In 2023, prior authorization has emerged as a significant concern in the field of gastroenterology. Dr. Benjamin Levy III, a gastroenterologist at the University of Chicago Medicine, discussed the challenges posed by prior authorizations in an interview with Becker’s. He highlighted several key points:
- The potential for increased prior authorizations, especially for screening and diagnostic colonoscopies, has been a topic of discussion. These authorizations can be time-consuming, often requiring 20 to 30 minutes per case, diverting physicians from patient care.
- The process often involves multiple interactions with insurance companies, whether for procedures or medication approvals. This administrative burden can detract from patient care and may necessitate hiring additional staff, thereby increasing healthcare costs.
- There are concerns about potential delays in care due to the prior authorization process. Patients may become frustrated and not follow up, leading to missed or delayed treatments.
- Dr. Levy emphasizes the importance of efficiency in healthcare and hopes that insurance companies will collaborate with GI societies to streamline and improve patient care in gastroenterology.
In summary, while prior authorizations aim to ensure appropriate care, they also introduce administrative challenges that can hinder timely patient care and increase costs.