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ASTRO tells payers to halt prior authorization during COVID-19 emergency

March 20, 2020

As efforts to respond to the COVID-19 public health emergency increase, ASTRO continues to advocate for flexibility and support for radiation oncology clinics with federal agencies and payers. On March 19, ASTRO urged United Healthcare, Aetna, and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association as well as CMS and radiation oncology benefit managers AIM, eviCore, and Healthhelp to suspend radiation therapy prior authorization requirements in an effort to reduce administrative burden during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has already approved several waivers, including one for the state of Florida involving a suspension of prior authorization for the state’s Medicaid program. In the letter, ASTRO urged payers to follow the Florida to minimize disruptions for cancer patients during this tumultuous time.

Practices are encouraged to contact the health policy team regarding policies that prevent radiation oncologists from treating cancer patients and supporting the COVID-19 response.