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Assessing the Impact of Prior Authorizations on Dermatology Residents.

INTRODUCTION: Prior authorizations (PAs) are administrative tasks commonly required by insurers to approve medications or therapies for patients. Dermatology practices frequently employ coordinators to focus on completing PAs, among other solutions. The degree to which this support is offered in academic centers and, importantly, how much time dermatology residents spend on PAs over educational pursuits is largely unknown. The authors sought to identify the impact of PAs on dermatology residents.

METHODS: An IRB-approved (#NCR213814) 13-question survey was distributed nationwide to dermatology residents regarding the impact of PAs on aspects of clinical and scholarly activities.  Results: 150 of 1462 dermatology residents, 10.3%, responded to the survey. 70% of responding residents contribute to obtaining PAs. 58.7% indicated that their program employed a PA coordinator; though, of these, 63.6% still relied on residents for PAs. 84% indicated that for the following month they feared the burden of PAs would lead to a lapse in treatment for patients. 72.7% avoided prescribing certain medications due to PAs. 64% indicated the PA burden impedes their ability to perform scholarly activities. 80.7% indicated the PA burden contributed to burnout or decreased morale.

CONCLUSION: Our data highlight that dermatology residents are negatively impacted by the burden of PAs, resulting in reduced time to study, research, and best care for their patients. Dermatology residents and patients would benefit from reducing the burden of PAs, especially on residents by reforms or regulations that reduce dermatologic PAs, or by academic institutions removing these responsibilities from residents as best as possible. Drugs Dermatol. 2024;23(6):485-488.    doi:10.36849/JDD.7617.

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