Letter: Medicare should not require prior authorization on home health care

Published by Tallahassee Democrat
Bobby Lolley
May 25, 2016

On behalf of Medicare beneficiaries who depend on home health services, I commend Senators Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio for speaking out against a harmful Medicare proposal, which would require prior authorization of clinically advanced, patient preferred home health care services.

If subject to prior authorization, Medicare beneficiaries will face dangerous delays in care while they wait for a government official to approve the care their physician deemed medically necessary. Further, many patients are prescribed home health when discharged from the hospital – the time when elderly patients are weak and vulnerable – putting them at risk for adverse health events such as a fall, medication mismanagement and infection.

Prior authorization also poses additional administrative burdens on physicians and home health agencies that already are required to complete extensive documentation on patient eligibility for Medicare home health services.

Florida’s nearly 350,000 Medicare beneficiaries need policies that protect timely access to the home health care their doctors prescribe.

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