Statement attributable to:
Ryan D. Mire, MD, FACP
WASHINGTON September 14, 2022 – The American College of Physicians (ACP) commends the House of Representatives for passing the “Improving Seniors Timely Access to Care Act” earlier today. The legislation will take important steps toward protecting patients from unnecessary delays in care and reducing administrative burdens on physicians by streamlining the prior authorization approval process in the Medicare Advantage program.
Prior authorization processes that physicians use to request approval for procedures, services, or medications that are covered under patients’ insurance plans are often unnecessarily burdensome. Time that physicians must spend on overly burdensome administrative requirements is time that they are not able to spend caring for patients. Older adults who have serious health conditions are among those who can least afford unnecessary, bureaucratic delays in care. That is why this legislation’s focus on Medicare Advantage plans is so impactful. This legislation protects Medicare Advantage beneficiaries from disruptions in care due to prior authorization requirements; it also requires that plans issue more prompt decisions about whether a service will be covered. ACP previously conveyed to House leadership that we strongly support this bill. We call on the Senate to quickly pass this bipartisan legislation that will improve patient access to care.
About the American College of Physicians
The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization in the United States with members in more than 145 countries worldwide. ACP membership includes 160,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.