Congress Must Act to Prevent Unnecessary Care Delays Due to Prior Authorization

March 10, 2022

Members of the Regulatory Relief Coalition—including the Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO)—participated in a week of action to call on Congress to pass the Improving Seniors’ Timely Access to Care Act (H.R. 3173/S. 3018). The bipartisan legislation would help protect patients from unnecessary care delays by streamlining and standardizing the prior authorization process under the Medicare Advantage program. More than 450 organizations currently endorse the bill.

Specifically, the legislation would:

  • Create an electronic prior authorization process
  • Hold plans accountable for the timeliness of determinations
  • Improve transparency by requiring plans to report to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on the extent of their prior authorization use
  • Prohibit additional prior authorization for added medically necessary services performed during an invasive procedure that already received prior authorization

Delays in care can have severe negative impacts on patients with cancer, and ASCO members are increasingly citing prior authorization as a significant impediment to patient care. The Association has long advocated for a more streamlined prior authorization process to stop delays in care and other administrative burdens.

Want to make your voice heard in support of the Improving Seniors’ Timely Access to Care Act? Contact your lawmakers via the ASCO ACT Network. Advocates have already sent more than 600 letters to lawmakers urging support for the legislation—join them.   

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