​​​​COVID-19 (Coronavirus): Temporary suspension of certain prior authorizations

January 22, 2021

This article was revised on January 22, 2021, to update the effective dates.

Independence will suspend prior authorizations requirements for patients without a COVID-19 diagnosis from December 4, 2020, through February 28, 2021, for:

To quickly get your patients the care they need, there is no need to call independence prior to transferring patients. Facilities must notify the UM department within contractual timeframes, but no longer than 2 business days from admission to acute or post-acute facility.

  • Transfers from acute in-network inpatient facilities to in-network post-acute facilities (long-term acute care hospitals, inpatient rehabilitation, skilled nursing facilities).

    • Federal Employee Program members are excluded from the prior authorization suspension of transfers from acute in-network inpatient facilities to in-network post-acute facilities.

  • Transfers from acute in-network inpatient facilities to other in-network inpatient facilities and in-network ambulance transport.

We will continue to require and apply prior authorization for acute inpatient admissions from the emergency department at in- and out-of-network facilities for patients without a COVID-19 diagnosis.

Independence will suspend prior authorizations requirements for patients with a COVID-19 diagnosis from March 31, 2020, through March 31, 2021, for:

  • Acute in-network inpatient admissions from the emergency department

  • Transfers from acute in-network inpatient facilities to in-network post-acute facilities (long-term acute care hospitals, inpatient rehabilitation, skilled nursing facilities).

    • Federal Employee Program members are excluded from the prior authorization suspension of transfers from acute in-network inpatient facilities to in-network post-acute facilities.

  • Transfers from acute in-network inpatient facilities to other in-network inpatient facilities and in-network ambulance transport.

Independence is committed to providing our members with access to the care they need during the COVID-19 pandemic. We encourage all Independence members and providers to visit our dedicated COVID-19 webpage regularly for the latest news and updates. We will continue to evaluate member needs as the situation changes.

Independence will continue to assess the situation based on COVID-19 activity and share updates with our provider community.

Utilization management

Facilities must continue to notify Independence's Utilization Management (UM) department within contractual time frames, but no longer than two business days from admission to an acute or post-acute facility.

The UM and Care Management departments will collaborate with facilities to gather clinical information and to assist in the coordination of transitions of care for members.