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Prior Authorization

Prospective review (also referred to as prior plan approval, prior authorization, or certification) is the process by which certain medical services or medications are reviewed against healthcare management guidelines prior to the services being performed. Reviews are done to confirm the following information:

  • Member eligibility
  • Benefit coverage
  • Compliance with Medicare and Blue Medicare HMO and Blue Medicare PPO medical policies regarding medical necessity
  • Appropriateness of setting
  • Identification of co-morbidities and other problems requiring specific discharge needs
  • Identification of circumstances that may indicate a referral to case management or disease management programs.

Many prescription drugs included in Blue Medicare HMO and Blue Medicare PPO Medicare prescription drug benefits also require prior approval. Visit the Prior authorization and nonformulary requests page for more information.

To learn more, visit the Prior Authorization Opens in new window section of the Provider Manual.

Certain high-tech diagnostic imaging procedures require prior approval. Visit the Diagnostic Imaging Management Program page for more information.

For a list of recent updates to the Prior Authorization Requirements, download the documents below:

Prior Authorization Guidelines - effective 1/1/2017
Prior Authorization Guidelines - effective 1/1/2016
Prior Authorization Guidelines - effective 1/1/2015
Prior Authorization Guidelines - effective 1/1/2014
Prior Authorization Guidelines - effective 1/1/2013
Prior Authorization Guidelines - effective 1/1/2012
Prior Authorization Guidelines - effective 1/1/2011
Prior Authorization Guidelines - updated 4/1/2010
Prior Authorization Guidelines - effective 1/1/2010
Prior Authorization Guidelines - updated 12/1/2008
Prior Authorization Guidelines - updated 6/1/2006
Prior Authorization Guidelines - updated 7/1/2005
Prior Authorization Guidelines - updated 4/1/2005

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Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is an HMO, PPO, and PDP plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina depends on contract renewal. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina does not discriminate based on race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender, age, mental or physical disability, health status, claims experience, medical history, genetic information, evidence of insurability or geographic location within the service area. All Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina items and services are available to all eligible beneficiaries in the service area.