Insurance preauthorization denials spark inquiries
By Emily Berry, amednews staff. Posted April 15, 2010.
Years of physician complaints about Delaware health plans' utilization management programs have culminated in inquiries from a U.S. senator and the state's insurance commissioner.
Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D, W.Va.) wrote to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Delaware March 25, citing news reports that said the plan, through contracted utilization manager MedSolutions, was routinely denying requests for prior authorization for cardiac stress tests, even in cases where they appeared to be obviously medically necessary.
Rockefeller, who chairs the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, asked the company to give his office its records, including an explanation for every denial of a cardiac diagnostic test in the last five years.
Then on March 27, state Insurance Commissioner Karen Weldin Stewart announced she had formed a task force and was investigating prior authorization denials by the Blues, Coventry Health Care and Aetna, all of which have hired MedSolutions.
In a statement released that day, she said that until her department had completed its work, the Delaware Blues had agreed to eliminate preauthorization requirements for high-tech radiology services.