Maryland physicians ask insurance commissoner to examine payer policies

A group of Maryland physicians has asked the state's insurance commissioner to examine the "potentially dangerous" practices of health insurance payers that sometimes result in delayed or inappropriate treatment, the Baltimore Business Journal reports.

Gene Ransom, executive director of the Maryland State Medical Society, known as MedChi, also attached to his letter the results of the group's recent physician survey. In it, nearly 60 percent of 132 responding doctors indicated that insurers "frequently" delay or deny prescription medications or diagnostic tests, leading to substandard and untimely care. In addition, nearly 64 percent of doctors said that  common constraints such as pre-authorization, pre-certification and therapeutic switching negatively impact their ability to provide quality care. 

These actions "require physicians and patients to complete, and sometimes repeat, one or more additional tasks before a prescription or medical procedure can be provided with coverage," the survey concludes. 

Maryland Insurance Commissioner Elizabeth Sammis has not yet responded to MedChi's request, the Business Journal reports.

To learn more:
- read the survey results
- read this MedChi press release
- read the Baltimore Business Journal article