The Ohio Academy of Family Physicians would like to see Senate Bill 129 (SB 129) passed out of the Ohio House of Representatives by the end of May and we need your help. The insurance industry continues to express opposition to the bill which has been stalled in the House Insurance Committee since January.
As a member of the OAFP and a family physician living in your legislative district, I write to urge you to support SB 129, the prior authorization reform bill that passed the Ohio Senate last December.
The prior authorization process is an enormous burden for those on the front lines of delivering patient care. Prior authorization forms have evolved away from just cost considerations into a review of treatment practices in general. As a result, these prior authorization forms sometimes request the attachment of pertinent medical history and include questions regarding diagnoses, risk and benefit, alternatives, effectiveness, stability of symptoms, side effects, and other considerations. Not only do physician practices face increased numbers of prior authorization requests, the complexity of these requests creates a huge administrative burden for the physician and the physician’s practice team. Prior authorizations cause immense frustration for patients and physicians. And they can delay much needed treatment and in some cases result in inappropriate care for our patients.
Managed care companies will undoubtedly fight this bill as they consider these matters to be a subject for contract negotiation, but in reality, physicians individually do not have much ability to negotiate terms that are favorable to their patients or to them. Physicians often feel powerless when advocating with payers on behalf of their patients.
Please support SB 129. Legislation to even the playing field between insurance companies and physicians with regard to the prior authorization process is much needed.