COVID-19 Resources

We recognize that providers and medical professionals are making tremendous sacrifices to address the COVID-19 pandemic. Thank you for your continued commitment to our members and communities. 

We are honored to be partnered with you during this time and are working internally to ensure that you have the support you need from us as a health plan. This page contains the most up-to-date information around our policies and coverage relating to COVID-19. We will update this page as information evolves. 

To better serve our patients and provider partners during COVID-19 crisis, we have fulfilled our pledge to:

  • Waive member cost-sharing for COVID-19 testing and treatment
  • Make it easier for more members and providers to conduct telehealth appointments
  • Relax prescription refill limitations and promote mail order pharmacy services
  • Relax prior authorization requirements to allow for more efficient care
  • Waive member cost-sharing for all members who attend a covered telehealth visit from May 1 to July 31

Provider FAQs

Health Plan Guidance on Billing, Telehealth, Prior Authorization, and More:

This FAQ is meant to serve as a living document and will be updated on an ongoing basis to include clarifications and additional guidance as needed.

What codes should I use for COVID-19 testing?

Updated 4/29/20

There are two new HCPCS codes for healthcare providers who need to test patients for coronavirus.

Providers using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 2019 novel coronavirus Real Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Test Panel may bill for that test using the newly created HCPCS code (U0001).

A second new HCPCS code (U0002) can be used by laboratories and healthcare facilities. HCPCS code (U0002) generally describes 2019-nCoV Coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2/2019-nCoV (COVID-19) using any technique, multiple types or subtypes (includes all targets).

For clinical diagnostic laboratory tests making use of high-throughput technologies, two new HCPCS codes, U0003 and U0004, have been created for laboratories to bill for the detection of SARS–CoV–2 or the diagnosis of the virus that causes COVID–19. HCPCS U0003 and U0004 are effective for dates of service on and after 4/14/2020 and will remain active until the end of the public health emergency.  HCPCS code U0003 generally describes infectious agent detection by nucleic acid, amplified probe technique whereas HCPCS U0004 generally describes detection of the virus, non-CDC, using any technique, multiple types or subtypes (includes all targets).

My laboratory does not use the CDC test kit, what code should we use to bill?

Updated 4/29/20

If your laboratory uses the method specified by CPT 87635, the appropriate code to use would be CPT 87635. If your laboratory has a test that uses a method not described by CPT 87635, the appropriate code to use would be HCPCS Code U0002.

 

If your laboratory utilizes high-throughput technologies, the appropriate code to bill would be HCPCS U0004.

What codes should I use for COVID-19 antibody tests?

New 4/29/20

There are two new codes, effective 4/10/2020 for COVID-19 antibody tests.  CPT 86328 generally describes a single step method immunoassay whereas CPT 86769 has been established for antibody tests using a multiple step method.

Will BMC HealthNet Plan reimburse providers for specimen collection for COVID-19 clinical laboratory tests?

New 5/20/20

For MH and QHP Members: 

We will reimburse the following providers for specimen collection billing either G2023 or G2024:

  • Independent Clinical Laboratories
  • Physicians
  • Acute Outpatient Hospitals
  • Community Health Centers
  • Family Planning Agencies
  • Rapid Testing Sites (Drive-thru Testing Site)

Will BMC HealthNet Plan reimburse Ambulance providers for specimen collection for MH Members?

Ambulance providers may be reimbursed for medically necessary visits to obtain and transport COVID-19 specimens by billing code A0998 (EMS Treat no transport) with modifier SS (Seen at Scene).  No mileage will be reimbursed.

For non-emergent transportation, BMC HealthNet Plan should only be billed to facilitate out-of-state medical services that cannot be obtained within a 50 mile radius of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  All other non-emergent transportation should be billed to MassHealth directly. 

For SCO Members:

In accordance with Medicare,  BMC HealthNet Plan will reimburse the following providers:

  • Independent Labs: Bill with code G2023 or G2024
  • Physicians and Non-physician practitioners: Bill with code 99211 for services furnished incident to their professional services for both new and established patients.
  • Outpatient hospitals: Bill with code C9803 to bill for a clinic visit dedicated to or including specimen collection

What codes should I use for COVID-19 diagnoses?

