Letters to the Editor

Don’t make patients wait needlessly

Kentucky has an opportunity this legislative session to create real, impactful change in our health care system. Senate Bill 143 will reform our outdated, inefficient prior authorization system to ensure patients across our state can access the treatments they need.

As a practicing physician, I understand the urgency patients feel when they’re in pain and suffering. Approximately 50 percent of the treatments in our offices are injectables for pain management, and virtually every one requires a prior authorization.

These prior authorizations do nothing to benefit patients, and only make patients wait longer for the treatments they need.

Not only do prior authorizations delay patient care, they also force physicians to utilize our already limited resources. It’s estimated that for every physician, prior authorizations take up 20 hours per week and cost $82,975 per year.

The vast majority of the prior authorizations that come through our office are approved. The more time and money we spend on prior authorizations, the less time we can spend on what should be our first priority: engaging with and caring for patients.

I urge legislators to move Senate Bill 143 forward and give the General Assembly the opportunity to improve patient care by reforming Kentucky’s outdated, inefficient prior authorization process.

Kyle Young, M.D.

Kentucky Pain Associates