DC Physicians Prior Auth Push Gets Response March 15, 2023

Written by MSDC Staff


On Monday, DC physicians sent a letter to the Committee on Health asking for a hearing on DC's prior auth legislation.

Since then, MSDC has heard unofficially a hearing could come as soon as the District budget is done.

The MSDC letter (seen below) outlined key reasons why B25-124 is critical to improving the health of medicine and District residents. The letter's ask is to hold a hearing on the issue, which the Council did not do in 2022.

Committee Chair CM Christina Henderson is a co-introducer of the legislation and co-introduced the 2022 version of the bill.

MSDC will have more updates in the weeks to come, but now is your chance to get involved. Email hay@msdc.org to get timely updates and tips, and sign-up for MSDC's advocacy session in April.

March 10, 2023

The Honorable Christina Henderson
Chair, Committee on Health
Council of the District of Columbia
1350 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington DC 20004

Dear Chair Henderson,

We, the undersigned physicians and healthcare professionals, urge you to hold a hearing on prior authorization legislation before the Council recess this summer.

According to a recent Axios article, 40 states are considering legislation to reform prior authorization practices. The Mayor’s Healthcare Workforce Task Force includes a draft recommendation to reform the practice to prevent healthcare worker burnout and improve retention. Nationally, the movement is to reform a practice that harms patients and hinders care, and the District needs to be a part of this movement.

A recent American Medical Association (AMA) physician survey on prior auth showed that 93% of physicians report care delays because of prior authorization. The same survey showed that physician offices spend 13 hours each week (almost two business days) dedicated to prior auth paperwork.

These delays impact our residents and patients daily, leading many to wait unnecessarily for their treatments or choose to abandon them altogether.

We ask you to hold a hearing on this bill because you and your colleagues need to hear our stories about how prior authorizations negatively impact physicians across the District. We look forward to continuing to share our stories and working with your office to pass this legislation in 2023.

[80+ physician names withheld for privacy]