Prior Authorization Legislation Becomes Law in Kentucky

Sen. Alvarado’s Legislation to Improve Access to Care Signed into Law by Gov. Bevin Yesterday

March 27, 2019

Frankfort, KY–March 27, 2019–The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) commends the Kentucky legislature for passing, and Gov. Matt Bevin for signing, important public health policy into law that will improve access to care for all Kentuckians facing serious illness. The new law will streamline and safeguard patient access to often lifesaving prescription drugs.

“Current prior authorization practices for prescription drugs can cause unnecessary delays and sometimes deny access to care for Kentuckians,” said Kristy Young, Kentucky government relations director for ACS CAN. “Cancer patients should not face unnecessary barriers to receiving their medications. ACS CAN thanks Sen. Ralph Alvarado for filing legislation to streamline the prior authorization process to make it a timelier and more transparent process for patients and their family members.” 

Sen. Alvarado’s legislation will:

  • Give providers access to a more efficient process for requesting/transmitting electronic prior authorizations that comply with industry standards, leading to cost savings for both providers and health plans.
  • Make patient prescriptions for maintenance drugs valid for one year or until the last day of coverage, and any change in dosage during the period of authorization will be covered.
  • Create transparency so patients and providers will be able to see insurer prior authorization procedures online as well as a complete list of services for which prior authorization is required.
  • Ensure patients and providers will receive responses on prior authorization requests within 24 hours for urgent health care services and within five days for non-urgent services.


The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is making cancer a top priority for public officials and candidates at the federal, state and local levels. ACS CAN empowers advocates across the country to make their voices heard and influence evidence-based public policy change as well as legislative and regulatory solutions that will reduce the cancer burden. As the American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN is critical to the fight for a world without cancer. For more information, visit


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Michelle Zimmerman
Senior Regional Media Advocacy Manager