Kiggans Supports Legislation to Improve Access to Medicare Services

Jun 19, 2024

WASHINGTON, DC: Last week, Congresswoman Jen Kiggans (VA-02) joined Representatives Mike Kelly (PA-16), Suzan DelBene (WA-01), Larry Buschon (IN-08), and Ami Bera, M.D. (CA-06) in reintroducing the Improving Seniors’ Timely Access to Care Act. This bill, which was unanimously passed by the House during the 117th Congress, would streamline the prior authorization process under Medicare Advantage to make it easier for seniors enrolled in the program to access healthcare services. Specifically, the legislation would establish an electronic prior authorization process (e-PA), increase transparency, set timeline parameters for prior authorization requests, and expand beneficiary protections to improve health outcomes.

“As the only geriatric nurse practitioner in Congress, I am proud to be a voice for our nation’s seniors…especially those who depend on programs like Medicare to cover their healthcare needs,” said Congresswoman Kiggans. “I have seen firsthand the struggles seniors and healthcare providers face trying to navigate Medicare Advantage’s prior authorization process. This bipartisan legislation aims to make this process more efficient and ensure seniors can access the care they need in a timely manner.”


Today there are more than 28 million Americans enrolled in the Medicare Advantage program. Under many of these programs, patients are required to receive prior authorization before receiving certain medical procedures. Currently, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) processes the prior authorization process is handled via paper forms sent through the mail. This antiquated process can create significant delays in patients receiving healthcare. 

Specifically, the Improving Seniors’ Timely Access to Care Act would:

  • Establish an electronic prior authorization process for Medicare Advantage plans including a standardization for transactions and clinical attachments. 
  • Increase transparency around Medicare Advantage prior authorization requirements and their use.
  • Clarify CMS’ authority to establish timeframes for e-PA requests including expedited determinations, real-time decisions for routinely approved items and services, and any other PA request.
  • Expand beneficiary protections to improve enrollee experiences and outcomes.
  • Require the Department of Health and Human Services and other agencies to report to Congress on program integrity efforts and other ways to further improve the e-PA process.

Read the full bill text here


Recent Posts

Jul 24, 2024

Kiggans’ Actions Deliver Accountability Following Scathing Report Highlighting ‘Widespread Failures’ at Hampton VA

WASHINGTON, DC: Today, Congresswoman Jen Kiggans (VA-02) released the following statement regarding the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Office of Inspector General (OIG) release of a report entitled, Mismanaged Surgical Privileging Actions and Deficient Surgical Service Quality Management Processes at the Hampton VA Medical Center in Virginia.  “Unfortunately, the scathing OIG report released yesterday validates our community’s […]

Jul 23, 2024

Kiggans, Davis Launch Congressional Working Dog Caucus

WASHINGTON, DC: Today, Congresswoman Jen Kiggans (VA-02) announced the launch of the bipartisan Congressional Working Dog Caucus. Co-chaired by Congresswoman Kiggans and Congressman Don Davis (NC-01), the Caucus aims to promote the positive impact of working dogs and support federal policies that advance the integration of these canines in law enforcement, military, and mental health […]

Jul 22, 2024

Leadership Changes at the Hampton VA: What They’re Saying

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA: On Friday, Paul Crews, the Network Director of the Veterans Affairs (VA) Mid-Atlantic Health Care Network, VISN 6, announced the reassignment of the Hampton Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) Director Dr. Taquisa K. Simmons to the VHA Office of Social Work Services. As the Chairwoman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs […]