News

MSDC Applauds Councilmember Cheh and Colleagues for Introducing Prior Authorization Reform Bill

Feb 15, 2022, 12:36 PM by MSDC Staff
Legislation would allow patients to receive the care they need without undue burden


Washington, D.C., February 15, 2022 – The Medical Society of the District of Columbia (MSDC), the largest medical organization in the District representing metropolitan Washington physicians, applauds Councilmember Mary Cheh for introducing B24-0655, the Prior Authorization Reform Amendment Act of 2022, and thanks co-introducers Councilmembers Allen, Bonds, Gray, and Lewis George. MSDC and its allies have fought to streamline prior authorization for ten years. As MSDC member Dr. Angus Worthing said, “This is the tenth anniversary of something that shouldn’t have a tenth anniversary.”

More than forty states have already passed legislation to reform prior authorization, a major impediment to timely patient care that raises the time and cost for treatment. According to the American Medical Association’s (AMA) 2021 nationwide physician survey, 93% of physicians report delays in care due to prior authorization requirements and 82% said prior authorizations can at least sometimes lead to abandoning care. In addition, 34% of physicians report that prior authorizations have led to a serious adverse event for a patient in their care. On average, physicians and their staff spend 13 hours a week (almost two business days) on prior authorizations. 

Dr. Kirstiaan Nevin, President of the Medical Society of DC, said “MSDC is grateful to the Councilmembers, especially Councilmember Cheh, who introduced this legislation. Prior authorization is one of the biggest impediments to patient care, and this legislation would allow physicians to treat their patients without unnecessary paperwork and delays. We look forward to working with the Council and partners in passing this important bill.” 

Councilmember Cheh’s introduction statement notes that, “prior authorization requirements mean that an insurer is able to overrule the treatment prescribed by a patient’s medical provider – and make that determination without ever seeing the patient or their medical records. While insurers may claim that prior authorization is currently required for only complex procedures, a growing number of basic, everyday treatments require prior authorization.”

# # #
Media Contact:
Pia Duryea  
Medical Society of the District of Columbia  
duryea@msdc.org     
(202) 355-9414  

About the Medical Society of the District of Columbia 
With over 3,100 members, the Medical Society of the District of Columbia (MSDC) is the largest medical organization representing metropolitan Washington physicians in the District of Columbia. The Medical Society, founded in 1817, is the leading voice of medicine and public health advocate on issues impacting the diverse population of our Nation’s Capital. MSDC is dedicated to ensuring the well-being of physicians and their patients in metropolitan Washington. For more information, visit msdc.org.