The leading practice resource for behavioral health providers — since 1974

Volume 35, No. 1, Issue 417
January, 2009


Has OptumHealth changed its policy on retroactive authorization?  Two billers we spoke with--one on the East Coast and one in the Midwest--say the company, formerly UBH, has told their clients that as of January 1 retroactive or backdated authorizations are no longer being made over the phone.  Backdated authorizations are still being done online, but will only go back three days, according to the billers, Jean Thoensen of PsychBiller, LLC in Centreville, VA, and Susan Frager of Psych Administrative Partners in Lacey, WA.  Provider relations personnel have confirmed the change, they tell us.  But an OptumHealth spokesman says it’s not that simple.  He tells us that backdated authorizations will be made “as an exception rather than the rule.”  He adds, “There is not automatic number of days that will be covered for retro authorization.”  We recommend double-checking the policy with the OptumHealth provider relations office you work with.