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Independence suspends prior authorization requirement for patient transfers to assist health systems treating COVID-19 patients

COVID-19 Update written in white on a blue background with a blue Independence Blue Cross logo on a white background at the bottom

To assist physicians and health care facilities affected by the latest wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, Independence Blue Cross  (Independence) has temporarily suspended prior authorizations for transfers from acute in-network inpatient facilities to post-acute in-network facilities for any diagnosis. This includes ambulance transport for commercial and Medicare Advantage members.

These steps are intended to facilitate and reduce administrative processes for the placement of COVID-19 patients to the most appropriate care settings. Notification from facilities is still required.

Effective December 21, 2021, this change runs through February 28, 2022. Independence will continue to evaluate the need for this temporary suspension and will extend it if needed.

For Medicare Advantage members, transfer to out-of-network facilities is included as well.

For more information about Independence’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, visit ibx.com/covid19.