Prior Authorization Hurts Patient Care, AMA Survey Finds

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , November 23, 2010

A Health Affairs study published in 2009 showed that navigating the managed care maze costs physicians $23.2 to $31 billion a year.

AMA said its survey showed that preauthorization policies create costly bureaucratic hassles that take time away from patients. Physicians in the survey said they average 20 hours each week dealing with preauthorizations.

"Nearly all physicians surveyed said that streamlining the preauthorization process is important and 75% believe an automated process would increase efficiency," Rohack said. "The AMA is urging health insurers to automate and streamline the current cumbersome preauthorization process so physicians can manage patient care more efficiently."

John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.

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2 comments on "Prior Authorization Hurts Patient Care, AMA Survey Finds"

Todd (11/23/2010 at 10:32 AM)
This sure beats the alternative. Imagine no prior authorization? You would see premium increases year over year of 40% being common. What insurance plans and employers should do to compromise is not require prior authorization for patients having surgery at Joint Commission Accredited Hospitals in Thailand, India, Turkey, Korea, Singapore and Costa Rica.

Sara Gottschalk (11/23/2010 at 10:17 AM)
As the wife of a patient who was to undergo chemotherapy, I found myself fighting with an insurance company to justify the two heart tests required by a highly respected oncologist who could not determine chemotherapy medication until the tests determined the ability of his heart to withstand the chemo rounds. The insurance company could not correlate the relationship between chemo treatments and heart health! I shudder to think how many patients have legitimate claims denied because they do not have the expertise to fight their way through the system as I did[INVALID]especially at times when they are particularly vulnerable.




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