Time is money, especially when it comes to approving medical procedures. And now a new statewide survey by the Georgia Association of Physician Assistants is stirring debate about the extent to which insurance protocols serve as harmful barriers to patient care or necessary cost controls. The findings also point to the promise of technology as a means of promoting better and more coordinated care.

The overwhelming majority of roughly 200 PAs polled (99%) said insurance company restrictions have altered their practice patterns; 94% feel that health plans frequently or occasionally delay or deny diagnostic testing or prescription medications, and 93% reported that authorizations, pre-certifications and step therapy had a negative impact on treatment.

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