Neurosurgeons urge Congress to pass bill addressing prior authorization by year's end

Spine

The American Association of Neurological Surgeons and Congress of Neurological Surgeons praised the House Ways and Means Committee for advancing the Improving Seniors' Timely Access to Care Act.

The legislation would protect Medicare Advantage patients from prior authorization practices that could limit their timely access to medically necessary care, the societies said in a July 27 news release. 

The bill has more than 300 co-sponsors in the House and is endorsed by 500 state and national organizations representing patients, providers and the medtech and biopharmaceutical industry, the release said.

"The onerous prior authorization process has increased significantly over the last several years — causing unacceptable delays and denials of medical treatments, John Ratliff, MD, chair of the AANS/CNS Washington Committee, said in the release. "Our patients cannot afford to wait or jump through unnecessary hoops to get care for painful and life-threatening neurologic conditions. This progress is a vital step towards preserving patients’ timely access to care." 

Dr. Ratliff called on Congress to pass the bill before the end of the year.

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