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Senate GOP priority bill on prior authorization not moving forward, leaders cite fiscal concerns

By Abigail Ruhman, IPB News | Published on in Business, Government, Health, Politics
The National Consumer Law Center recently identified Indiana as having weak debt protections laws, and some advocates are concerned about how this is affecting consumers. (Pixabay)

Medical providers say prior authorization creates administrative burdens for them and barriers to care for their patients. A GOP priority bill that would have heavily limited the use of prior authorization did not make it through committee before the Senate’s deadline.

Prior authorization refers to the process where insurance companies may require pre-approval before they will cover medical services. The author of SB 3 pointed to prior authorization as a barrier to receiving care for many Hoosiers.

However, Senate President Pro Tempore Rodric Bray (R-Martinsville) said lawmakers are being careful with what they are doing fiscally, with the $1 billion Medicaid shortfall adding pressure.

“We’ve been working in the space of health care costs, kind of feverishly over the last few years, and there is some concern about whether this will add to costs,” Bray said.

READ MORE: How do I follow Indiana’s legislative session? Here’s your guide to demystify the process

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Bray said it’s “good legislation,” but the bill in its current form will not come back this session. He said some of the reporting requirements might appear in other pieces of legislation.

The bill was not put on the calendar for the Senate Appropriations Committee despite passing unanimously through the Senate Health and Provider Services Committee.

Abigail is our health reporter. Contact them at aruhman@wboi.org.