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Coronavirus (COVID‑19) Information for providers

UniCare is closely monitoring COVID‑19 developments and what it means for our customers and our health care provider partners. Our clinical team is actively monitoring state and federal regulations and reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help us determine what action is necessary on our part.

Benefit changes in response t the COVID‑19 pandemic

UniCare has made the following changes to plan benefits in order to remove barriers to treatment, and to help prevent the spread of the virus.

These changes apply to all providers and members nationwide.

Provider billing for services related to COVID‑19

Information about how to appropriately bill for telehealth and COVID‑19 diagnosis and treatment is available in the COVID-19_Billing_Spreadsheet.

Telehealth +

For all telehealth services including primary care, specialty care and behavioral health visits, UniCare will reimburse providers up to the same rate as the in-person reimbursement rate. There is no member cost share (copays, coinsurance or deductible) for telehealth visits with any diagnosis code. Both audio/video and telephone-only sessions are covered.

Refer to the COVID-19_Billing_Spreadsheet for information on how to bill appropriately for telehealth.

Diagnosis and treatment of COVID‑19 +

There is no member cost share for the following services when they are performed for the diagnosis and treatment of COVID‑19:

  • Lab tests
  • Vaccinations
  • Office visits and consultations at an office or urgent care center
  • Treatment in an emergency room
  • Inpatient services

There is no member cost share for the following services for the treatment of confirmed COVID-19:

  • Inpatient rehabilitation
  • Skilled nursing facilities
  • Home health care

Refer to the COVID-19_Billing_Spreadsheet for applicable diagnostic codes and other information on how to bill appropriately for these services. If these services are billed with diagnosis codes not related to COVID‑19, standard member cost sharing will apply.

General guidelines on appropriate billing +

Providers should adhere to the following guidelines when billing for telehealth services or services for the diagnosis and treatment of COVID‑19:

  • Use standard CPT codes such as E&M codes to ensure standard payment rates
  • Place of service code 02 is required to indicate telehealth
  • Use appropriate modifiers
  • When billing with revenue code 780, a CPT code must also be included
  • Use identified diagnosis codes for testing and treatment related to COVID‑19

Refer to the COVID-19_Billing_Spreadsheet for specific diagnosis codes and additional details about appropriate billing for telehealth and COVID‑19 diagnosis and treatment.

Appropriate guidelines to deliver medically necessary health services via telehealth

Changes to prior authorization rules

This change is effective for 90 days beginning March 23, 2020.

UniCare is temporarily modifying prior authorization requirements for several services. For a complete listing of these changes, see the COVID 19_Preauthorization_Spreadsheet.

For most of the listed services, UniCare is implementing a notification-only requirement.

Consistent with existing policies, the admitting provider must notify UniCare of the admission or service; however, UniCare will not perform reviews for medical necessity. The notification-only requirement enables UniCare to assist members during their care transitions. When no notification is received, UniCare will conduct a retrospective review.

The notification-only requirement applies to the initial request only. Reviews for medical necessity will still be performed upon receipt of continued service requests for these services.

During this same period, UniCare will waive late notification penalties.

Refer to Massachusetts Rehab Hospitals Contracted with UniCare for a list of contracted inpatient rehab facilities in Massachusetts.

All skilled nursing facilities in Massachusetts are reimbursed at the contracted benefit.


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