All providers must report diagnosis codes in accordance with CDC guidelines as follows.

Confirmed COVID-19 Cases

B97.29 – Other coronavirus as the cause of diseases classified elsewhere

U07.1 – 2019-nCoV acute respiratory disease (effective 4/1/20)

Exposure to COVID-19

Z03.818 – Encounter for observation for suspected exposure to other biological agents ruled out

Z20.828 – Contact with and (suspected) exposure to other viral communicable diseases

Screening for asymptomatic individuals with no known exposure Z11.59 – Encounter for screening for other viral diseases

For visits unrelated to COVID-19, please report diagnosis codes according to ICD-10 guidelines.

Who should be tested for COVID-19?

New 5/20/20

Individuals who are symptomatic or have been in close contact of COVID cases should be tested using a molecular diagnostic test such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or other nucleic acid amplification methodology. Symptomatic individuals are those who display:

  • Fever, chills or shaking chills,
  • Signs of a lower respiratory illness (e.g., cough, shortness of breath, lowered oxygen saturation),
  • Fatigue, sore throat, headache, body aches/myalgia, or new loss of sense of taste or smell
  • Other less common symptoms can include gastrointestinal symptoms (e.g. nausea, vomiting, diarrhea), rash, and inflammatory conditions such as “COVID toes”.
  • In elderly, chronically ill, or debilitated individuals such as residents of a long-term care facility, symptoms of COVID-19 may be subtle such as alterations in mental status or in blood glucose control

Close contact is defined as being less than 6 feet of a COVID-19 case for at least 10-15 minutes which can occur while caring for, living with, visiting, or sharing a healthcare waiting area or room with a COVID-19 case while the case was symptomatic or having direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case (e.g., being coughed on) while not wearing recommended personal protective equipment or PPE (e.g., gown, gloves, facemask, eye protection).

When should individuals be tested for COVID-19?

New 5/20/20

Close contacts with any symptom associated with COVID-19 should be tested promptly and should occur at any time during the contact’s 14-day quarantine period, even if the person previously had a negative test result within that same period. Close contacts without symptoms should be tested as soon as possible after they are notified of their exposure to COVID-19. The contact is required to quarantine for the full 14 days, even following a negative test result.

What are the Coverage and Payment Policies for Managed Care Plans?

Managed care plans must cover testing, treatment, and prevention of COVID-19 in at least the same amount, duration and scope as covered by MassHealth through its fee-for-service program. Coverage must include:

  • Diagnostic laboratory services performed by laboratories and health care facilities that have obtained appropriate approval to test individuals for COVID-19;
  • Telehealth and certain telephonic services as means by which members may access all clinically appropriate, medically necessary covered services;
  • Home visits;
  • COVID-19 quarantine in a hospital as administrative or observation days; and
  • Drugs, including 90-day supplies and early refills of covered drugs.

Will you relax Credentialing requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic?

We have implemented a Provisional Credentialing process to expedite the onboarding of new practitioners into its provider networks. This process will go into effect immediately and will discontinue on the date when the COVID-19 public health emergency is lifted.

Provisional credentialing will allow us to enroll new practitioners before their full credentialing process has been completed. In accordance with the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), practitioners may hold a provisional status for up to 180 calendar days. We will complete the practitioner’s full credentialing before his/her provisional status has expired.

  • The Provisional Credentialing process will be available for any new practitioner who requires full credentialing (under the our credentialing policies), and is requesting to enroll under one of the following specialties:
  • Cardiovascular Disease Internal Medicine Otolaryngology
    Critical Care Medicine Nephrology Pediatrics
    General Surgery Neurology Pulmonary Disease
    Infectious Disease Obstetrics and Gynecology  
  • Expedited enrollment and onboarding is also available for the following practitioners: Emergency Medicine, Anesthesiology, Hospitalists or other individuals who practice exclusively within an inpatient setting, and who provide care to our members-only because the members are directed to the hospital or inpatient setting.
  • Providers submitting the above provider types for credentialing should submit with the Subject noted as “Critical” to ensure these requests are identified timely.
  • A group may also request provisional credentialing for any practitioner who does not practice one of the specialties listed above, and if there is a critical need for the practitioner as a result of this public health emergency. These requests should be submitted with the Subject noted as “Critical” to ensure the requests are identified timely.
  • To prevent unnecessary delays, practitioners should ensure that they have a current and complete CAQH application.

