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Analysis

Humana Suspends Prior Authorization for Patient Care Related to COVID-19

By Jack O'Brien  
   April 02, 2020

The decision came days after the Louisville-based insurer waived customer cost-sharing and copays related to coronavirus treatment.

Humana Inc. announced Thursday morning that it would expand the suspension of prior authorization to all providers for patient care related to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), according to a press release.

The insurer also suspended prior authorization and referral requirements for in-network providers for patient care not directly related to COVID-19.

As another approach to provide "financial and administrative relief" to hospitals and health systems overwhelmed by the ongoing pandemic, Humana is expediting its claims processing to "get reimbursement payments to providers as quickly as possible."

Related: COVID-19 Outbreak Threatens Health Systems With New Financial Challenges

"Humana is committed to supporting clinicians by providing practical solutions to help alleviate administrative burden and boost system viability during these extraordinary times," William Shrank, M.D., M.S.H.S., CMO of Humana, said in a statement. "This initiative is of utmost importance to us in enabling health systems and the physician community to devote as much time and resources as possible to frontline patient care."

The decision came days after the Louisville-based insurer waived customer cost-sharing and copays related to coronavirus treatment.

Last week, Humana announced that its annual stockholder meeting on April 23 will be held in a virtual-only format, due to concerns about the spread of the coronavirus.

Related: Hospital Finance Leaders Brace for Operational Issues Related to COVID-19

Jack O'Brien is the finance editor at HealthLeaders, a Simplify Compliance brand.


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