New Prior Authorization Reforms May Not Be Problematic for Health Plans

In a rule proposed on Dec. 6, CMS seeks to impose new requirements on federally funded health plans surrounding their prior authorization processes and data interoperability. While that might normally induce private payers to push back, the health insurance sector’s main trade group has already endorsed the regulation, which CMS issued to replace a previously proposed rule that appears to have generated more industry pushback. Health care industry observers, meanwhile, tell AIS Health that the new requirements could be a win for consumers, providers, and payers alike.

“I think it’s good for the business,” says Katherine Hempstead, Ph.D., a senior policy adviser at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “It’s good immediately for consumers and providers, and it’s good in the long run for plans. It’s going to be better for everyone.”

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Leslie Small

Leslie Small

Leslie has been working in journalism since 2009 and reporting on the health care industry since 2014. She has covered the many ups and downs of the Affordable Care Act exchanges, the failed health insurer mega-mergers, and hundreds of other storylines spanning subjects such as Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage, employer-sponsored insurance, and prescription drug coverage. As the managing editor of Health Plan Weekly and Radar on Drug Benefits, she writes and edits for both publications while overseeing a small team of reporters who also focus on the managed care sector. Before joining AIS Health, she was a senior editor for the e-newsletter Fierce Health Payer, and she started her career as a copy editor at multiple local newspapers. She graduated with a dual degree in journalism and political science from Penn State University.

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