Radiology Imaging Program Questions and Answers Updated: March 2, 2021
Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey (Horizon BCBSNJ) collaborates with eviCore healthcare (eviCore) to manage the Advanced Imaging Services provided to our members through Prior Authorizations/Medical Necessity Determinations (PA/MND). Through our Radiology Imaging Program, eviCore helps to ensure that our members receive appropriate radiology/imaging services, provides clinical consultation to our participating health care professionals and assists in the scheduling of radiology/imaging services.
Q1. What is eviCore healthcare?
A1. eviCore is a specialty benefit management company that manages the quality and use of outpatient diagnostic and cardiac imaging, radiation therapy, pain management, spine surgery and other services. eviCore ensures that every treatment and test is medically necessary and absolutely appropriate for the individual patient.
Q2. What does eviCore do for Horizon BCBSNJ?
A2. eviCore works with Horizon BCBSNJ to manage the advanced imaging services (AIS) for our members through Prior Authorization/Medical Necessity Determinations (PA/MNDs) with physicians. eviCore helps ensure appropriate radiology/imaging services for our members, provides clinical consultation to our participating health care professionals and assists in the scheduling of radiology/imaging services.
Q3. What are the Advanced Imaging Services (AIS)?
A3. The AIS included in this program are:
- CT/CTA scans
- PET scans
- Nuclear medicine studies, including nuclear cardiology
Q4. Who is responsible for obtaining the PA/MND?
A4. It is the ordering physician’s (i.e., Primary Care Physician or specialist) responsibility to contact eviCore to obtain a PA/MND for AIS. eviCore will not accept a request for a PA/MND from the rendering physician. The rendering physician is responsible for verifying the status of PA or MND prior to rendering services. Physicians may check on the status of a PA/MND by visiting eviCore.com, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, or by calling eviCore at 1-866-496-6200, weekdays, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Eastern Time (ET), and Saturday and Sunday, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., ET.
Q5. Whom should the office contact to verify if a PA/MND is required?
A5. To verify if a PA/MND is required, visit eviCore.com 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You may also call eviCore at 1-866-496-6200, weekdays, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., ET, and Saturday and Sunday, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., ET.
Q6. Does eviCore allow for upgrades/downgrades to approved procedures?
A6. If an exam has not been performed; the procedure maybe upgraded or downgraded within seven calendar days. If the procedure has been performed; the procedure maybe upgraded or downgraded within seven calendar days.
The following categories of requests to change a CPT® code from the ordering provider or the site will be authorized immediately via the CPT Change Tool regardless of if/when the exam was performed, so long as the anatomic (area of the body) part is the same:
- All Computed Tomography (CT) exams: Any contrast change
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) exams: Any contrast change
- All requests to change any nuclear study to the nuclear study CPT code including single-photon emission computerized tomography (SPECT)
- All MRI Breast exams:
- Unilateral to Bilateral (77058 to 77059)
- Bilateral to Unilateral (77059 to 77058)
- Any change in the range of Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scans (78811, 78812, 78813, 78814, 78815 and 78816)
- Any change in the range of Echo CPT (93303-93308)
Q7. What services are available to physicians through eviCore.com/a>?
A7. Through eviCore.com physicians and their office staff have access to the following features:
- Tutorials provide program overviews and processes
- Physician guidelines display current evidence-based recommendations regarding imaging
- Eligibility lookup indicates which members require PA/MND
- Authorization requests allow offices to initiate authorization requests (requires registration)
- Authorization lookup displays the status of authorizations
- Downloadable forms, including fax submission forms
Q8. What is the turnaround time for a PA/MND?
A8. General requests for Commercial plans/products will be resolved within three business days, if all necessary clinical information is supplied. General requests for Medicare Advantage plans/products will be resolved no later than 14 calendar days after receipt of the request.
Q9. Are medically urgent requests accepted?
A9. Yes. eviCore accommodates medically urgent requests (non-life-threatening requests that can wait up to 24 hours) for PA/MND. Urgent cases for Commercial plans/products are handled within 24 hours of receipt of all necessary clinical information. Urgent cases for Medicare Advantage plans/products are handled no later than 72 hours after receipt of request. Please call eviCore at 1-866-496-6200 with urgent requests. Emergent cases should be directed to the nearest Emergency Room (ER); PA/MND is not required.
Q10. Which products require a PA/MND?
A10. A PA/MND is required for members enrolled in insured Horizon HMO, Horizon POS, Horizon Direct Access, Horizon PPO, Horizon EPO, Horizon Medicare Advantage and NJ DIRECT plans. PA/MNDs do not apply to radiology/imaging services rendered during ER visits or inpatient stays.
Q11. Do members enrolled in self-funded Administrative Services Only (ASO) groups require PA?
A11. Members of self-funded groups only participate in this program if the group opted in to this program. To verify if a PA is required for ASO members, call eviCore at 1-866-496-6200, weekdays, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., ET, and Saturday and Sunday, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., ET, or visit eviCore.com.
A PA/MND is required for members enrolled in Horizon NJ Health plans products. Please visit the Horizon NJ Health eviCore healthcare webpage.
Q12. Does this program apply to Horizon BCBSNJ members who have Medicare or another carrier as their primary coverage?
A12. This program does not apply to members for whom Horizon BCBSNJ is the secondary carrier.
Q13. Which products are excluded from this arrangement?
A13. Members enrolled in the following products are excluded from this program:
- Self-funded ASO groups (unless the groups have opted-into the program)
- Federal Employee Program®(FEP®)
Q14. What if the physician does not agree with eviCore's determination?
A14. Physicians who do not agree with eviCore’s determination may call eviCore’s Physician to Physician Consultation Line at 1-866-496-6200, option 1, then 4. You can discuss the details of the case in question with an eviCore medical director. In most cases, clinical information is clarified during these discussions.
