Statement attributable to:
Jesse M. Ehrenfeld, MD, MPH
President, American Medical Association 

“The House Ways and Means Committee should be applauded today for advancing thoughtful, bipartisan provisions that would bring much needed reforms to prior authorization processes in Medicare Advantage. Reforming prior authorization—an insurance gambit that erects obstacles to patient care and creates massive bureaucratic hoops for physicians—is a pillar of the Recovery Plan for America’s Physicians.  The unfortunate reality is that prior authorization is overused, costly, inefficient, opaque and responsible for patient care delays and denials that often lead to poor health care outcomes.  As a result, American Medical Association (AMA) consistently urges Congress to restrict its use in Medicare Advantage. 

“The provisions passed today closely mirror the Improving Seniors’ Timely Access to Care Act, bipartisan legislation introduced in the 117th Congress by Reps. Suzan DelBene (D-WA), Mike Kelly (R-PA), Ami Bera, M.D. (D-CA), and Larry Bucshon, M.D. (R-IN) that garnered over 380 combined cosponsors in the House and Senate.  In 2022, The Improving Seniors’ Timely Access to Care Act—which would simplify, streamline, and standardize the use of prior authorization for the millions of patients in Medicare Advantage—advanced out of the Ways and Means Committee and passed in the full House of Representatives. 

“Patients and physicians are grateful that the Ways and Means Committee has displayed focus and tenacity in pursuing this legislation. The AMA looks forward to working in a bipartisan manner with lawmakers to ensure the Improving Seniors’ Timely Access to Care Act is ultimately enacted before the end of the 118th Congress.”

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The American Medical Association is the physicians’ powerful ally in patient care. As the only medical association that convenes 190+ state and specialty medical societies and other critical stakeholders, the AMA represents physicians with a unified voice to all key players in health care.  The AMA leverages its strength by removing the obstacles that interfere with patient care, leading the charge to prevent chronic disease and confront public health crises and, driving the future of medicine to tackle the biggest challenges in health care.