Q&A with incoming ASTRO chair, Dr. Thomas Eichler

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Q&A with incoming ASTRO chair, Dr. Thomas Eichler

by Sean Ruck, Contributing Editor | October 20, 2020
Rad Oncology
From the October 2020 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

TE: One of the most important issues for radiation oncology, one that we’ve all been trying to navigate for the past several years, is the unnecessary hurdle presented by prior authorization. Prior authorization obstructs the normal process of care for cancer patients and can delay essential treatment, to the detriment of the patient. Delays can range from several hours to weeks. Time is a precious ally for both the doctor and the patient, and prior authorization simply consumes too much of it.

ASTRO currently has a survey in the field to get a better sense of how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected this issue. Preliminary results suggest the problem of prior authorization has been exacerbated by the pandemic. ASTRO will continue working with health insurers, interceding when necessary on behalf of our members, as well as interacting with legislators and regulators to try to fix the problem.

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