Providing relief during crisis. For the Health of America.
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, many providers lack the necessary resources to effectively triage and treat the increasing volumes of patients. Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) companies across the country are taking action to speed care to patients and support doctors and hospitals on the front lines of the pandemic.
BCBS companies are helping healthcare professionals focus on care by waiving or eliminating prior authorizations, suspending clinical review requirements and providing much-needed digital resources. These digital solutions include platforms to enable telehealth services, systems and applications that support patient assessment and triage and online support.
Easing administrative requirements
- North Carolina hospitals are anticipating a surge of patients over the upcoming weeks. To ensure access to care for the maximum number of patients, BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina is suspending many administrative requirements, such as prior authorization for acute inpatient hospitalization, regardless of a COVID-19 diagnosis. They are also not requiring prior approval for any medically necessary services if a patient is diagnosed with COVID-19, as well as speeding its credentialing process to help meet the demand for clinicians.
- Providers on the front lines are experiencing increased professional stress with insufficient resources to manage the influx of COVID-19 patients. Premera Blue Cross is removing prior authorizations for skilled nursing facilities, expediting prior authorizations for services to discharge payments, and extending medical and pharmacy prior authorization effect dates to help alleviate administrative burdens.
- To support healthcare professionals dealing with economic pressures, Blue Shield of California is removing administrative burdens to healthcare providers by waiving certain prior authorizations, and streamlining concurrent reviews to reduce document requirements
Providing vital technology
- To eliminate the time and expense providers experience receiving payments for out-of-pocket costs, Blue Shield of California is accelerating the rollout of a technology-driven billing solution that pays the patient’s portion of a medical bill sooner.
- With the increasing burden placed on emergency rooms Blue Shield of California has paid for hospitals to implement the COVID-19 Screener and Emergency Response Assistant (COVID-19 SERA), a virtual triage tool. Patients can access on a participating hospital’s website to help determine the right place to receive care, reducing unnecessary volumes in busy emergency departments.
- Many small, independent physician practices lack the technology needed to provide care virtually. CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield has partnered with the Maryland State Medical Society to provide independent physician practices with five or fewer members complimentary access to a telehealth platform for one year.
- BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina has developed a COVID-19 providers’ resource page, with access to weekly “virtual rounds,” the latest telehealth information, a triage directory and more.
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 36 independent, community-based and locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide health care coverage for one in three Americans.