Health IT Now Lauds Introduction of Electronic Prior Authorization Legislation

WASHINGTON, DC (January 22, 2018): Health IT Now – a broad-based coalition of patient groups, provider organizations, employers, and payers supporting health information technology to improve patient outcomes – applauded the recent House introduction of H.R. 4841, the Standardizing Electronic Prior Authorization for Safe Prescribing Act

The legislation, introduced by Reps. David Schweikert (R-AZ), Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM), Bill Johnson (R-OH), and Mike Thompson (D-CA), would facilitate the use of electronic prior authorizations (ePA) in Medicare Part D. This would allow clinical questions to be resolved more expeditiously and help Medicare beneficiaries obtain prescribed therapies without undue delays. 

By using today’s technology to ensure prompt answers to questions regarding the clinical need for a patient’s medication, including those opioids which require a prior authorization, and safeguard against  medication being released into the wrong hands, the bill supports key goals of HITN’s forthcoming Opioid Safety Alliance – a new working group within HITN set to launch later this month. 

HITN Executive Director Joel White released the following statement: 

“Private insurers, doctors, and pharmacies are already using ePA technology to great success. It is reducing rejections at the pharmacy counter and allowing clinicians to spend less time resolving coverage issues and more time on patient care. It is past time that we bring that same technology into the Medicare space,” said HITN Executive Director Joel White. “By relegating prescribers and pharmacists to antiquated paper forms, faxes, and phone calls to resolve prior authorization issues, Medicare isn’t just delaying patients’ access to needed medication, it is also allowing greater room for error that could put powerful medications into the wrong hands. That is why our Opioid Safety Alliance will be championing these reforms as part of a comprehensive strategy to fight illegitimate opioid use, abuse, and addiction moving forward. We thank the bill sponsors for their leadership and look forward to working with them to advance this solution.” 

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About Health IT Now: Health IT Now (HITN) is a broad-based coalition of patient groups, provider organizations, employers, and payers that supports incentives to deploy health information technology to improve care, patient outcomes, and to lower costs. Learn more at www.healthitnow.org.