Medicare Advantage Plans Prior Authorization Suspended

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Medicare Advantage plans are issuing temporary suspensions in prior authorization requirements for post-acute settings and revising policies to improve patient access to care.

UnitedHealthcare (UHC) is suspending prior authorization requirements for post-acute settings through May 31, 2020, with the waiver applying to skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), long-term care facilities (LTCFs), and acute inpatient rehabilitation (AIR).  In addition, UHC will reimburse physical, occupational and speech therapy telehealth services provided by qualified health care professionals when rendered using interactive audio/video technology, emphasizing state laws and regulations apply.

Cigna has indicated a similar suspension for commercial and Medicare Advantage plans, noting it will make it easier for hospitals to transfer patients to long-term acute-care hospitals (LTACHs) and other sub-acute facilities to help manage the demands of increasingly high volumes of COVID-19 patients

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