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Medication Access and Prior Authorization

November 29, 2022
The AAAAI wrote to sponsors Senators Marshall and Hassan and Representatives Kelly and O’Halleran in support of their legislation, the “Medicare and You Handbook Improvement Act.”  The legislation seeks to improve Medicare beneficiary education by updating materials shared during the open enrollment period for seniors to make more informed decisions on health plan selection. It is a complementary bill to the Seniors’ Timely Access to Care Act, and the AAAAI and others are working to support passage of both bills yet this session.   

Prior authorization can be burdensome, unpredictable and time-consuming for physicians, and cause harmful delays in patient access to care. The American Medical Association (AMA) provides information on their campaign to change prior authorization processes here.
The AAAAI invites you to help in our advocacy efforts on prior authorization by sending us your experiences with prior authorization in which patient outcomes were negatively impacted, where physician burden was unnecessarily increased, and/or in your care for your patients was complicated, undermined or delayed. Please send us specifics of the issue with dates, the payer, and the patient’s demographic information included, but personal health information excluded, to advocacy@aaaai.org.

August 17, 2022
AAAAI supports ‘Gold Card’ bill in Congress
The AAAAI sent a letter to sponsors of a bill in Congress to allow physicians who have received at least 90% of prior authorization approvals in the preceding year to be exempt from certain prior authorization requirements for Medicare beneficiaries. The AAAAI continues to advocate for this and other reform efforts to reduce physician burden and unnecessary harm and delays to patient care. 

June 21, 2022
The AAAAI with others wrote to U.S. Senate and House leadership to urge their support for additional COVID-19 relief funding that prioritizes therapeutic purchasing and research for new therapeutics for the care of millions of Americans with impaired immune systems. Read the letter.

May 25, 2022
AAAAI cites prescription access barriers causing patient harm in comments to FTC

AAAAI submitted feedback in response to a solicitation for comments by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which is considering whether to conduct a comprehensive study of the pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) industry. The FTC requested information about the business practices of the PBM industry and, specifically, the impact of those business practices on patients. We provided several real-world examples from our members of patients who experienced harmful delays and outright denials of medically necessary and appropriate care due to utilization management protocols. Over 24,000 comments were filed with the FTC, many of which expressed similar concerns, so we hope that our patients’ stories will help make the case to the FTC that a comprehensive study of the PBM industry is needed. Once completed, such a study could serve as the basis for legislative and regulatory reforms to reduce patient harm and reduce physician burden.

May 19, 2022
The Improving Seniors Timely Access to Care Act (H.R. 3173) surpassed 290 cosponsors in the House of Representatives. This gives the bill’s sponsors the option to file a motion to add the bill to the House Consensus Calendar—bypassing the committee process and moving it to the House floor for a vote after 25 legislative days. The legislation, endorsed by the AAAAI, seeks to reform and streamline the prior authorization process for Medicare Advantage plans. The Senate companion bill (S. 3018) has 28 bipartisan cosponsors. Earlier today, the AAAAI contacted all Senators who have not yet signed on as cosponsors to ask them to do, sharing our letter endorsing the legislation. Read our earlier letter to House sponsors here.

Follow Prescription Drug Access developments in State Legislatures and in Congress  
Review a summary of state and federal legislation specific to existing and pending step therapy, non-medical switching, accumulator adjustment program, and uniform prior authorization laws here (provided by the Coalition of State Rheumatology Organizations (CSRO) and maintained by Hart Health Strategies, expert government relations consultants to both the AAAAI and CSRO).

The AAAAI Advocacy Committee works with a drug policy specialist on the Hart Health team to help guide our advocacy and outreach efforts. Questions or concerns? Please contact advocacy@aaaai.org