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Prior Authorization Negatively Impacts Clinical Outcomes

Ninety-two percent of doctors state that PA process delays access to care; burden up over past five years

MONDAY, March 19, 2018 (HealthDay News) — The burdens associated with prior authorization (PA) are high and include a negative impact on clinical outcomes, reported by 92 percent of physicians, according to the results of a survey conducted for the American Medical Association (AMA).

The survey examined the experiences of 1,000 practicing physician (40 percent primary care physicians/60 percent specialists) with PA. Twenty-seven questions were administered in December 2017 in the web-based survey.

According to the results of the survey, 64 percent of respondents reported waiting at least one business day for a PA decision from health plans, with 30 percent waiting at least three business days. The PA process delayed care in 92 percent of cases; 78 percent of respondents reported that PA can at least sometimes lead to treatment being abandoned. Overall, 92 percent of respondents reported that PA can have a negative impact on patient clinical outcomes, with a significant negative impact reported by 61 percent. Eighty-four percent of physicians describe the burden associated with PA as high or extremely high for the physicians and staff in practice. Eighty-six percent reported an increase in PA burdens over the past five years.

“The AMA survey illustrates a critical need to help patients have access to safe, timely, and affordable care, while reducing administrative burdens that take resources away from patient care,” AMA chair-elect Jack Resneck Jr., M.D., said in a statement.

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