Patients, Doctors, Providers say Health Can't Wait

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Patients, Doctors, Providers say Health Can't Wait

Patients, Doctors, Providers say Health Can't Wait

Prior authorization red tape and step therapy delays care and treatment for Michigan patients

Friday, March 8, 2019

Michigan physicians, clinicians, and health care providers see it every day. They examine patients, and together form a plan of care, often including additional tests, prescription medicines, and treatments – before insurance companies step in with prior authorization and step therapy red tape to prevent patients from immediately accessing the care they need.

When insurance company bureaucracy gets between a physician and his or her patient, patients get sicker, health conditions worsen, and the cost of care skyrockets. That’s not right. Health can’t wait, and we’re doing something about it.

We are excited this week to launch a groundbreaking new effort to improve patient care.

Health Can’t Wait is a coalition of patients, health care providers, and patient-support groups working together to put Michigan patients first by ending dangerous delays in patients’ access to health care caused by insurance company bureaucracy, including prior authorization red tape and step therapy requirements.

The coalition is being led by more than a dozen patient advocacy and health care organizations, including the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, Susan G. Komen Michigan, the Michigan State Medical Society and many, many more. 

You can learn more about Health Can’t Wait, the growing coalition, and its work online at

But we need your help!

There are three things you can do to make a difference. 

First, share your story. Have you, a patient, or a member of your health care team witnessed or experienced a delay in care caused by prior authorization or step therapy? You can share your story – and your patients can share theirs – online at Your patients’ willingness to speak out about the impact insurance company red tape has had on their health couldn’t be more important, and sharing their story couldn’t be easier.

Second, share the news about the coalition and the importance of this reform. Share the website on social media. Speak out to your friends, family and colleagues, and consider reaching out to your own lawmaker to encourage reform. The team at MSMS is standing by to help you craft and share your story and to connect you directly with your state legislators.

Third, please consider a donation to Health Can’t Wait. Simply click “contribute” on the website to join our team. Your contribution could make all the difference.  

The Health Can’t Wait coalition’s work couldn’t be more important. 94 percent of Michigan physicians report that prior authorization red tape causes delays in care for their patients. Prior authorization red tape is part of a staggering 92 percent of all care delays, and those delays can be devastating.

In fact, 78 percent of physicians trace prescription and treatment non-adherence to prior authorization delays. In other words, when red tape and bureaucracy prevents patients from timely access to the medicine and treatment they need, those patients are dramatically more likely to suffer the devastating health effects that come from nonadherence.

Sicker patients. More frequent visits to the emergency room. Longer hospital stays. Bigger bills. That’s not right. Health can’t wait.