The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Jan. 17 released a final rule requiring Medicare Advantage, Medicaid and federally facilitated Marketplace plans to streamline their prior authorization processes. AHA has urged the agency to finalize the rule to alleviate provider burden and ensure timely access to care for patients. 
 
In a statement shared with the media, AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack said, “The AHA commends CMS for removing barriers to patient care by streamlining the prior authorization process. Hospitals and health systems especially appreciate the agency’s plan to require Medicare Advantage plans to adhere to the rule, create interoperable prior authorization standards to help alleviate significant burdens for patients and providers, and to require more transparency and timeliness from payers on their prior authorization decisions.

“With this final rule, CMS addresses a practice that too often has been used in a manner that leads to dangerous delays in patient treatment and clinician burnout in the health care system. AHA is grateful to CMS for its efforts to improve patient access to care and help clinicians focus on patient care rather than paperwork.”
 
Earlier today, CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure visited Inova Fairfax Medical Campus in Virginia for a tour and roundtable discussion featuring hospital leaders and AHA staff. Today’s event illustrated the patient impact of current prior authorization practices and procedures and the need for reform. 

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