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Prior Authorization Legislation Reintroduced in the House

On May 13, H.R. 3173, the Improving Seniors’ Timely Access to Care Act was reintroduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. Sponsored by Reps. Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.), Mike Kelly (R-Pa.), Ami Bera, MD, (D-Calif.) and Larry Bucshon, MD, (R-Ind.), this bipartisan legislation would protect patients in Medicare Advantage from unnecessary prior authorization practices that limit their timely access to medically necessary care. Similar legislation (H.R. 3107) introduced in 2019 garnered 280 co-sponsors, making it one of the most evenly bipartisan and widely supported health care bills in the 116th Congress. The U.S. Senate is expected to introduce the same legislation in the near future.

The AANS and the CNS issued a press release and sent the sponsors a letter endorsing the bill to mark the reintroduction. In addition, the bill’s sponsors recognized the neurosurgical groups’ support in their press release. Finally, the Regulatory Relief Coalition also featured neurosurgery in its press release, stating:

“Prior Authorization burdens are more than burdens. They can be dangerous barriers to necessary patient care,” said John K. Ratliff, MD, a practicing neurosurgeon at Stanford University. “The COVID-19 crisis has exacerbated the need to reform prior authorizations as our patients are facing new obstacles to getting the care they need.” He added, “Some of my patients have already waited months for necessary surgeries because of the COVID crisis.” Ratliff concluded, “The legislation’s common-sense oversight and transparency of prior authorization should now be a national imperative.”

Click here for more information about the legislation.

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