ATLANTA – The American College of Rheumatology (ACR), on behalf of over 9,100 rheumatologists and rheumatology professional team members, applauds the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for finalizing its Advancing Interoperability and Improving Prior Authorization Processes for Medicare Advantage Organizations rule recently.
“Prior authorization policies create significant undue burdens on patients and healthcare professionals and often result in significant delays to needed care, treatment abandonment, and irreversible harm to patients’ health,” said Deborah Dyett Desir, MD, president of ACR. “The ACR commends CMS for recognizing the negative impact of prior authorization on patients and the need to streamline the process to promote greater transparency between doctors’ offices and payers.”
Specifically, the rule would reduce the decision time to 24 hours for urgent requests and seven days for non-urgent requests. The rule also requires payers to provide the reason for prior authorization denials, creating greater transparency and establishing a more streamlined practice for resubmissions and appeals.
However, the ACR is concerned with the inclusion of e-prior authorization measures for merit-based incentive payment system (MIPS)-eligible providers under the performance improvement (PI) category as it will create additional burden for physicians.
While this final rule addresses many concerns about the use of utilization management tools, the ACR continues to urge Congress to pass the Improving Seniors’ Timely Access to Care Act (S. 3018/H.R. 3173) to statutorily address prior authorization issues in Medicare, Medicare Advantage and Medicaid plans.
“The ACR welcomes the opportunity to be a part of this discussion as policymakers work to ensure these programs are implemented in a way that streamlines patient care and minimizes administrative burden on physicians,” Desir concluded.
About the American College of Rheumatology
Founded in 1934, the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) is a not-for-profit, professional association committed to advancing the specialty of rheumatology that serves 9,100 physicians, health professionals, researchers, and scientists worldwide. In doing so, the ACR offers education, research, advocacy, and practice management support to help its members continue their innovative work and provide quality patient care.