ACP Legislative Action Center

Welcome to the American College of Physicians' new and improved Legislative Action Center (LAC). This improved advocacy tool enables ACP to send out action alerts, inform our members of critical health policy issues, and put our members in contact with their legislators.

Urge Your U.S. Senators to Pass the Improving Seniors' Timely Access to Care Act!

The American College of Physicians (ACP) and Medicine Forward are collaborating on a grassroots campaign supporting legislation that will protect patients from unnecessary delays in care and reduce administrative burdens on physicians by streamlining the prior authorization (PA) approval process in the Medicare Advantage (MA) program.  Your action is needed to help urge the U.S. Senate to pass this bipartisan legislation, the Improving Seniors’ Timely Access to Care Act (H.R. 3173). 

The negative effects of prior authorization policies and practices among MA plans are well-documented. With 326 cosponsors in the House of Representatives and 43 cosponsors in the Senate, the Improving Seniors’ Timely Access to Care Act is a bipartisan solution to many of the problems patients and their physicians experience in MA plans. This legislation would improve the prior authorization process and provide greater transparency within the MA program by:

  • Mandating that all MA plans adopt electronic prior authorization (ePA) capabilities to streamline the process for prior authorization approval;
  • Protecting beneficiaries from any disruptions in care due to prior authorization requirements as they transition between MA plans;
  • Standardizing the process and procedures for reporting electronic prior authorization criteria to MA plans and mandating that all MA plans issue prompter prior authorization decisions;
  • Ensuring prior authorization requests are reviewed by qualified medical personnel; and
  • Increasing transparency around prior authorization requirements.

The bill is consistent with ACP’s Patients Before Paperwork initiative, which is focused on improving patient care by challenging unnecessary practice burdens.  It also supports the goals of Medicine Forward to break down the barriers of PA and help unite doctors in large numbers around this cause toward a better future.

It is now time for the Senate to act. Please urge your U.S. Senators to pass H.R. 3173 without delay.  With limited legislative days left in this 117th Congress, time is of the essence to get this legislation over the finish line and enacted into law.  A sample letter has been provided for your convenience that can be submitted electronically.

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