The Health Wonk Shop: Prior Authorization in Health Insurance – A Tool for Cost Containment or a Barrier to Needed Care? (Virtual Event on Feb. 22)

Controversial Prior Authorization in Health Care: A Deep Dive with Experts

On Feb. 22 at Noon ET, a group of experts will gather to discuss the future of prior authorization requirements in health care. The panelists will explore the reasons behind using prior authorization, its impact on patients and providers, and how new regulations may change current practices. They will also consider potential regulatory or legislative action to address ongoing concerns.

The moderator for this event is Larry Levitt, Executive Vice President for Health Policy at KFF. Joining him are Troyen Brennan, MD, Fumiko Chino, MD, Anna Schwamlein Howard, and Kaye Pestaina. KFF’s virtual Health Wonk Shop series offers in-depth policy discussions with experts beyond the news headlines.

Prior authorization is a process where insurers require patients to obtain approval before they will cover specific services. Insurers argue that this is a cost-saving tool by limiting unnecessary and ineffective care. However, it is under scrutiny for creating barriers to care for patients and adding paperwork for providers.

Nearly 1 in 5 consumers with health insurance report that their insurer delayed or denied care in the past year due to prior authorization requirements. This has led some lawmakers to consider broader legislation on the topic.

In recent years, new rules have been finalized for how insurers use prior authorization in various health care plans. These changes aim to streamline the process and reduce administrative burden for both patients and providers.

Despite these efforts, concerns about prior authorization persist. Some argue that it can lead to delays in necessary medical care and create additional barriers for patients who already face challenges accessing healthcare.

During this event, the panelists will explore these issues and more. They will provide insights into the latest research on prior authorization and its impact on patient outcomes. They will also discuss potential solutions for addressing ongoing concerns about this controversial policy issue.

If you are interested in learning more about prior authorization and its role in modern healthcare policy, be sure to tune into KFF’s virtual Health Wonk Shop series on Feb. 22 at Noon ET!

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