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UnitedHealthcare to implement outpatient advanced radiology policy

Effective January 1, 2019, UnitedHealthcare (UHC) will require prior authorization for certain advanced imaging procedures when performed in the outpatient hospital setting. As highlighted in the UnitedHealthcare Network Bulletin October 2018, certain magnetic resonance imaging, magnetic resonance angiography and computed tomography imaging procedures will now be subject to a site of care review when performed in the outpatient hospital under UHC’s Outpatient Radiology Notification/Prior Authorization Protocol. Site of care reviews will not be done as part of the prior authorization process if a procedure will be performed in a free-standing diagnostic ...

First-ever TRICARE open enrollment begins November 12

Beginning November 12 and running through December 10, 2018, TRICARE will initiate its first ever open enrollment period for beneficiaries to enroll in or change their TRICARE Prime or TRICARE Select health plan coverage. Beneficiaries already enrolled who want to continue with their current plan without changes do not need to do anything. Any changes made during the 2018 open enrollment will be effective January 1, 2019. Outside of open enrollment, beneficiaries enrolled in Prime or Select will only be able to make a plan change if they have ...

IEHP completes termination of Vantage contract; three plans extend termination dates

The California Medical Association (CMA) has confirmed that Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) completed its contract termination with Vantage on August 31, 2018. IEHP transitioned its 273,000 covered lives to the following delegated groups: Receiving Provider Group Number of Enrollees Alpha Care Medical Group 80,190 La Salle Medical Associates 74,428 IEHP Direct 74,176 ...

What you need to know about Blue Shield of California's Care1st integration

On January 1, 2019, Blue Shield of California will complete the integration of Care1st Health Plan into its operations, and Care1st’s name will change to Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan. The newly renamed health plan will remain a separate company and a wholly owned subsidiary of Blue Shield of California. Care1st physicians serving Medicare Advantage HMO, Medi-Cal or Cal MediConnect members will not need to contract with Blue Shield of California to continue providing services, and participating physicians will receive a mailed contract amendment later this year that ...

Updated payor profiles for 2018 now available

The California Medical Association’s (CMA) Center for Economic Services is publishing updated profiles on each of the major payors in California including Aetna, Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield of California, Cigna, Health Net, UnitedHealthcare, Medicare/Noridian and Medi-Cal. Each profile includes key information on health plan market penetration; a description of the plan’s dispute resolution process; and the name and contact numbers for medical directors, provider relations, and other key contacts. Don’t waste your time searching the internet for this information – members can download CMA’s Payor Profiles free of charge ...

Health Net addresses problems with explanation of payment

On August 21, 2018, Health Net notified providers that some paper explanation of payment (EOPs), commonly known as explanations of benefits, for commercial exchange enrollees were not displaying amounts correctly. This problem prevented providers from properly reconciling the amount Health Net is responsible for or the patient cost-sharing.  Health Net reports it has resolved all issues related to the misprinted EOPs, except in instances where the enrollee’s cost share may not be correctly displaying a figure that includes any coinsurance amount. Health Net advises that a fix for the cost ...

UnitedHealthcare to discontinue use of fax numbers for medical prior authorization requests

UnitedHealthcare announced in its September 2018 Network Bulletin that it will begin retiring fax numbers utilized for medical prior authorization requests beginning January 1, 2019. Providers will be directed to utilize the Prior Authorization and Notification tool on Link, the UHC website currently utilized to check eligibility and benefits, manage claims and update provider demographic information. The following fax numbers will be retiring as of January 1, 2019: (877) 269-1045 (866) 362-6101 (866) 892-4582 (866) 589-4848 ...

Health Net Federal Services continues to address TRICARE transition issues

As previously reported, Health Net Federal Services (HNFS) has experienced implementation issues since taking over as the new Defense Heath Agency (DHA) managed care contractor for the TRICARE West Region on January 1. In recent discussions with the California Medical Association (CMA), HNFS said it continues to address the breakdowns in process and resulting consequences that have impacted TRICARE providers in the areas of provider contracting and credentialing, beneficiary reassignment and provider directory inaccuracies. Updates are as follows: Contracting and Credentialing Because of staffing and operational issues, physicians may have experienced ...

UnitedHealthcare Community Plan preps for entry into additional Medi-Cal and Medicare Advantage markets

Looking to potentially enhance its footprint in the Medi-Cal and Medicare Advantage marketplace by 2021, UnitedHealthcare (UHC) Community Plan of California has issued unilateral contract amendments to contracted physicians in seven California counties. Additionally, UHC providers in the seven counties who are not currently contracted for the Medicare Advantage product will receive a combined contract amendment for participation in both UHC Community Plan of California (Medi-Cal) and UHC Medicare Advantage products. As a condition of participation in the Medi-Cal Managed Care request for proposal process in late 2019 or early 2020, ...

United Healthcare releases latest Premium Designation physician results

United Healthcare (UHC) recently released its latest Premium Designation assessment results to California physicians on July 20. The Premium Program Version 11 results, based on claims data from January 1, 2015, through February 28, 2018, will be released publicly via the payor's online physician directory beginning September 2018. Physicians within 16 specialty categories, encompassing 47 subspecialties including pediatric internal medicine (new for 2018), will again be ranked by UHC on both national and specialty-specific measures for quality and various cost-efficiency benchmarks. Physicians meeting or exceeding these benchmarks will receive a ...