Cancer Patient Cannot Afford to Wait on Prior Authorization

Support HB 1194 to streamline prior authorization

March 30, 2020

Elizabeth 'Liz' RiveraElizabeth Rivera - Palmyra, Pa. 

I am a four-time cancer survivor. After my last diagnosis of thyroid cancer, I developed a condition called hypocalcemia, which puts me at risk for life-threatening cardiac conditions and seizures.

While I ultimately got the medication and treatment I needed, our state’s current prior authorization rules often result in me experiencing prescription refill delays. That delay then requires me to spend precious time calling multiple insurance company representatives each month just to get the medication I need to survive.

or patients, being caught in the middle where medication is withheld or delayed is frustrating. It can also be dangerous, as each year I am forced to go without medicine for longer periods at a time.

However, HB 1194 would ensure shorter prior authorization review times and sets a standard timeframe for all Pennsylvania insurance carriers. Please support this bill so that cancer patients like me no longer have to wait on lifesaving treatment!


Faye Parker

Faye Parker - Sinking Spring, Pa.

As a Stage III melanoma cancer survivor, I have experienced the dangers of delays in access to tests and treatment firsthand.

After I was diagnosed, my health insurer repeatedly denied the scans my doctor ordered, which delayed my treatment by a full month and a half. This extra delay seriously put my life at risk, as I could have developed additional tumors during that time.

Delays in treatment such as mine are all too common and can be a result of “prior authorization,” which is the process of requiring a physician to obtain health insurer approval to prescribe a specific medication or health care service.

Cancer patients such as myself are already fighting for our lives. We cannot afford to wait on insurers to approve tests or treatments ordered by doctors—as those delays can cost us precious, lifesaving time. That’s why I’m standing with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network to urge state lawmakers to support and pass Pennsylvania HB 1194—a bill that ensures cancer patients can get the timely access to care their lives depend upon. 

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