Are you covering telehealth visits?

In accordance with the State response to COVID-19 management, BMC HealthNet Plan will cover telephonic visits in addition to telehealth visits for our members until further notice. Please see codes for each telehealth visit type below.

Can I provide telehealth services to my patients?

Providers capable of offering telehealth services—either via telephone only or a combination of telephone and video— may do so.

What codes should I use for telehealth visits for MassHealth or QHP members?

Updated 4/15/20

Providers should code for telehealth visits in one of two ways depending on the type of visit:

  1. Visits that would have been rendered in the person (Standard E&M services) – These must include place of service code 02 in addition to the applicable code(s) describing the services provided.
  2. Visits that do not constitute and in-person visit – These must be reported using the CPT code tables below. We will reimburse for clinically appropriate, medically necessary telephone evaluations.

Audio Only Telehealth Coding for MassHealth and Qualified Health Plan members

Updated 4/15/20

99441 Physician telephone evaluation 5-10 MIN
99442 Physician telephone evaluation 11-20 MIN
99443 Physician telephone evaluation 21-30 MIN
98966 Qualified nonphysician health professional telephone evaluation 5-10 MIN
98967 Qualified nonphysician health professional telephone evaluation 11-20 MIN
98968 Qualified nonphysician health professional telephone evaluation 21-30 MIN

Services may not be set up to pay at the time of claim submission. We will reprocess any impacted claims after implementation.

Will providers be paid for regular E&M visits billed with a POS 02 for MassHealth or QHP Members?

Updated 5/20/20

Yes, providers will be paid for regular E&Ms with a POS 02.  Providers may render the telehealth service via audio-only or a combination of audio and video modalities.  Follow the below rules for billing the E&M’s with a POS 02.

The test for whether you can bill something to MassHealth telehealth is:

  1. Were you able to bill it to MassHealth and be paid before?
  2. Is it clinically appropriate to be delivered via telehealth?  
  3. Are you conforming to the guidance in Appendix A of the Provider Bulletin 289?
  4. Is it medically necessary for the member?

If “Yes” to these four inquires of validation, then the visit can be billed and paid by MassHealth or any MassHealth managed care entity at the same rates as if rendered in person.

       All services should be billed with the same CPT codes as when a face-to-face visit is performed.

       Must add POS 02 on claim

See all MassHealth publications pertaining to COVID-19

What codes should I use for telehealth visits for Senior Care Options members?

Updated 5/20/20

In accordance with Medicare interim regulations, BMC HealthNet Plan will reimburse providers for services provided via telehealth that are listed in Medicare’s expanded list of telehealth services.

All of the services listed may be rendered via telehealth with a combination of audio and video technology.  Additionally, Medicare has identified certain telehealth services that meet the Audio-only interaction requirements and can be rendered via audio-only.  Providers should bill for the same service delivered via telehealth as would have been delivered via in-person methods.

Providers should code for telehealth visits in one of two ways depending on the type of visit:

  1. Visits that would have been rendered in person (Standard E&M services) –These codes must include modifier 95 and the POS where the service would have been rendered if not for the PHE or;
  2. Visits that would have been rendered via traditional Medicare telehealth – Bill in accordance with standard Medicare billing guidelines.
FQHC/RHC Telehealth Coding for Senior Care Options members (Medicare)

Updated 5/20/20 

FQHC/RHC providers should bill for telehealth visits in accordance with Medicare guidelines effective with dates of service on or after 01/27/2020. These visits may be performed via audio-only or a combination of audio and video telehealth modalities using the following code: 

G2025

Distant Site Telehealth Services FQHC/RHC

FQHC/RHC providers must report all online digital evaluation and management or virtual communication services, video and audio, in accordance with Medicare guidelines using the following code:

G0071 Payment for communication technology-based services for 5 minutes or more of a virtual (non face-to-face) communication between a rural health clinic or federally qualified health center practitioner and RHC or FQHC patient.

