DURHAM — Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina announced it will speed up payments to providers as they deal with potential short-term cash flow challenges from COVID-19.
According to a Friday release, the company said it is also fast-tracking proactive steps to support hospitals, physicians, nurses and thousands of other health care providers across North Carolina as they mount a response to COVID-19.
“The COVID-19 pandemic requires everyone in the health care community to work together and do their part,” said Rahul Rajkumar, chief medical officer at Blue Cross N.C. “For Blue Cross NC, supporting our members means supporting our front-line health care providers. The steps we’re taking will increase cashflow, remove administrative tasks and reduce strain on the system. We will continue to respond to this crisis to best serve our members and support doctors, nurses and hospitals.”
Blue Cross N.C. has put the following measures into place to assist doctors, hospitals and other health care providers:
- Speeding payments to providers. Blue Cross N.C. is enhancing claims payment processes to speed payments to providers to help alleviate revenue and potential short-term cash flow challenges during the pandemic. These measures mean 90% of claims will be paid within 14 days. A significant portion of these will be paid in seven days or less.
- Removing administrative tasks to ensure access and speed up care. North Carolina hospitals are anticipating a surge of patients in the next two weeks during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. In response, Blue Cross N.C. has suspended many administrative requirements, such as prior authorization for acute inpatient hospitalization, so hospitals can ensure access to care for the maximum number of patients, regardless of a COVID-19 diagnosis. Blue Cross N.C. is not requiring prior approval for any medically necessary services if a patient is diagnosed with COVID-19.
- Reinforcing the health care workforce. Blue Cross N.C. is speeding its credentialing process to help meet the demand for clinicians related to the COVID-19 pandemic. It will credential physicians and physician assistants applying due to COVID-19 treatment needs within 72 hours of receipt of the necessary application, consistent with the N.C. Medical Board’s processes.
- Offering paid time off for medical staff. Blue Cross N.C. is offering two weeks of paid time off for its medical staff to volunteer to help with COVID-19 care.