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BCBSAZ COVID-19 response strategies

BCBSAZ emergency measures at a glance (01/30/23)

BCBSAZ emergency measures

In support of acute care hospitals as they respond to the growing increase in serious cases of COVID-19, influenza, and RSV, Blue Cross® Blue Shield® of Arizona (BCBSAZ) has temporarily reinstated the waiver of preservice reviews for skilled nursing facilities (SNFs). Effective December 12, 2022, we will waive preservice review requirements for all patient transitions from acute care to SNFs only. See current list of emergency measures.

See details:
Preservice review waiver extended through February (1/30/23)
Temporary waiver of preservice reviews for skilled nursing facilities (12/09/22)

COVID-19 vaccines

BCBSAZ covers the expanded range of COVID-19 vaccine boosters. BCBSAZ and most of our self-funded employers are currently covering the cost of administering the vaccine and boosters, with no member cost share and no prior authorization.

See details:
COVID-19 vaccine booster update (11/23/21)
BCBSAZ to cover expanded range of COVID-19 vaccine boosters (10/27/21)
Overcoming COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy (01/06/2021)

BCBSAZ has temporarily paused the monoclonal antibody treatment program in accordance with federal guidance

With the rise of COVID-19 infections from the Omicron variant, the FDA and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have paused the distribution of the monoclonal antibody drugs that have been effectively used against earlier strains of the virus. The following therapeutics are less effective against the Omicron variant:

  • Bamlanivimab and etesevimab together
  • Etesevimab alone

For this reason, effective December 30, 2021, we have paused the Blue Cross® Blue Shield® of Arizona (BCBSAZ) monoclonal antibody (mAb) treatment program. We are not currently accepting orders from network providers for treatment. 

The sotrovimab therapeutic is active against Omicron, but is still very limited in supply. We are hopeful that we can resume our program once sotrovimab becomes more widely available.

COVID-19 treatment guidelines 
BCBSAZ covers COVID-19 treatment in accordance with the public health emergency authorizations and guidance from the following sources:

See details:

BCBSAZ pauses monoclonal antibody program (12/30/21)

Supporting our community

Community Support

Some examples of how we’ve partnered with state and local leaders include:

  •  Helping to facilitate testing

  •  Offering funding for needed supplies

  •  Contributing to food banks and other community resources to support essential services

  •  Assisting state leadership in creating multiple, highly efficient COVID-19 vaccination clinic sites

Mitigating exposure through virtual services

Virtual services have become an important part of a coordinated response to the coronavirus pandemic. BCBSAZ has expanded this coverage and in many cases is waiving member cost share.

See updates:
Telehealth – BCBSAZ Quick Reference Guide (01/28/22)

Supporting high-risk members with care management

The BCBSAZ Care Management program provides support to high-risk and critically ill patients who could benefit from enhanced care coordination.

See details and referral information:
BCBSAZ offers support for members at high risk for severe COVID-19 illness (04/01/20)

Protecting our members

BCBSAZ is taking steps to protect the safety and well-being of its members.

See details:
COVID-19 updates and support for members

Provider resources

Vaccine provider onboard form
Response overview page
Healthcare Provider page
Provider hotline for COVID-19 testing and patient guidance: 1-844-652-8201 (AZ Poison Control)

COVID-19 Benefit Updates page

COVID-19 Resources for Dentists page (includes practice management resources)
COVID-19 Coding and Billing – Interim Guidance (includes information on teledentistry)

COVID-19 Updates page

COVID-19 Pandemic page