Health care providers feel the weight of administrative burdens

The article “Patients ‘stuck’ in hospitals complicated care” (Page A1, June 13) outlines some of the dangers and causes of backlogs in our state’s hospitals. We recognize that the primary problems include lack of insurance, lack of guardianship, and a marked decrease in available skilled nursing facility beds. These are difficult problems to solve. One practical step would be to decrease the administrative burdens that slow the transfers to skilled nursing facilities, including changing prior authorization requirements and processes.

The Massachusetts Medical Society, with others, has proposed legislation to reform prior authorization to expedite the reviews, prohibit prior authorizations for generic medicines, and standardize forms for all insurers. The society and the American Medical Association are advocating in Washington, DC, to allow patients to move to skilled nursing facilities when medically appropriate, rather than having to wait three days, as is the current rule.

We look forward to a time when administrative responsibilities help us deliver better, more cost-effective care and do not interfere with patient access, create delays in care, or lead to physician and caregiver burnout.

Dr. Barbara Spivak


Massachusetts Medical Society