DelBene, Kelly Welcome Medicare Advantage Plans Reducing Burdensome Paperwork
Today, Representatives Suzan DelBene (WA-01) and Mike Kelly (PA-16), lead sponsors of the Improving Seniors' Timely Access to Care Act, welcomed reports that UnitedHealthcare and other private Medicare Advantage plans are reducing their use of prior authorization.
“The news that UnitedHealthcare and other private Medicare Advantage plans are finally reducing burdensome paperwork that is a regular barrier to seniors receiving the care they deserve is a step in the right direction. But seniors and their families shouldn’t be beholden to corporate goodwill. These changes should have been instituted long ago,” said DelBene. “The rules should be the same across Medicare Advantage and there needs to be greater transparency and accountability in the program. That’s why we must see today’s news as adding urgency to passing legislation that brings this archaic practice into the 21st century.
“It’s my hope that today’s announcement by UnitedHealth is the first of many announcements from commercial insurers about much-needed reforms to prior authorization,” said Kelly. “Americans, particularly seniors, deserve to receive timely access to care. Waiting days or weeks only to be denied a routine medical service can be crushing to a family. Decisions about health care should be between a patient and their doctor. Bureaucratic paperwork should never be a barrier.”