The Bane of Prior Authorization

January 8, 2021

In a STAT op-ed, Brian Barnett, a psychiatrist at the Cleveland Clinic, discusses the burden of completing prior authorizations to ensure patients can retain access to medications. While prior authorizations can be used to ethically and efficiently steer patients toward lower-cost, clinically similar alternatives, they also can be poorly implemented and create onerous and harmful barriers for both physicians and patients. Dr. Barnett explains:

“Over the last decade, prior authorization requirements have exploded. These days, they’re even required for generic medications for which no cheaper effective alternatives exist. Prior authorization requests are approved more than 80% of the time, raising serious concerns that insurers are reducing their costs at the expense of patients by relying on the ability of time-consuming prior authorization requirements to deter prescribing.” Read more here.

(Source: Brian Barnett; STAT; 1/1/21)

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