) are introducing an appeal charge for x amount of money due to the time and detail that go into each patients appeal. I am the one doing the appeal so I feel I should ask for some of the money. I know others in my field feel the same.
    – Christeena
    Sep 29 '17 at 18:28
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    Hard to see how you can handle the same number of patients a day if it takes up to 8 times longer. There aren't 64 hours in a day.
    – cdkMoose
    Sep 29 '17 at 18:31
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    Is the increased workload as a result of the epidemic (i.e. temporary) or as a result of the law which is as a result of the epidemic (i.e. permanent)? Beyond that, there are 2 distinct issues here - a changed job description and being expected to work more hours. The former is probably just a duplicate of How should I properly approach my boss if I'm feeling underpaid? You didn't say how many more hours you're working, but working overtime can come with a range of legal issues (and getting paid for that isn't the same as getting a raise). Sep 29 '17 at 18:46
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    @dukeling I saw " How should I properly approach my boss if feeling underpaid?" However I felt that the details were a little different, and the new Opioid prescribing laws have changed so much that it would be changing many people in the medical fields jobs and I did not see it being a duplicate. Also I went from working 36 hours to 42 hours. I have no problem with the added work, I was just seeing if the law changes that reflect on my position allow me room to ask for a raise.
    – Christeena
    Sep 29 '17 at 18:52

Do we have the right to ask for more money due to the nationwide epidemic resulting in increased duties at work?

In your contract should be specified how many hours you should be working every day. If these new laws require you to work more hours than before then I think your contract should be updated, along with a possible renegotiation of your salary.

Either that, or just adapt these longer processes to your working hours, in case your contract will not be renewed. That most probably means that you will be attending less patients than you did before, when it took 15 min per each. This, as you commented, seems to be something not quite possible to do, as your field handles critical situations.

In the bigger picture, this is your manager's problem. It seems to be clear that he is going to be needing more workforce (to compensate for the longer times per patient) or compensate you for your extra time and work.


Assuming you are not in a union contract, you can always ask for more pay or an adjustment in schedule. Since you are salaried you may have less room to move on the schedule issue.

If you are going to ask for more money, you need to be able to demonstrate how you are providing more value. If you have to do more work to process a patient and therefore can process fewer patients in the same amount of time, I'm not sure your value has changed. The nature of your contribution has changed but not in a way which provide more value.

Having to process more paperwork and phone calls are contributing to why it takes longer, but I'm not sure that makes the net of your work any more valuable and that is what you need if you are going to ask for more money


It depends.

You are assalaried, it means you work to someone and you are paid to work a moreless fixed number of hours/day but this someone is probably paid in a per patient basis. That means your company is in trouble, they will need to hire a lot of people and try to re negotiate contracts to keep the business afloat.

That being said it's better you first try to talk with people in the industry to see how that is affecting jobs and companies survivability. You knows get the whole picture.

Now to address your immediate question you must answer this:

1) Are You working more hours/day?

2) Is somewhat you work getting harder in the sense its getting more of your "juice"?

3) Your responsabilities increased? Example: If you do something wrong that means DEA officers will storm your place? Will your company get issued?

4) There some sort of bonus paid per patient/day? Example you get a few bucks more if you process 200+ patients/week.

Increases in: Workload, Work hours, Responsabilities and Stress are all valid points to ask for a raise.

Also note this situation can be temporary or maybe someone will make a software automatizes a good portion of that paperwork and increases back your productivity. In that case can you lower back your salary?

  • Yes, I am working more hours a day and my work is much harder/stressful. The DEA could become an issue if I make a mistake. I do not see software being the answer in my practice because we still have paper charts and not electronic records. The fact that he will not switch from paper charts to EMR is what causes 50% of added work due to needing to transcribe for insurance companies. There is no bonus per patient because we are a doctors office and we are required to get their medication approved for them, however he is looking into charging an appeal fee if the first attempt is not approved.
    – Christeena
    Oct 2 '17 at 19:06

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