FQHC/RHC providers should note that on an interim basis the rate of payment for this code has been increased with the expansion of Virtual Communication services that can be performed at the FQHC/RHC.

All above services may not be set up to pay at the time of claim submission. We will reprocess any impacted claims after implementation.

Will providers be paid for regular E&M visits billed with a modifier 95 for Senior Care Options (SCO) members?

Updated 4/15/20

Yes, per Medicare guidelines, providers will be reimbursed at the same rate for services delivered via telehealth as the rates of payment for services delivered via in-person methods.

Can Non-physician practitioners (i.e. PT/OT/SLP) be reimbursed for visits performed via telehealth for Senior Care Options (SCO) members?

New 5/20/20

In accordance with expanded Medicare telehealth regulations, health care professionals who were previously ineligible to furnish and bill for Medicare telehealth services, including physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech language pathologists, and others, may receive payment for Medicare telehealth services.

What if my office can’t provide COVID-19 testing or treatment?

We recommend that providers reach out to their local hospitals for specific COVID-19 testing availability and protocols.

If you are unable to provide COVID-19 testing or treatment and there are no viable in-network facilities to provide care for your patient, or if your patient has urgent testing or treatment needs, we will cover visits to out-of-network providers.

Additional Billing section added 4/15/20 

How do I bill for a COVID-19 patient quarantined in the hospital?

For MassHealth or QHP members

Acute inpatient hospitals may bill for members no longer requiring an inpatient level of care but who must be quarantined in the hospital or otherwise cannot be safely discharged due to COVID-19 by either: (1) keeping the member as an inpatient, switching the member to administrative day status, and billing accordingly, or (2) discharging the member from inpatient care, commencing observation services, and billing accordingly.

Chronic disease and rehabilitation inpatient hospitals may bill for members no longer requiring an inpatient level of care but who must be quarantined in the hospital or otherwise cannot be safely discharged due to COVID-19 by keeping the member as an inpatient, switching the member to administrative day status, and billing accordingly.

For SCO members

If a SCO member is a hospital inpatient for medically necessary care, BMC Health Net Plan will pay hospitals the diagnosis-related group (DRG) rate and any cost outliers for the entire stay, including any the quarantine time when the patient does not meet the need for acute inpatient care, until the SCO member is discharged. The DRG rate (and cost outliers as applicable) includes the payments for when a patient needs to be isolated or quarantined in a private room. We will also reimburse providers and additional 20% to the DRG weight for COVID-19 related discharges.

Is there additional guidance for CHC Billing for MassHealth and QHP members?

For all CHCs services rendered via telehealth visit, the CHC would continue to bill T1015 along with the appropriate E/M code but with Place of Service (POS) ‘02’. BMC HealthNet Plan will also reimburse CHCs for encounters billed with T1015 for clinically appropriate, medically necessary telephone-only evaluations along with one of the following CPT codes for physicians: 99441, 99442, 99443; and for qualified non-physicians: 98966, 98967, 98968.

Can the After-Hours code 99050 be billed on the telehealth claims (for MassHealth and QHP members)?

Yes. If services are rendered by telehealth after-hours, providers may bill the after-hours code 99050 where permitted under MassHealth rules. Providers should bill with place of service ‘02’.

Will BMC HealthNet reimburse claims for well-child care via telemedicine (audio and/or video) during the PHE for MH and QHP members? 

Updated 5/20/20

Yes, as clinically appropriate, services that would have previously been rendered and covered as face-to-face may now be rendered via telehealth. Providers should bill with place of service ‘02’ for the preventive visit, any additional applicable service provided.  For any vaccines administered on the same date as the telehealth visit, providers should bill the place of service where the vaccine was administered and not place of service ‘02’.

 

Will BMC HealthNet Plan reimburse claims for an additional child wellness visit to collect medically necessary components of the wellness visit that cannot be completed via telehealth?

