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Prior Authorization Act Will Streamline Approvals For Healthcare

Doctors in an operating room performing surgery.
Sasin Tipchai
The act will increase transparency and put time limits on how long prior authorization can take.

Illinoisans will be able to get medical tests and procedures more quickly.

The Illinois General Assembly has passed the Prior Authorization Reform Act, which will require insurance companies to respond to prior authorization requests within certain timelines. The act also requires insurance providers be more transparent with doctors in their decision making process.

Illinois State Medical Society President Elect Clarence Brown said the changes will make care more effective and less expensive for the healthcare system. It will also make sure patients are getting the care they need in a timely manner.

"We want to make certain that when making decisions about how patients receive care or in what timeline they receive care, that those decisions are based upon medical evidence, scientific evidence, that says this particular treatment or this particular drug is better than the other, and that guidelines that are utilized that show advantages that benefit the patient, not benefiting the bottom line of insurance companies financially or of health systems financially," he said.

The act was passed with bipartisan support in both chambers. If signed by Governor JB Pritzker, it will go into effect on January 1st, 2022.

Steph Whiteside is a Digital Media News Specialist with WSIU radio in Carbondale, Ill. She previously worked as a general reporter at AJ+ and Current TV.
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