Healthcare advocates back bill to cut Medicare prior authorization red tape

Nearly 370 organizations representing patients, physicians, healthcare professionals, hospitals and other healthcare stakeholders are urging Congress to support legislation designed to streamline and standardize prior authorization under Medicare Advantage, according to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and Congress of Neurological Surgeons.

In a letter sent to Congress Sept. 9, the groups call on lawmakers to support H.R. 3107, the Improving Seniors' Timely Access to Care Act. 

The legislation — sponsored by U.S. Reps. Suzan DelBene, D-Wash.; Mike Kelly, R-Pa.; Roger Marshall, MD, R-Kan.; and Ami Bera, MD, D-Calif. —would establish an electronic prior authorization program and require health plans to provide CMS with information on their prior authorization use as well as rates of denials and approvals, the letter stated. It also requires that  health plans  tell why they need  prior authorizations.

"For our seniors — and as representatives of organizations seeking to protect patients from delays in care and relieve unnecessary administrative burdens that impede delivery of timely care — we are committed to advancing this legislation in Congress and ask that you join Reps. DelBene, Kelly, Marshall and Bera in co-sponsoring H.R. 3107 and securing its enactment," the groups wrote.

The groups signing the letter include the American College of Emergency Physicians; American Association of Neurological Surgeons; Congress of Neurological Surgeons; American Medical Association; Federation of American Hospitals; Association of Rehabilitation Nurses; and American Society of Transplant Surgeons.

Read the full letter, including the entire list of organizations, here.


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