The AMA and the Michigan State Medical Society (MSMS) issued a joint call to action this week, urging both state and federal lawmakers to address harmful prior authorization (PA) programs that, even during the COVID-19 pandemic, are standing in the way of patients' access to care.

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Citing new survey data from the AMA showing that these utilization review programs are adversely impacting patient outcomes, the medical societies are urging passage of H.R. 3107, federal legislation which would streamline prior authorization processes in Medicare Advantage programs. The MSMS and AMA, as part of the multi-stakeholder Health Can't Wait Coalition, are also calling on Michigan lawmakers to prioritize S.B. 612, a bill before the Michigan legislature that creates new transparency and clinical validity requirements on payers' prior authorization programs. "Our patients are suffering because insurers, even during a pandemic, are choosing profits over patient care. This must stop," said AMA President Susan R. Bailey, MD. "Because insurers will not change their ways despite their rhetoric, policymakers have an important opportunity to rein in prior authorization requirements that adversely affect patient health."

The AMA Advocacy Resource Center is asking for your help to survey physicians specifically on the issue of treating patients with pain. The survey will close Aug. 21. While physicians have received many surveys, and the AMA is highly sympathetic to the time and other pressures on physician practices, this is the first to specifically address issues affecting physicians who treat patients with pain during the COVID-19 pandemic. The results will help inform future advocacy efforts. The survey is available here. Due to the promotion of this survey, it is possible that a physician may receive this note from more than one organization. Please only take the survey once and send any questions to [email protected].

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