New 5/20/20


For an in-person follow-up visit to complete medically necessary components of the preventive visit not performed on the same day as the preventive visit that was provided via telehealth, providers may be reimbursed by billing the following:

  • A single E&M visit at level 1, 2, or 3 (appropriate to complexity of visit) not on the same day as the preventive telehealth visit; and
  • Any additional codes applicable to the service provided (e.g., laboratory, hearing/vision screening)

Will BMC HealthNet reimburse claims for COVID-19 remote patient monitoring for MH members?

New 5/20/20

Yes, BMC HealthNet Plan will reimburse the following provider types for remote patient monitoring bundled services:

  •  Physicians
  • Community Health Centers
  • Acute Outpatient Hospitals
  • Hospital Licensed Health Centers
  • Group Practices

Providers should bill code 99423 with modifier U9 on the first day the provider renders COVID-19 RPM bundled services. Providers may not bill this code again during the next seven days (including the date on which the provider billed 99423-U9).

Providers may be reimbursed for a facility fee for the COVID-19 RPM bundle.  The facility fee should only be billed once during the seven-day monitoring period by billing the following: 

  • Procedure code 99423 with modifier U9
  • Principal diagnosis code U07.1
  • Observation code 762

Can Adult Day Health providers be reimbursed for retainer payments for SCO members?

New 5/20/20

Yes, in accordance with MH regulations, ADH eligible providers may be reimbursed on a per-member, per-day basis at 100% of the plan’s current per diem rate for ADH services.  BMC HealthNet Plan will not make retainer claims for ADH claims for transportation services.  ADH providers should bill for retainer payments as follows:

 

Code

Modifier

Description

S5102 *

TG U6

Complex level of care (per diem)

S5102

U6

Basic level of care (per diem)

 

*ADH providers billing for the Complex level of care must submit with the TG modifier in the first position in order to be reimbursed appropriately.

Will BMC HealthNet Plan be implementing the Medicare Payment Methodology changes for Facilities and Practitioners?

Updated 5/20/20

We will implement all Medicare interim changes that have been published in the Medicare COVID-19 interim final regulations. Please see Medicare Interim Final Rules with comment period CMS-1744-IFC and CMS-5531-IFC.

These include but are not limited to, Medicare IPPS, LTCPPS, IRFPPS, SNFPPS, ASC, ESRDPPS, FQHCPPS, HOPPS, HHPPS, Physician, and DMEPOS.

Will BMC HealthNet Plan suspend Medicare sequestration for Senior Care Options (SCO) members?

In compliance with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, for dates of service on or after May 1, 2020 through and including dates of service December 31, 2020, we will temporarily suspend the application of Medicare 2% sequestration for Senior Care Options members.

Where can I find more detail of the Medicare Interim changes?

Updated 5/20/20

For more detail regarding Medicare COVID-19 interim regulations, please see Medicare Interim Final Rule with comment period: CMS-1744-IFC and CMS-5531-IFC

Where can I find the details of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act)?

Click here to see the CARES Act in its entirety.

Will Prior Authorization be required for COVID-19 treatment?

In an effort to ensure that members get timely and medically necessary treatment, we are waiving prior authorization requirements for testing and treatment of suspected COVID-19 cases. These requirements will be waived until further notice.

Is Prior Authorization required for Home Health Agencies when rendering hours for SCO members in place of PCA?

Prior Authorization is not required for Home Health Aide services rendered by a Home Health Agency during the COVID-19 pandemic, when providing coverage for members in lieu of currently authorized PCA services.

Per MassHealth Home Health Provider Bulletin 56, MassHealth is adding flexibilities for home health aide services to members in place of PCA services, when the member experiences a disruption in the receipt of PCA services due to COVID-19. In an effort to maintain consistency with MassHealth, the Plan will pay home health agencies to render PCA services for SCO members. These services must be billed as follows to ensure accurate payment. Medicare-certified home health agencies must also report condition code 21.

