Gold cards are a mixed bag, payers say

"Gold card" programs that give providers exemptions from certain prior authorization requirements have received mixed reviews from payers, according to a Nov. 14 America's Health Insurance Plans survey. 

The health insurer lobby and trade group conducted an industrywide survey on "prior authorization practices and gold carding experience of commercial plans" between February and April, according to the report. AHIP received responses from 26 plans, covering a total of 122 million commercial enrollees.

Forty-six percent of payers said gold cards have reduced administration burdens and improved provider satisfaction, but a third said such programs are administratively difficult to implement. 

Twenty percent said gold cards have reduced quality and have increased costs without improving quality. 

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