24% of physicians say prior authorization wait led to hospitalization of patient

Thirty-four percent of physicians reported that delays in processing a prior authorization led to a serious adverse event for a patient in their care, according to a recent survey from the American Medical Association. 

The association administered the survey in December 2021 to a sample of 1,004 practicing physicians. 

Here are five things to know:

1. Twenty-four percent of physicians reported that a prior authorization delay led to hospitalization of a patient, and 18 percent of physicians reported that those delays led to a life-threatening event or required intervention to prevent permanent impairment or damage.

2. Eighty-two percent reported that prior authorization delays can at least sometimes lead to treatment abandonment.

3. About 30 percent of physicians reported that prior authorization criteria are rarely or never evidence-based.

4. Physicians and their staff spend an average of almost two business days, or 13 hours, each week completing prior authorization forms. 

5. Eighty-eight percent of physicians described the burden associated with prior authorization  as high or extremely high.


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