Health plan streamlines access to care

Feb 2, 2017

A local health insurer is simplifying the way its members access care. BlueCross BlueShield is eliminating its preauthorization requirement on many services. 

Credit BlueCross BlueShield of WNY


After a lengthy review, the Buffalo based health plan no longer requires most of its members or physicians to wait for approval before accessing more than 200 services.
    
"Say you went to your physician and you needed a wheelchair that they ordered. You wouldn't have to wait between a day and two days, potentially, to get the go ahead to go and get one. Sometimes it would be a test. Sometimes it could be a specific diagnostic screen of some sort," said Dr. Thomas Schenk, BlueCross BlueShield's, Chief Medical Officer.

Not only will the change reduce delays for patients, Schenk says, it will streamline the process for physicians so they can do what they do best - deliver quality care.
    
"For doctors, the more that you can do while the person's right there in front of you the better traction you usually get on what you want to do. So, your patient's compliance tends to be better if you can kind of dot all the i's and cross all the t's, right there, at that time, while they're with you. You don't miss each other on the phone. It creates a lot of efficiencies for both the patient and for the doctor," Schenk said.   
 
As part of the initiative, Schenk says, BlueCross BlueShield will be continuously reviewing its policies and procedures and the preauthorization requirement could be dropped from more services in the near future.