Prior-Authorization Distress

Waiting for preauthorization may significantly delay starting your chosen course of treatment. That’s a disempowering and demoralizing delay for patients with active disease.

According to Vivek Kavadi, MD, chair of the American Society for Radiation Oncology, “What was designed to ensure that appropriate care was taking place has now become the means of creating obstacles to the delivery of that care.” Prior Authorization Delays Increase Patient Death Risk reviews how the change came about and what it means for today’s patients and physicians. A sobering piece. No easy solution for today’s patients. What’s a Healthy Survivor to do?

BE A SQUEAKY WHEEL: Work with both your healthcare team and insurance company to take advantage of every way to speed the prior authorization. If doing so is too stressful, delegate this task to someone who can advocate for you.

TALK ABOUT OPTIONS: Discuss with your physicians the medical implications of waiting for preauthorization. Discuss with your doctors and their billing administrators any financial options for proceeding without preauthorization.

RELEASE ANGER: Find safe ways to release your justified anger, an emotion that hurts you if pent up.

CALM FEARS: Find ways to calm understandable fears. Focus on all the ways you can build resilience while awaiting preauthorization and treatment.

FIND HOPE: Find hopes that help you live the best you can under the circumstances.

Hopeful news: The House of Representatives will have an opportunity to act on new bipartisan-generated legislation later this year. Please write to your congressperson to support the Prior Authorization Improvement Act.

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