One of the biggest historical rifts between health plans and providers has been rules that require physicians to clear procedures, tests, and even medications with a patient’s health plan before they are administered.
Each side has conceded ground on this issue over the years—providers accepting preauthorizations as a way to help control costs and insurance companies loosening their policies to give physicians greater discretion. But that hasn’t’ stopped the two from taking jabs one another.
The latest from healthcare providers came in the form of an American Medical Association survey in which 2,400 physicians weighed in on their preauthorization experiences:
"Intrusive managed care oversight programs that substitute corporate policy for physicians' clinical judgment can delay patient access to medically necessary care," said AMA Immediate Past President J. James Rohack, whose organization estimates that physicians spend 20 hours per week on average dealing with preauthorizations at a cost of $23.2 to $31 billion a year.
The study’s results were less than phenomenal, confirming a fact that we all know: preauthorizations are a pain in the posterior, which was confirmed in AMA’s conclusion that preauthorizations weren’t so much a bad thing, just something to be improved upon.