Sens. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and John Thune, R-S.D., yesterday introduced the Improving Seniors' Tmely Access to Care Act (S. 5044), bipartisan legislation that would require Medicare Advantage plans to establish an electronic prior authorization system and provide “real-time” decisions for routine services and items.

In a letter to the sponsors, AHA said the bill “takes important steps to streamline and improve prior authorization processes,” and recommends additional provisions to ensure prompt access to care and reduce administrative burden. In particular, the association recommends the legislation include response timelines, and require plans to share their decision criteria and report on their decision timelines without exception.

The bill was referred to the Senate Finance Committee. It is similar to legislation (H.R. 3107) introduced in the House last year.

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