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BCBSAZ COVID-19 response strategies

BCBSAZ emergency measures at a glance  (12/1/21)

BCBSAZ emergency measures

In response to the impact of increased COVID-19 cases and concerns about hospital capacity across the state, Blue Cross® Blue Shield® of Arizona (BCBSAZ) is continuing the waiver of preservice reviews for all transitions from acute care to post-acute care facilities. We are also waiving preservice reviews for transitions to post-acute home nursing visits – see current list.

See details:
BCBSAZ supports Arizona hospitals as severe COVID-19 cases surge (11/29/21)
BCBSAZ reinstates preservice review waiver for post-acute care admissions (08/12/21)

COVID-19 vaccines

BCBSAZ covers the expanded range of COVID-19 vaccine boosters. See our November 23 newsletter for details about this and the “mix and match” approach to using the authorized brands interchangeably. For immunocompromised individuals (as defined by the CDC), the third dose must be one of the two authorized mRNA vaccines (Pfizer or Moderna). BCBSAZ and most of our self-funded employers are currently covering the cost of administering the vaccine, with no member cost share and no prior authorization, for the duration of the public health emergency.

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)
COVID-19 vaccines – What you need to know (12/15/2020)
Become an approved COVID-19 vaccine administrator (12/11/2020)

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
  • REGEN-COV

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 no 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 

For more information about COVID-19 treatment guidelines while Omicron is the dominant variant, see the NIH COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines. You can also access the FDA information on the emergency use of drugs and non-vaccine biological products.

See details:

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

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