Fix Prior Authorization – Pass the Improving Seniors’ Timely Access to Care Act

Over the past decade, public and private insurers have substantially increased the use of prior authorization in an attempt to reduce health care costs. While the American Academy of Family Physicians understands the importance of utilization tools, patients are now experiencing significant barriers to medically necessary care due to prior approval requirements for items and services that are eventually and routinely approved. Prior authorization continues to be the #1 administrative burden identified by physicians, and nearly 4 out of 5 Medicare Advantage beneficiaries are subject to unnecessary delays.

The Improving Seniors’ Timely Access to Care Act (S. 3018 / H.R. 3173) would streamline and standardize prior authorization under the Medicare Advantage program, and as a result protect patients from unnecessary delays in care and reduce administrative burden for physicians. The bill was introduced in the House of Representatives over the summer of 2021, and the Senate version was recently introduced on October 20, 2021. Given the Senate’s recent introduction of the bill and that Congress is considering investments in our health care system, it is important to signal to Congressional leadership the strong support from the physician community to help ensure its passage.

Ask Congress to improve patient access in Medicare Advantage and reduce administrative burden by co-sponsoring this common-sense legislation. This legislation would help protect patients from unnecessary delays in care and reduce administrative burden for physicians by streamlining and standardizing prior authorization under the Medicare Advantage program.

 

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