Code Modifier Description 
G0299 U9 Nursing care visit for temporary emergency PCA services
G0300 U9 Nursing care visit for temporary emergency PCA services
99509   Home health aide visit for temporary emergency PCA services

Pursuant to MassHealth Home Health Provider Bulletin 56, the home health agency must obtain the following documentation for each member it provides home health aide services pursuant to the bulletin:

  • A copy of the member’s prior authorization approval for personal care attendant services
  • A copy of the member’s PCA evaluation as completed by the member’s Plan care manager

For ACO/MCO members, home health agencies should follow instructions as outlined in Bulletin 56 to request these documents from the MassHealth LTSS Provider Service Center.

For Senior Care Options (SCO) members, home health agencies may request a copy of these documents by emailing LTSSPCA@bmchp.org.

Is the Plan suspending Prior Authorization review for scheduled surgeries or admissions at Hospitals for cases unrelated to COVID-19? 

New 4/29/20

BMC HealthNet Plan will suspend prior authorization review for scheduled surgeries or elective admissions at hospitals for cases that are unrelated to COVID-19 for 60 days, as of 4/8/2020. For those services that would ordinarily require a PA, we require notification within 48 hours of the date of services. For elective admissions, notification of admission is required within 48 hours of the admission. We retain the ability to conduct retrospective reviews.

BMC HealthNet Plan has suspended concurrent review for hospital inpatient services for 60 days, as of 4/8/2020. Notification of admission is required within 48 hours of admission. BMCHP retains the ability to conduct retrospective reviews.

Will Prior Authorization be waived for Post-Acute Care admissions?

For Post-Acute Care following an inpatient hospital admission:

We will waive the prior authorization requirement and preadmission clinical review for all post-acute care admissions for all products for the next 90 days. Concurrent review processes after initial medical necessity review will remain unchanged from current state.

Providers must submit notification of admission within 48 hours of the admission, and submit clinical documentation within 24 hours of the notification of admission. We will approve the requested days up until such time as we complete a medical necessity review and render a final determination, provided we receive the required documentation timely. We appreciate our post-acute care providers’ good faith effort to place members in the most appropriate level of care.

For Home Care following an inpatient hospital admission, we will follow our current process as noted here:

Providers will submit the request for authorization within 5 days from start of care and include the following information:

  • Completed Universal Authorization form
  • Documentation from (verbal) ordering provider to accompany referral – self referrals need to have an order from a provider before making a visit
    • From an inpatient setting – hospital discharge paperwork
    • From the provider office – order or recent provider notes/history of present illness
    • If the agency has their own form that providers may sign to request services, include a signed version of the form
    • Documentation from the initial visit (completed OASIS is ideal)
    • Unsigned 485 for Plan to review (if available but not required)

Will Prior Authorization be waived for Hospice or other Ancillary services?

New 5/6/20

In response to the need for expedited access to services for hospice or other ancillary services who need to use contracted staff for services, BMCHP will waive the 30 day prior notification requirement for those contracted/sub-contracted services. Please note that it is incumbent upon the provider to ensure that contracted staff meet licensure and regulatory requirements.

 

Nursing Facility Guidance section added 5/20/20  

Has any guidance been provided for Nursing Facilities?

MassHealth published Nursing Facility Bulletin 146 May 2020 implementing measures to protect against the spread of COVID-19. MassHealth is requiring nursing facilities complete baseline testing of staff and residents for COVID-19 between April 8, 2020 and May 25, 2020. To demonstrate completion of testing, the facility must submit the attestation in Appendix A (attached to MH Bulletin 146) by May 25, 2020.   EOHHS is requiring that all MassHealth nursing facility providers test a minimum of 90 percent of their total residents and a minimum of 90 percent of total staff for COVID-19 between these dates with such total staff and total residents determined as of May 7, 2020 in accordance with the requirements set in the Bulletin.

Please review the Nursing Facility Bulletin from Mass Health for more information on this requirement.

How should DME orders be placed during the COVID-19 State of Emergency?

