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AMA survey quantifies time burden of prior authorizations


Source:  AMA Wire


What do you do 37 times in a given workweek? If you are a fervent coffee drinker, perhaps that is how often you refill your trusty travel mug. But if you are like the physicians recently surveyed by the AMA, 37 may be the number of prior-authorization (PA) requests that you and your hardworking staffers complete each week.

That is just one of the alarming results of a new survey that demonstrates the toll prior authorization is taking on patients, physicians and medical practices.

Those 37 weekly PA requests are just an average, based on a Web-based survey of 1,000 physicians administered in December. To be included in the survey physicians must have provided 20 or more hours of care each week and completed at least some PA requests during a typical practice week.

At the high end, 23 percent of respondents said they and their staff completed more than 40 prior-authorization requests in the week before taking the survey. Twenty-three percent reported they and their staff completed between 21 and 40 PA requests, while only 14 percent reported completing five or fewer.

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