Understand Prior Authorization - Full details

Prior Authorizations:

Prior authorization (pre-service requests) allows for the use of quality, cost-efficient covered health care services and helps to ensure that effective transition of care planning is done so that members receive the most appropriate level of care within the most appropriate setting. Prior authorization must be obtained for all services not included on the Quick Authorization Form (QAF) for PCP’s (see section above) that require an authorization.

SHP’s UM Department evaluates requests for services/procedures and makes determinations based on medical necessity, covered benefits and appropriateness based on SHP’s approved utilization criteria (Interqual) and evidence-based, nationally recognized clinical guidelines. Only a Medical Director may issue an adverse determination, with the exception of denials due to benefit issues. No provider or any other individual or SHP employee or associate is rewarded for issuing denials of coverage or care. Financial incentives will NOT encourage decisions that would result in underutilization nor are incentives to create barriers to care and services.

Prior Authorization Requests are to be made through the SHP’s UM Pre-Certification Department.

Prior Authorization or Notification Process:

*  Providers are to fax the Referral & Authorization Form (refer to Forms Section) to the SHP’s Utilization Management Pre-Certification Department at Fax number 1-800-283- 2114 or by calling the PreCertification Telephone Queue 1-800- 887-6888, ext 2271.

*  Routine (NOT STAT/URGENT) requests are processed within fourteen (14)

calendar days of the Plan receiving the authorization request and having received all supporting clinical information.


STAT/URGENT requests are processed within seventy-two (72) hours of the Plan receiving the request and having received the supporting clinical information.


NOTE: STAT/URGENT Authorizations should be CALLED IN to the SHP Pre-Certification Authorization Telephone Queue and NOT faxed, and the caller should identify the request as “STAT/URGENT”. These requests should always meet the defined medical criteria for such which are:

STAT/URGENT: Any condition where failure to issue an immediate response may result in an IRREVERSIBLE SIGNIFICANT, ADVERSE outcome of health and/or function.

*  Each Referral & Authorization Form received from the provider’s offices will be date and time- stamped, manually or electronically and is reviewed for completeness, eligibility, benefits, PCP and specialist network affiliation

*  The Referral & Authorization Form must be accompanied by supporting clinical information for medical necessity determination

*  An authorization number will be provided, via fax, to the PCP, specialist and other provider(s) that will provide services to the member, when the request is completed and approved

*  All authorization requests and documentation of supporting clinical information will be entered and maintained within the SHP computer system for future reference and claims payment

When faxing a Prior Authorization Request, the SHP Referral & Authorizations Form must be completed. The requesting provider is reminded to include:

*  Member demographic information (i.e. name, sex, DOB, SHP  Member Number)
*  Provider demographic information
* Requesting provider (i.e. name, SHP Provider Number, phone number, fax number, contact person)
* Referred-to specialist/facility (i.e. name, SHP Provider Number, address, phone number, fax number, date of service, and identification if PAR (Plan participating provider/facility) or Non-PAR (not a Plan participating
provider/facility)
*  Diagnoses for authorization request, including ICD-9 Code(s)
*  Procedure(s) for authorization request, including CPT/HCPCS Code(s)
*  Number of visits requested, frequency and duration
*  Pertinent medical history and treatment, laboratory and/or radiological data, physical examinations/referrals that support the medical necessity for the requested service(s)

Requests that do not meet medical necessity, based upon approved criteria are reviewed by the Medical Director for a final determination. The Medical Director may conduct a peer-to-peer discussion with the requesting provider, if indicated.

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