Seniors who opted for private Medicare insurance plans should not be shy about pushing back on denials for pre-authorizations, according to a new study.
Of the 35 million requests by Medicare Advantage enrollees seeking prior authorization for healthcare services or medications in 2021, two million of those requests were fully or partially denied, according to a new analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), a nonprofit organization.
The results raise flags that the approval process may create unnecessary obstacles for patients to receive medical care and underscored that seniors may want to spend more time shopping around for these popular plans to avoid these hassles.
“The high frequency of favorable outcomes upon appeal raises questions about whether a larger share of initial determinations should have been approved,” Jeannie Fuglesten Biniek, KFF’s associate director, program on Medicare Policy and Nolan Sroczynski, a KFF data analyst, wrote.
“It could reflect initial requests that failed to provide necessary documentation. In either case, medical care that was ordered by a healthcare provider and ultimately deemed necessary was potentially delayed because of the additional step of appealing the initial prior authorization decision, which may have negative effects on beneficiaries’ health,” the authors concluded.
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