ASCO Backs New Bill to Streamline Prior Authorization and Reduce Care Delays

May 21, 2021

The Improving Senior’s Timely Access to Care Act (H.R. 3173) was recently re-introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Reps. Suzan DelBene (WA), Mike Kelly (PA), Dr. Ami Bera (CA), and Larry Bucshon (IN). The bill aims to streamline prior authorization practices and reduce care delays within the Medicare Advantage (MA) program.

Specifically, the legislation would create an electronic prior authorization process, hold MA plans accountable for the timeliness of determinations, and improve transparency by requiring plans to report to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on the extent to which they use prior authorization. The bill would also prohibit additional prior authorization for added, medically necessary services performed during an invasive procedure that already received prior authorization.

Utilization management practices such as prior authorization can create delays in care that negatively impact patients with cancer. The Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) applauds lawmakers for taking steps to streamline prior authorization and create more transparency around its use and urges all Members of Congress to co-sponsor the bill.

Take action: urge your Member of Congress to support H.R. 3173 via ASCO’s ACT Network.

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