Study links prior authorizations to treatment delays

Prior authorizations for infused medications for patients with a rheumatic condition are associated with treatment delays, according to a study published in Arthritis Care & Research.

For the study, researchers from Boston-based Massachusetts General Hospital examined data on 225 patients who were prescribed infused medications for a rheumatologic condition.

The study found that the 160, or 71 percent, of patients who required a prior authorization had a higher average number of days to treatment compared to those who did not require one (31 days vs. 27 days).  For people whose prior authorization was initially denied but approved later, the delay was longer (50 days vs. 27 days), according to the study.  

The study also found that prior authorization denials are associated with 6-times greater exposure to glucocorticoids, a category of corticosteroids.

Based on their findings, the study authors concluded that "because the great majority of PA requests are ultimately approved, the value of PA requirements and their impact on patient safety should be re‐evaluated."


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