Monday, August 1, 2022
AAHAM Helps Lead the Way Towards Passing H.R. 8487, the Improving Seniors’ Timely Access to Care Act
Washington is thought of as a dysfunctional town where 535 members of Congress rarely agree on the most commonsense solutions today. That is not the case when it comes to timely access to healthcare for seniors.
Patient-centered care is a major goal across the health care industry. By empowering patients to play an active role in their care and assume a pivotal role in developing an individualized treatment plan to meet their health care needs, this care model can increase patients’ satisfaction with provided services and ultimately improve treatment quality and outcomes.
Yet despite these clear advantages to adopting patient-centered care, health care providers and patients often face significant obstacles in putting this concept into practice. Utilization management programs, such as prior authorization create significant barriers for patients by delaying the start or continuation of necessary treatment and negatively affecting patient health outcomes. The very manual, time-consuming processes used in these programs burden providers and divert valuable resources away from direct patient care. However, health plans and benefit managers contend that utilization management programs are employed to control costs and ensure appropriate treatment.
Today, AAHAM and its coalition allies took another major step in correcting the challenges, problems, and inefficiencies that come with prior authorization issues. The House Ways & Means Committee (in record time) marked-up H.R. 8487, the Improving Seniors’ Timely Access to Care Act. This legislation amends the Social Security Act to establish requirements with respect to the use of prior authorization under Medicare Advantage plans.
H.R. 8487 has been a top priority for AAHAM over the past three years. Today with your help, we took a step closer to getting this legislation to the President's desk for his signature. We still have a ways to go to get there, but today’s bipartisan mark-up is a step in the right direction. Today, both sides came together to focus on a real problem facing patients today. Today both sides of the aisle came together with a solution that begins to fix the problems patients and providers have with the current prior authorization process. H.R. 8487 has 306 co-sponsors (177 Democrats, 129 Republicans).
Congressman Brad Wenstrup, a physician and head of the Doctors Caucus summed the markup best when he said, “today we choose patients over paperwork.”
Today would not be possible if it were not for AAHAM and its strong advocacy efforts during its annual Legislative Day events. This victory today is a testament to you and your help! Today we made sure our voice continues to be heard in Washington. Next Stop, the United States Senate, and then the President’s desk.