BCBS of Michigan Becomes Latest Insurer to Reduce Prior Authorizations

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan announced on Sept. 7 that it plans to reduce the use of prior authorization (PA) by 20%, becoming the latest payer to cut its PA requirements. While the moves make care delivery less burdensome for providers and patients, health insurers should also benefit from not relying as much on PA, according to health policy experts who spoke with AIS Health, a division of MMIT.

Michael Lutz, a senior consultant at Avalere Health, says that insurers can lower their administrative burden and focus on services where PAs are essential such as costly or high-volume procedures. He adds that plans announce their PA reductions as a marketing tool, too.

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Tim Casey

Tim Casey

Tim has been a reporter and editor for newspapers, websites and magazines for more than 20 years, including 10 years covering health care business topics. He has a deep knowledge of the managed care industry and pharmacy benefit management. He also has experience covering medical conferences and clinical and legislative health care issues. In 2014, the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing selected Tim as one of 15 journalists to participate in a national symposium on the Affordable Care Act. Tim has a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Notre Dame and an M.B.A. from Georgetown University.

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