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Updated Guidance on COVID-19 Coverage

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas (BCBSKS) continues to monitor COVID-19 closely.  We continue to support our members and providers during the ongoing pandemic. Please note the following updates to our coverage:

The following coverage updates due to COVID-19 are now permanent changes:

  • Oxygen Saturations during Telehealth Visit

    Many patients are turning to telehealth visits during the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to keep everyone’s health as our top priority, BCBSKS is allowing physicians to use a patient’s oxygen saturations, taken with their personal pulse ox reader, to determine the best way to treat them.

  • End Bypass Medical Review for Respiratory Testing and Flu Panels

The following coverage updates due to COVID-19 have been extended to the end of the public health emergency or the end of the year, whichever occurs first.

  • COVID-19 Treatment

    All member cost-share for fully insured groups will be waived. (Note: State of Kansas employer group will NOT be extending this coverage beyond their current 05/28/21 end date.)

  • Telehealth/Virtual Services

    In response to a continued demand for telehealth services related to the pandemic, BCBSKS expanded telehealth and virtual services coverage for providers. This includes:

    • Telehealth visits paid at parity to in-person services.
    • Use of telehealth by doctors and other healthcare providers for the diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19, as well as other conditions that are medically reasonable to be treated in this manner – e-Visits, virtual hospice services, partial hospitalization and hospital-based physical, speech and occupational therapy services.
  • Precertification/Continued Stay Review

    BCBSKS will waive the inpatient pre-certification and continued stay review requirement for COVID-19 admissions.

  • Transfers to Long Term Acute Care and Inpatient Rehabilitation

    Beginning with admissions on or after November 24, 2020, we recognize that it may become necessary again for our acute hospitals to transfer non-COVID-19 patients to alternative care settings.  Upon notification of the transfer, BCBSKS will approve admissions to long term acute care (LTAC) and inpatient rehab settings without requesting medical records.

If you have any questions regarding this newsletter, please contact your BCBSKS provider consultant/representative.

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