Senator Marshall  Urges Congress to Put Patients Over Paperwork at Budget Committee Hearing

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Roger Marshall, M.D. joined the Senate Budget Committee hearing on Reducing Paperwork, Cutting Costs: Alleviating Administrative Burdens in Health Care, where he emphasized the importance of fixing prior authorization for hospitals and physicians across the country. During his remarks, he shared his personal experience as a practicing physician and how prior authorization jeopardized patient care. He also highlighted theImproving Seniors’ Timely Access to Care Act and how his bipartisan, bicameral legislation is the right move to put patients over paperwork. 

Senator Marshall and his colleagues worked to address CBO scoring issues by successfully pushing the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to implement major provisions of their bill. Senator Marshall announced the bipartisan group of members intentions to reintroduce their updated bill next month to implement additional changes and cement their victory with CMS. 

You may click HERE or on the image above to watch Senator Marshall’s full remarks and questioning.

Highlights from Senator Marshall’s remarks include:

“I think I want to start just describing that I’ve lived this nightmare – as a practicing physician for 25 years, running a private OB/GYN practice. And then additionally, running a private hospital as well, this issue of prior authorization is the number one administrative burden for physicians, but it’s also disruptive to the hospital. And, Mr. Chairman, you understated the problem, it’s hard to imagine that as senators, but we’ve understated the particular problem.”

“Let me just tell a quick story. Running our hospital, we had a horrible ice storm on a Wednesday night, Thursday morning, the hospital is booked with surgeries. Orthopedic surgeries already starting at 7:30 p.m. They’re gonna go till 10 o’clock at night. The other OR is full; we have a finite number of surgeons, anesthesia, and nursing staff. We had seven or eight admissions overnight, people falling, breaking their wrist, breaking their hip. So I give authority; we’re gonna bring everybody in at 5:30 a.m. in the morning, start the cases at 5:30 a.m., a 90-year-old lady fell and broke her hip, which is a critical life-threatening thing to a 90-year-old lady. And you get everybody there, and then the administrator comes and says oh, we can’t do this case. Well, how come? We don’t have prior authorization yet.”

“You know, that story is told over and over that insurance companies are now using this to ration care. It’s delaying care and purposefully delaying care hoping I guess that they die before they do the surgery.”

“But there’s good news, we’re going to reintroduce our prior authorization bill, the Improving Seniors’ Timely Access to Care Actthis June, and this is the solution. So we know the solution. Now we need Congress to move forward.”

“What this bill does, among other things, is it guardrails, streamlines, and standardizes the process for prior authorization. This prior authorization reporting requirement in our bill is the RX to cut down on waste, fraud, and abuse. We’ve got the solution. 53 Senate cosponsors, 10 Senators on this committee, including the chairman are cosponsors of this legislation that we’re reintroducing in June. We have 326 House members, we have 550 outside organizations, and we’ve now got a zero CBO score. So I speak to the minority and the majority staff that we now have a zero CBO score on it, and there shouldn’t be any reason that everybody on Budget, on HELP, and Finance Committee shouldn’t cosponsor this bill and be passed with unanimous consent.”