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CMHC PULSE

Cardio Metabolic Health Congress – Official Blog

The Burden of the Prior Authorization Process

In December 2017, the American Medical Association (AMA) fielded a web-based, 27-question survey distributed to 1,000 physicians. The national sample was comprised of 40% primary care physicians and 60% specialty physicians, all of whom provide 20 or more hours of patient care per week, and routinely complete prior authorizations (PAs) in their respective practices. The collective results of the survey indicated “the significant impact that prior authorization policies can have on both patients and physician practices.”

From a physician impact standpoint, 84% of physicians claim that the burden associated with PA for both physicians and staff is very high. Moreover, 86% report that PA burdens have increased over the past five years, with 51% reporting a ‘significant’ increase. Results further demonstrated that the average total PAs per physician each week totaled 29.1, translating into approximately 14.6 hours spent by physicians/staff to complete the workload. A staggering 79% of physicians claim that they are ‘sometimes, often, or always’ required to repeat PAs for prescription medications, when a patient is stabilized on a treatment regimen for a chronic condition.

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Childhood Obesity Epidemic Worsens

Childhood obesity in America is on the rise, and at rates higher than previous studies suggested, according to a study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics. The findings emerged after researchers analyzed federal data from the latest National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the “gold standard” in childhood and fitness research which every two years collects data about adult and children obesity across the country.

In 1999, according to the survey, about 29 percent—more than a quarter—of children ages 2 to 19 were overweight. By 2016, that figure rose to 35 percent, according to the latest analysis, and about one in five children are obese.

Asheley Cockrell Skinner, an associate professor at Duke University and lead study author who has worked with these data for more than a decade, said she has seen in her research that “once a kid has developed obesity, it’s a lot harder to change it. It’s much easier to prevent obesity than it is to reverse it.”

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