Bucco advocates for patients who struggle to get care under ‘pre-approval’ process

Bucco advocates for patients who struggle to get care under ‘pre-approval’ process

TRENTON, N.J. – Assemblyman Anthony M. Bucco testified before the Assembly Health Committee Thursday supporting legislation (A4613) that prohibits health insurance companies from using pre-approvals to prevent patients from getting testing, care or pharmaceuticals.

“I can tell you first hand when you receive a cancer diagnosis, the last thing you want to hear is that your treatment or the medication that you need and the doctor has prescribed is being delayed by an insurance company,” said Bucco (R-Morris), a cancer survivor.

Up to 92 percent of doctors say that the pre-approval process harms patient access to care.

“No insurance company should be subjecting their judgement for that of a doctor, and that’s precisely what’s happening,” Bucco said. “Unfortunately, we’re seeing more and more of it.”

According to an American Medical Association survey of 1,000 doctors taken in 2017, approximately 64 percent of physicians waited for at least one business day for a decision, and 30 percent said they waited for three or more.

“The insurance companies sometimes make no bones about it. It’s about costs. But the doctors are our doctors. They are medical doctors for a reason. And nobody knows the patient better than the doctor,” concluded Bucco.