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Kuster-Backed Legislation to Improve Care for Granite State Seniors Passes House

**This bipartisan bill would cut red tape and change the prior authorization process to make it easier for seniors to get the care they need**

Today, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) voted to pass the Improving Seniors’ Timely Access to Care Act – bipartisan legislation she co-sponsored that would make it easier for New Hampshire seniors to get the care they need and improve health outcomes. This bill modernizes Medicare Advantage’s outdated prior authorization process, which can result in delays in care.

Many Medicare Advantage plans require providers to obtain prior authorization for some medical tests and procedures before they are able to provide care for patients. This process can delay medically necessary care and result in administrative burdens for health care patients and providers.

“When Granite State seniors go to the doctor, the focus should be on their health and well-being, not paperwork and approval processes that depend on fax machines and outdated technology,” said Rep. Kuster. “This legislation fixes the current prior authorization process for Medicare Advantage beneficiaries to help ensure seniors can get the care they need without facing unnecessary bureaucratic delays.”

Earlier this year, the independent watchdog for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a report outlining the abuse of the prior authorization process in the Medicare Advantage program. The Improving Seniors’ Timely Access to Care Act has over 300 co-sponsors in the House and has been endorsed by over 500 organizations. The bill now heads to the Senate.

Rep. Kuster, a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee, has championed legislation to lower health care costs for seniors and expand access to care. In June, Kuster announced the creation of the 21st Century Long-Term Care Caucus alongside Bryan Steil (R-WI). This new, bipartisan caucus will bring together members from both parties to identify and address long-term care in the United States and implement solutions to ensure our nation’s patients and their families have the support they need.