Prior Authorization

Prior authorization research & reports


Prior authorization is a health plan cost control process by which physicians and other health care providers must qualify for payment coverage by obtaining advance approval from a health plan before a specific service is delivered to the patient. 

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Deadline: July 24, 2024.

The AMA believes prior authorization is overused and existing processes present significant administrative and clinical concerns. In order to reduce the harmful impact of these utilization management programs, the AMA has conducted significant research designed to reveal physician concerns over patient care delays, administrative costs and workflow disruptions caused by prior authorization.

Along with reform initiatives, reform resources and practice resources, this research represents an integral part of the AMA’s commitment to this issue.

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Survey data (PDF) of practicing physicians indicate that prior authorization continues to interfere with patient care and can lead to adverse clinical consequences. In addition, the results underscore the tremendous administrative burdens associated with the prior authorization process and the need for meaningful reform.

A qualitative study exploring the fundamental sources of physician satisfaction and dissatisfaction (PDF)—and the effects of administrative work on practices—includes first-hand physician perspectives on how prior authorization impacts physician practices and delivery of care to patients.

The AMA Council on Medical Service presented reports that detail AMA policy (PDF) and corresponding initiatives on prior authorization (PDF) during recent AMA Annual Meetings.