78% of hospitals say their relationships with payers are getting worse

Hospitals are growing increasingly frustrated with payers, a survey from the American Hospital Association found. 

The survey, published Nov. 2, included responses from 772 hospitals. Of those surveyed, 78 percent said their relationships with commercial insurers are getting worse. Around 1 in 5 reported their relationships have stayed the same, and less than 1 percent said they are getting better. 

In addition to publishing the survey results, the AHA sent a letter to HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra and Labor Department Secretary Martin Walsh urging greater oversight of payers during open enrollment. 

Of the hospitals surveyed, 84 percent said the cost of complying with insurer policies is increasing, and 95 percent reported increases in staff time spent seeking prior authorization approval.

In a news release, AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack said the survey results show some payers deny care to patients. 

"Patients deserve comprehensive health coverage with the protections they were promised when they signed up," Mr. Pollack said. "Congress and the administration need to act now to hold commercial insurers accountable for actions that delay patient care, contribute to clinician burnout and workforce shortages, and increase costs." 

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