Updated 5/20/20

BMC HealthNet Plan has been closely monitoring the developments of COVID-19 and working on directives to reduce provider workload and help members receive timely equipment and supplies.Below are instructions for members requiring DME:
  1. We are waiving prior authorization requirements for Oxygen and Respiratory related equipment, scales, blood pressure cuffs and glucose monitoring equipment.
  2. Prior authorizations will be required for Mobility devices (including but not limited to, manual wheelchairs, power wheelchairs and accessories), Chest Wall Oscillation/Vest and Alternative Augmentative Communication devices.
  3. Prior authorizations are not required prior to dispensing all DME to patients but they are required after dispensing DME and must be completed prior to claims submission.
  4. We will allow early supply refills within 30 days of the member’s next DOS.

  5. Upon member request, we will allow 90-day supply orders rather than 30-day supply orders.
  6. We are waiving cost-share for members with a COVID-19 diagnosis.

  7. Electronic signatures are acceptable for all prescriptions and orders.
  8. Telemedicine or virtual appointments and evaluations are acceptable in place of in-person patient evaluations.
  9. Out of Network providers may place orders for DME equipment. Rendering providers will need to be licensed or temporarily licensed (per COVID-19 allowance) in the state where they are operating.

For continuity of care, Northwood (following MassHealth guidance) is allowing continued delivery of equipment and supplies to members with prescriptions that expire during the COVID-19 emergency. Specifically, DME and Oxygen and Respiratory Equipment providers may continue delivery of rental equipment and supplies for 90 days from the expiration of the prescription or until the end of the COVID-19 emergency, whichever is later. For items and supplies delivered under otherwise expired prescriptions, providers must clearly document COVID-19 extensions of prescriptions in the member’s record and when submitting claims; and must obtain and document a new oral prescription.

The above changes apply to all BMC HealthNet Plan product lines until further notice.

Will prior authorizations be needed for COVID-19 Chest CT Scans?

BMC HealthNet Plan has lifted the requirement for prior authorization for any testing or services related to COVID-19, so an authorization for a Chest CT Scan will not be necessary. If a provider requests an authorization from eviCore, it will be approved for all COVID-19 related CT Scans and tests.

Will eviCore High Tech Radiology authorizations need to be requested again when the ban on non-essential and non-urgent services is lifted?

eviCore will give newly requested authorizations a 180 calendar day timespan. If a provider needs an authorization extended that was requested prior to the update, they will need to call eviCore to request the extension.

Will Out-of-Network Providers be allowed to service members?

eviCore and Northwood (DME) will allow out-of-network providers to be used when requesting authorizations to help relieve any possible urgent barriers to care that may arise as resources and staff are re-directed to address COVID-19 surges.

What transportation changes are being put in place to keep patients safe?

Updated 4/15/20

CTS, our transportation broker for our members, in accordance with regulatory directives, has established new guidelines in order to protect members and drivers from exposure to COVID-19.

  • Members are asked to check with their providers to confirm if their appointment will still be conducted in person or via telehealth before requesting transportation. Rides to appointment that are required to be conducted in-person, will continue to be scheduled by CTS.
  • New ventilation protocols are in place when transporting patients. Windows will be open when possible.
  • New hygiene protocols are in place to disinfect inside and outside surfaces daily.
  • Drivers will no longer have physical contact with members, such as signing logs or assisting with seat belts or wheelchairs. Drivers will no longer be able to provide door to door assistance or go into facilities to look for patients during pick-up.
  • Members who have suspected or confirmed COVID-19 symptoms will not be transported by NEMT and will need to request ambulance transportation with notification that the request is for a suspected of confirmed COVID-19 case.
  • Members will be able to use Family and Friends reimbursement program without prior approval.
  • Reimbursement for transportation will be allowed beyond the current 30 day deadline.

Will patients have to pay for testing and treatment of COVID-19?

No, members can receive COVID-19 testing and medically-necessary treatment at no cost. Members who typically have cost-sharing responsibility will have their cost-sharing (including copayments, deductible and coinsurance) waived for COVID-19 testing, consultation, vaccination, and treatment. Please note: this applies to testing and treatment from in-network providers. If testing and treatment is not available at in-network providers, services from out-of-network providers will be covered at no cost to the member.

Can member prescriptions be filled early?

