Streamlining and Reimagining Prior Authorization Under Value-Based Contracts: A Call to Action From the Value in Healthcare Initiative's Prior Authorization Learning Collaborative.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Utilization management strategies, including prior authorization, are commonly used to facilitate safe and guideline-adherent provision of new, individualized, and potentially costly cardiovascular therapies. However, as currently deployed, these approaches encumber multiple stakeholders. Patients are discouraged by barriers to appropriate access; clinicians are frustrated by the time, money, and resources required for prior authorizations, the frequent rejections, and the perception of being excluded from the decision-making process; and payers are weary of the intensive effort to design and administer increasingly complex prior authorization systems to balance value and appropriate use of these treatments. These issues highlight an opportunity to collectively reimagine utilization management as a transparent and collaborative system. This would benefit the entire healthcare ecosystem, especially in light of the shift to value-based payment. This article describes the efforts and vision of the multistakeholder Prior Authorization Learning Collaborative of the Value in Healthcare Initiative, a partnership between the American Heart Association and the Robert J. Margolis, MD, Center for Health Policy at Duke University. We outline how healthcare organizations can take greater utilization management responsibility under value-based contracting, especially under different state policies and local contexts. Even with reduced payer-mandated prior authorization in these arrangements, payers and healthcare organizations will have a continued shared need for utilization management. We present options for streamlining these programs, such as gold carding and electronic and automated prior authorization processes. Throughout the article, we weave in examples from cardiovascular care when possible. Although reimagining prior authorization requires collective action by all stakeholders, it may significantly reduce administrative burden for clinicians and payers while improving outcomes for patients.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Psotka, MA; Singletary, EA; Bleser, WK; Roiland, RA; Hamilton Lopez, M; Saunders, RS; Wang, TY; McClellan, MB; Brown, N; American Heart Association Prior Authorization Learning Collaborative*,

Published Date

  • July 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 13 / 7

Start / End Page

  • e006564 -

PubMed ID

  • 32683983

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1941-7705

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1941-7713

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1161/circoutcomes.120.006564


  • eng