As previously communicated in a Partners in Health UpdateSM article, as of January 1, 2019, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA), an association of independent Blue Cross® and Blue Shield® plans, requires all Blue plans to obtain an itemized hospital bill up front, in order to process certain BlueCard® claims for out-of-area members. Providers need to submit an itemized bill when they receive a code on an electronic remittance report (835) and/or paper Provider Remittance as identified below.
Effective January 1, 2021, the claims threshold will now be $100,000 or greater as detailed below.
In order to comply with the BCBSA mandate, when hospitals participating in Independence’s network treat out-of-area members of another Blue plan, Independence requires the submission of an itemized bill from the participating hospital in order to process claims when each of the following criteria is met:
The claim is for inpatient institutional (acute care) services; and
The claim has an estimated allowed amount of $100,000 or greater; and
The claim is priced using a global payment methodology that does not incorporate individual services or charges, such as:
Flat-fee case rate
Claims for members in a Medicare Supplement/Medigap plan or traditional Medicaid are excluded from this prepayment review.
If an itemized bill is not received for claims requiring special treatment in connection with this BCBSA mandate, then the claim may be denied. Providers need to submit an itemized bill when they receive a code on an electronic remittance report (835) and/or paper Provider Remittance as identified below.
Identifying a claim affected by this mandate
If you have a claim affected by this BCBSA mandate, you will see the following codes displayed on your electronic remittance report (835) and/or paper Provider Remittance with the following messages:
CARC 252 – An attachment/other documentation is required to adjudicate this claim/service.
RARC N26 – Missing itemized bill/statement
Invoice submission instructions
If your claim has been denied, you will need to submit an itemized bill. Please submit itemized bills via email at
Use this e-mail address for itemized bill submissions only.
If you have additional questions regarding a claim denied as a result of the BCBSA mandate, please email our Provider Network Services team at
Independence Blue Cross is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.