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Press Kit: Prior Authorization Obstacles to Cancer Patient Care

Radiation oncologists consistently report that prior authorization is the biggest challenge facing their clinics. In nationwide surveys by ASTRO, more than 90% of radiation oncologists report patient treatment delays caused by prior authorization, with the average delay lasting longer than a week. Below, find information from ASTRO on the scope of this problem in radiation oncology and our efforts to address it.

Press Materials

  • Official Statement: ASTRO applauds new bipartisan legislation to reform prior authorization for Medicare Advantage patients (6/12/24)
  • News Release: ASTRO supports CMS’ prior authorization reform for Medicare Advantage plans (4/6/23)
  • Official Statement: ASTRO applauds House passage of bipartisan bill to reduce prior authorization burden and treatment delays (9/14/22)
  • News Release: Prior authorization costs radiation oncology clinics more than $40 million each year, study estimates (10/25/21)
  • News Release: ASTRO backs bipartisan Congressional bills to reduce prior authorization burdens and treatment delays for people with cancer; Survey of radiation oncologists found that prior authorization delays increased during the COVID-19 pandemic and lead to an alarming number of adverse events for patients (10/20/21)
  • News Release: Prior authorization obstacles unnecessarily delay patient access to cancer treatments, physician survey finds (4/25/19)
  • Executive Summary: Prior Authorization and Cancer Patient Care: Results of a Nationwide Physician Survey (4/25/19)
  • Physician testimonials on the burden of prior authorization for patients
  • Consensus statement from leading physician and payer organizations

Press Briefing: Prior Authorization Obstacles in Cancer Patient Care

Leaders from the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO), the American Medical Association (AMA) and the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship (NCCS) discussed restrictive prior authorization practices and the unnecessary burden they cause for cancer patients during an online press briefing in 2019. 


Congressional Testimony

In September 2019, then-ASTRO Chair Paul Harari, MD, FASTRO, discussed how prior authorization increasingly restricts physicians from exercising their clinical judgment in determining what is in the best interest of their patients during a U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Small Business hearing on “Utilization Management: Barriers to Care and Burdens on Small Medical Practice.” Watch the recording of the hearing.

Contacts and Social Media

Direct questions and interview requests to ASTRO’s media relations team. You can also reach us by phone at 703-286-1600.

To keep up with the conversation on prior authorization, follow ASTRO on social media:

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