Yes, BMC HealthNet Plan members may request early refills of medication if there are refills remaining on the prescription should there be in a situation requiring quarantine. This would allow the request of up to a 30-day supply of a medication before the next scheduled refill due date if needed.

Can members get their prescriptions by mail?

Yes, certain medications may be delivered by mail so that members do not have to pick them up at a local pharmacy. This option is available for maintenance medications that are filled regularly and used to treat conditions such as diabetes, asthma, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Members can receive a 90-day supply of medication delivered to their home. Our mail order pharmacy can assist with transferring prescriptions and will also work with our providers for a new prescription if necessary.

With the Mail Order Pharmacy program, MassHealth members can get a 90-day supply of medications for the same cost as a 30-day supply.

Are there changes to patient eligibility or access to health insurance?

Updated 4/15/20

MassHealth and the Health Connector are taking steps to protect member eligibility and ensure that patients can maintain health insurance and access to medical care throughout the COVID-19 crisis.

For Current MassHealth Members

MassHealth is temporarily suspending the recertification process to ensure that MassHealth members do not lose coverage. This applies to members due for recertification after March 18, 2020 and is available until the national emergency ends. The only scenarios where members will lose coverage is if they request to terminate coverage or move out of state.

For New MassHealth Applicants

MassHealth walk-in centers are currently closed. Members are encouraged to use alternate application methods.

Individuals under 65 years old or caretakers of children can apply:

Individuals that are 65 years or older, or are in need of Long-Term Care services can apply:

  • Using a paper application available here, or
  • By calling (800) 841-2900 TTY: (800) 497-4648.

MassHealth Eligibility Updates

Updated 4/15/20

  • MassHealth has expanded its Hospital-Determined Presumptive Eligibility (HPE) to allow individuals to receive multiple HPE benefits until the end of the month when the national emergency ends. See Eligibility Operations Memo 20-06 published in March 2020 for more detail.
  • If members applying to MassHealth are unable to verify certain eligibility factors, MassHealth will accept self-attestation for the eligibility factors listed below. This will last throughout the COVID-19 national emergency, and through the end of the month in which such national emergency period ends.
    • Residency
    • Disability
    • Income
    • Assets
    • Relationship
    • Access to health insurance
    • Pregnancy
    • Breast and cervical cancer diagnosis and/or treatment
    • HIV status

For New Health Connector Applicants

An extended enrollment period is now available for uninsured Massachusetts residents that need to buy health care coverage on the state exchange. LEARN MORE FROM THE MA HEALTHCONNECTOR

Are there any community resources for our providers?

We have gathered a list of resources to help our members obtain food, household supplies, and other health resources to keep them safe and at home. Please download our COVID-19 Resource Guide.

Where can I get the most up-to-date information on the COVID-19 virus?

Since information on COVID-19 is rapidly evolving, we recommend visiting the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website for additional resources.

How can I contact BMC HealthNet Plan if needed?

You can contact your Provider Relations Consultant if you have any further questions. Our staff is working remotely for the time being. Business and claims processing will continue as usual and our Provider Services line remains available during normal business hours. Our staff will not be making provider office visits at this time.

Additional Resources

Personal Support for Providers

During this pandemic, self-care for health care workers is essential. Many organizations and businesses are offering free or discounted services for hospital and health care workers across the state. We recommend searching online for local opportunities geared towards health care professionals in your area as many acts of good will are being shared statewide. Below are a few examples that you and your team members may benefit from:

  • Emergency childcare programs for health care workers
  • Health care workers self-care during COVID-19
  • Headspace: Currently free for healthcare providers with NPI#
  • Ten Percent Happier App: Currently free for healthcare professionals
    • To claim your complimentary subscription you will redeem the gift code (HEALTHCARE) on our website. Then log into the mobile app on your Apple or Android device using the same account and all the subscription contents of the app will be unlocked. Alternatively, just go to their Coronavirus Sanity Guide to access relevant free content/resources without creating an account
  • Free or discounted meals from area restaurants

Please contact your dedicated Provider Relations Consultant if you would like to receive updates by email. Otherwise, check back regularly for updates.

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