Lawmakers Ask How to Cut Medicare Red Tape; AAFP Answers

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Lawmakers Ask How to Cut Medicare Red Tape; AAFP Answers

September 08, 2017 11:51 am News Staff – Most family physicians can easily produce a list of the unnecessary regulatory burdens they wrestle with daily, so the AAFP had no trouble responding when legislators asked for examples of red tape in Medicare — and solutions to cut through it.

[Businessman wrapped in red tape and slumped over desk]

In July, the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health launched an initiative called the Medicare Red Tape Relief Project( that solicited input on ways to reduce legislative and regulatory demands on health care professionals. The AAFP’s detailed submission(7 page PDF) highlighted six areas where payment policy or other administrative requirements place an undue burden on family physicians.

Prior Authorization, Appropriate Use, Translation

One of the more frustrating issues for family physicians is the need to obtain prior authorization for medical items and services, said the AAFP. Not only does the process consume valuable time, but it also requires physicians to navigate different policies for different insurers.

“Family physicians must justify decisions that they can make independently based on their training, experience and judgment,” the AAFP stated. “In extreme cases, the prior authorization process can even delay important and necessary treatments to patients.”

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