Significant barriers to patient care implemented by the health insurance industry are difficult to navigate, have a negative impact on patient care and drive up the administrative costs of healthcare, according to a statewide survey of Georgia physician assistants. The survey, which was released by the Georgia Association of Physician Assistants (GAPA), also indicated that most physician assistants (PAs) are proactively taking steps to help address the problems that plague the system, and feel there is a legislative role that can contribute to a solution (see also Therapeutics).
According to the survey, a nearly universal 99 percent of PAs stated they have had to change the way they treat a patient as a result of restrictions imposed by an insurance company. An overwhelming majority, 94 percent, feels that health plans frequently or occasionally delay or deny diagnostic testing or prescription medications for their patients.
Not surprisingly, 93 percent of those surveyed stated they felt insurance requirements such as prior authorizations, pre-certifications, and step therapy protocols had some degree of a negative effect on their ability to treat patients.
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