Cigna, BCBS plan, Washington state removing prior authorization requirements

Commercial insurers and state governments are implementing new guidelines that will change prior authorization requirements for patients being transferred to long-term care hospitals or rehabilitation and skilled nursing facilities.  

The change aims to help manage resources needed to treat high volumes of COVID-19 inpatients.

Through May 31, Cigna is waiving prior authorization for hospitals to transfer patients to long-term acute care hospitals and other subacute facilities. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts also removed prior authorization requirements for long-term hospitals and other transfers. 

More insurers in Washington state will be instructed to do the same. The state's insurance commissioner is ordering all health insurers to expedite or waive the prior authorization process for similar transfers. 

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Hospitals face financial fallout from COVID-19: 6 things to know

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