Cancer patient Kim Lauerman poses for a portrait in her home Wednesday, June 26, 2019, in Alpharetta, Ga. After Lauerman was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, doctors wanted to give her a drug that helps prevent infections and fever during chemotherapy. Her insurer said no. Doctors say they worry about the growing influence insurers have over patient care. They say treatment delays and the problems they create are becoming common because routine things like imaging exams or prescriptions now require insurer approval first. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Hurry up and wait: Docs say insurers increasingly interfere

July 29, 2019 - 1:47 pm

Doctors say they worry about the growing influence insurers have over patient care.

Some are finding that they need more approvals from insurance companies before their patients can get routine things like medical scans or some prescriptions. That can postpone care for a few days or even weeks.

No independent research tracks how frequently insurance issues affect care nationally, but doctors say they've seen a marked increase in difficulties the last few years.

Insurers say they are reviewing more cases, and they follow guidelines set by medical societies when they make coverage decisions. They say they need to make sure patients receive the right care and guard against problems that can drive up costs.

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