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Independence Expands Suspension of Prior Authorization Beyond COVID-19 Diagnoses

By April 22, 2020May 4th, 2020Company Updates Doctors & Hospitals
COVID-19 Update written in white on a blue background with a blue Independence Blue Cross logo on a white background at the bottom

Change will help streamline placement of patients to the most appropriate care settings

Philadelphia, PA — April 22, 2020 — In an effort to assist physicians and health care facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic, Independence Blue Cross (Independence) today announced that it is expanding its temporary suspension of prior authorization for acute in-network inpatient admissions from the emergency department to include all diagnoses (including COVID-19) and for in-network transfers and transportation between facilities. The change, which is for fully insured members, takes effect immediately and will remain in effect until June 4, 2020.

As announced on April 3, Independence has also suspended prior authorization requirements for transfers from acute in-network inpatient facilities to post-acute in-network facilities (long-term acute care hospitals, rehabilitation or skilled nursing facilities) or other in-network acute inpatient facility for any diagnoses.

Notification from facilities is still required. These steps are intended to facilitate and reduce administrative processes for the placement of COVID-19 patients to the most appropriate care settings. For Medicare Advantage members this includes out-of-network facilities as well.

Independence will continue to evaluate these decisions and others as the COVID-19 situation evolves.

Independence has implemented a range of clinical and business initiatives to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and protect the physical and mental health of the people in the communities it serves.

For more information about Independence’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, visit

Media Contact:         
Diana Quattrone
215-815-7828 (mobile)