On June 5, Members of Congress introduced new, bipartisan legislation that would streamline and standardize prior authorization requirements in Medicare Advantage (MA) plans. The bill, entitled “Improving Seniors’ Timely Access to Care Act of 2019,” (H.R. 3107) would improve the prior authorization process in MA plans by requiring “real time” authorizations for routinely approved services. The bill was introduced by Representatives Suzan DelBene (D-WA), Mike Kelly (R-PA), Roger Marshall (R-KS), and Ami Bera (D-CA). ASCO endorsed the legislation and applauds Representatives Reps. Suzan DelBene (D-WA), Mike Kelly (R-PA), Roger Marshall (R-KS), and Ami Bera (D-CA) for their commitment to this issue.
“We hear increasing concerns from our members that prior authorization is causing delays for their patients,” said ASCO President Howard A. “Skip” Burris III, MD, FACP, FASCO. “These policies are particularly harmful for patients with cancer because severe delays in a patient’s treatment can lead to disease progression and other serious complications. Patients with cancer deserve timely access to the best treatment available for their condition. The bipartisan legislation introduced today takes an important step to address this growing problem by streamlining prior authorization practices.”
ASCO remains committed to the principles and recommendations conveyed in its 2017 policy statement on utilization management, and to working with stakeholder groups to develop and implement policies that benefit patients with cancer.