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  • Brian Ruiz

Writing Prior Authorization Notes

When writing a prior authorization note, it is important to document the medical necessity of the requested treatment or service. This should be supported by OBJECTIVE data from the patient encounter. This may include laboratory results, imaging studies, physical observations or other diagnostic tests that demonstrate the need for the requested treatment.

In addition, it is important to note that the patient encounter typically needs to have taken place within a certain timeframe in order to be considered valid for the purposes of prior authorization. In many cases, this timeframe is 60 days from the requested prior authorization date.



When documenting the medical necessity of the requested treatment or service, it is also important to provide a clear and concise description of the patient's condition and how the requested treatment will address this condition. This should be done in a way that is understandable to both medical professionals and non-medical reviewers who may be involved in the prior authorization process.


Keeping in mind, the purpose of the PA note is to explain to the insurance provider why the requested treatment is medically necessary and why it should be covered under the patient's insurance plan. Here are some tips on how to write an effective PA note:


1. Include the patient's medical history: Start by providing a brief overview of the patient's medical history, including any relevant diagnoses, symptoms, and previous treatments. This information will help the insurance provider understand why the requested treatment is necessary.

2. Explain why the requested treatment is necessary: Provide a detailed explanation of why the requested treatment is medically necessary. This should include information on how the treatment will improve the patient's health and quality of life, and why alternative treatments are not as effective or appropriate.

3. Provide supporting evidence: It's important to provide supporting evidence to back up your request for prior authorization. This might include scientific studies, medical literature, clinical guidelines or physical observations that support the use of the requested treatment.

4. Use clear and concise language: When writing a PA note, it's important to use clear and concise language. Avoid using medical jargon or complex terminology that might be difficult for the insurance provider to understand.

5. Follow the insurance provider's guidelines: Make sure to follow the insurance provider's guidelines for writing a PA note. This might include specific formatting requirements or the inclusion of certain information.

6. Be prepared to answer questions: The insurance provider may have questions or concerns about the requested treatment. Be prepared to answer these questions and provide additional information as needed.


Overall, the key to writing an effective prior authorization note is to provide clear, concise, and well-supported documentation of the medical necessity of the requested treatment or service, that meets the insurance providers guidelines. By doing so, you can help ensure that your patient receives the care they need in a timely and efficient manner and that your provider office receives the reimbursement that it deserves.

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