Mississippi prior authorization bill makes 2nd go-round, but governor has other plans

The Mississippi Senate has advanced an updated version of a prior authorization bill that was vetoed by the governor last year, but this version's chances of being signed into law remain unlikely, the Magnolia Tribune reported Jan. 31. 

The proposed legislation would require payers to create a web portal that must be launched by Jan. 1, 2025, according to the report. All payers and providers would be expected to use the portal by 2027. The legislation would also require an approval decision within 24 hours of submissions for urgent care and within five days for nonurgent care. 

The legislation would also require payers to report how many prior authorization requests were approved, denied and appealed to the Mississippi Department of Insurance, according to the report. 

Gov. Tate Reeves vetoed a pair of prior authorization bills last March, arguing the bills "had the potential to seriously increase the cost of healthcare in Mississippi." 

The governor's deputy chief of staff told the news outlet that the office will introduce a prior authorization reform bill this session, but that legislation is not the one that passed the Senate. 

"Gov. Reeves believes prior authorization reform is needed to bring consistency and transparency to the process," Deputy Chief of Staff Corey Custer told the news outlet. "On the day he vetoed Senate Bill 2622, he tasked his staff to work with all stakeholders to address the correctable flaws in the bill. After months of work, Gov. Reeves' staff prepared legislation to address many of the concerns related to last year's bill. The proposed legislation reflects a series of compromises by many of those stakeholders. Gov. Reeves looks forward to working with the Legislature to move prior authorization reform through the legislative process."

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