Q15. Do the same rules apply if a radiology facility outside of New Jersey is used?
A15. If the radiology facility is located within our local service area and participates with Horizon BCBSNJ, the physician will need to obtain PA/MND from eviCore. Horizon BCBSNJ’s local service area includes all New Jersey counties, the counties in Delaware, New York and Pennsylvania that are contiguous to New Jersey, and Lehigh County, PA.
If the radiology facility does not participate with Horizon BCBSNJ, claims are processed against the member’s out-of-network benefits (if applicable) or through the BlueCard® program.
Q16. Do the same rules apply for non-participating rendering sites in the state of New Jersey?
A16. Yes, for members with out-of-network benefits, authorization should be obtained prior to services being rendered at a non-participating rendering site.
Q17. How does the enhanced scheduling process work for AIS?
A17. The enhanced AIS scheduling process is as follows:
- The ordering physician’s office contacts eviCore to request a PA/MND by either:
- Submitting a request on eviCore.com (available 24 hours a day, seven days a week)
- Calling eviCore at 1-866-496-6200, Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., ET, and Saturday and Sunday, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., ET
- Faxing a completed fax submission form to 1-800-637-5204
- eviCore will ask for relevant clinical information and history, including a completed fax submission form, clinical office notes, consultation reports and previous diagnostic reports.
- eviCore will contact the member to schedule the procedure at a participating rendering location. When possible, eviCore will conduct a three-way call with the member, eviCore and the rendering location to facilitate the scheduling process. Members may also call eviCore directly at 1-866-969-1234 to schedule the approved procedure. Members will receive a letter from eviCore confirming the scheduled appointment. If the physician calls to start the case on Saturday or Sunday, the office will be advised to have the member call eviCore at 1-866-969-1234 on Monday to schedule the procedure.
- Once the appointment is scheduled, eviCore will fax a notice to the physician’s office. The notice will include the PA/MND confirmation and the location where the imaging services will be performed. A member may call eviCore directly to schedule an appointment.
Q18. What is the Scheduling Line?
A18. The Scheduling Line is a service provided by eviCore to Horizon BCBSNJ physicians and members to assist in scheduling radiology/imaging procedures for patients. The Scheduling Line improves patient access to imaging services by helping the patient identify the Horizon BCBSNJ participating radiology/imaging facilities that most closely match their needs.
Physicians and members may call eviCore's Scheduling Line at 1-866-969-1234. eviCore's professional scheduling coordinators are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., ET, and with fax availability 24 hours a day, seven days a week. eviCore collects basic information, checks eligibility and connects members directly with the facility they select to schedule an appointment. eviCore provides the ordering physician and facility with a fax confirmation of the patient’s appointment, along with the unique tracking number.
Q19. Where can I get fax submission forms for this program?
A19. You can obtain fax submission forms at eviCore.com or by calling eviCore at 1-866-496-6200, weekdays, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., ET, and Saturday and Sunday, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., ET.
Q20. Can members choose which facility will provide their radiology services?
A20. Yes. Members may choose the facility to provide their radiology services. eviCore will schedule their visit.
Q21. What should ordering physicians give patients to schedule radiology/imaging services?
A21. Ordering physicians should give their patients a completed radiology prescription with instructions to call eviCore. A tracking number is not required if the ordering physician issues a referral for managed care members. PA/MND reviews are still required for AIS (MRI/MRA, CT/CTA, PET scans, nuclear medicine and nuclear cardiology).
Q22. What if a member wants to schedule other non-AIS radiology services (e.g., mammograms, X-rays, etc.)?
A22. Members may call eviCore’s Scheduling Line at 1-866-969-1234 to schedule a procedure. A tracking number will be issued for all services scheduled through eviCore.
Q23. What information should be provided to the Scheduling Line by the patient for non-AIS radiology imaging services?
A23. The patient should have his or her Horizon BCBSNJ member ID card number and the completed radiology prescription form available to schedule the appointment.
Q24. Are there products that do not require a number for non -AIS procedures?
A24. Yes, members enrolled in Horizon Direct Access, Horizon PPO or Traditional/Indemnity products do not require a tracking number or referral for non-AIS procedures. However, these members may use the Scheduling Line if they would like.
Q25. Is a referral still required for non-AIS procedures?
A25. No. Referrals are not required for radiology/imaging services rendered at non-hospital (freestanding) facilities or in the outpatient department of a participating hospital, as long as the services are scheduled through the Scheduling Line. The tracking number replaces the need for a referral for Horizon HMO, Horizon POS and Medicare Advantage patients. PA/MND reviews are still required for AIS (MRI/MRA, CT/CTA, PET scans, nuclear medicine and nuclear cardiology).
Q26. Where can I get more information on Horizon BCBSNJ’s coding logic, claim edits and multiple procedure bundling for radiology/imaging services?
A26. Our coding logic is based on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) National Correct Coding Initiative (NCCI) and the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005. For more information on Horizon BCBSNJ’s coding logic, claim edits and multiple procedure bundling for radiology/imaging services, visit HorizonBlue.com/radiologyimaging and select Radiology/Cardiology Imaging Program Rules Bank.
Q27. Whom should I call if I have questions about these programs?
A27. Call eviCore directly at 1-866-496-6200, Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., ET, and Saturday and Sunday, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., ET, or you may contact your Network Specialist.
The Blue Cross® and Blue Shield® names and symbols and Federal Employee Program® and FEP® are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. The Horizon® name and symbols are registered marks of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey.© 2020 Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey. Three Penn Plaza East, Newark, New Jersey 07105. eviCore healthcare is independent company that supports Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey in administration of utilization management services.