Louisiana hospitals: Medicare Advantage prior authorization limits care

Amid COVID-19 surges putting strain on hospital capacities, the Louisiana Hospital Association is calling on CMS to ditch Medicare Advantage's red tape so hospitals can transfer patients to other facilities more fluently.

In a letter to Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., penned by President and CEO Paul Salles, the association said utilization management practices often delay transferring patients to lower levels of care. These delays can take up to five days based on approval. 

According to the letter, hospitals have asked Medicare Advantage plans to offer flexibility independent of CMS' ruling, but the insurers have remained uncooperative. 

The letter called on Mr. Cassidy to urge CMS to waive the prior authorization requirement, bringing guidelines in alignment with the Louisiana Department of Health's temporary removal of the requirement.

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