Medication prior authorizations (PA) required by insurance payers can be time-consuming to complete and may lead to delays in treatment for cancer patients. The primary objective of this study is to assess the impact of Medication Assistance Program (MAP) specialists embedded in adult hematology and oncology clinics on the PA and financial assistance process.
This was a retrospective chart review study performed at a large academic medical center that examined medication referrals completed by MAP specialists in four hematology and oncology clinics. The primary outcome was the median PA turnaround time, defined as time from initial referral creation to final referral completion. Secondary outcomes assessed median turnaround time for financial assistance programs and total patient savings.
A total of 176 prior authorization, 92 manufacturer patient assistance program (PAP), and 37 copay assistance referrals were completed. The median turnaround times were 24, 154, and 19 hours for PA, manufacturer PAP, and copay assistance program referrals, respectively. Total cost savings amounted to over $1.8 million for patients approved to receive medications through manufacturer PAPs.
Embedding MAP specialists in adult hematology/oncology clinics supports an efficient and timely process for PA approvals while also providing patient cost-savings.