Panelists: CMS Prior Authorization Rule Should Help, But More Is Needed

The rule that CMS finalized last month regarding prior authorization (PA) should help streamline the increasingly scrutinized process and lead to faster decisions, according to panelists who spoke during a KFF webinar on Feb. 22. However, they noted that regulation did not apply to employer-sponsored plans or state-based exchange plans and did not address how PA decisions are made and the clinical criteria plans use in determining which procedures are subject to PA.

Troyen Brennan, M.D., former chief medical officer at CVS Health Corp. and Aetna, noted that the rule did not include prescription medications, which are often subject to PA — a process that draws the ire of providers who worry that delays could worsen patient outcomes. The CMS Interoperability and Prior Authorization Final Rule also required insurers to have a PA application programming interface (API), where providers can access information, although the regulation did not require them to disclose PA data on medications.

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Tim Casey

Tim Casey

Tim has worked as a reporter and editor for more than 20 years. Before joining AIS Health in December 2021, he was a business reporter covering the commercial real estate industry’s capital markets for four years. He previously covered health care business issues for two medical publishing companies and high school, college and professional sports for the Sacramento Bee newspaper. 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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