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Global Shortage of Iodinated Contrast Media – Preauthorization Update

Audience: Participating Physicians and Facilities

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield in partnership with eviCore healthcare MSI, an independent company, is closely monitoring the global shortage of iodinated contrast media and is aligned with recent recommendations from the American College of Radiology Committee (ACR) on Drugs and Contrast Media. 

CT or MR study preauthorizations originally requested with contrast can be billed without contrast. It is not necessary to contact the Health Plan or eviCore to modify the original authorization. Additionally, all authorizations will be extended for 90 days from the date of approval until the shortage subsides. 

In addition to prioritizing and using existing supplies, providers should consider an alternative study. In most instances the alternative study is a non-contrast CT. There may be a few situations where an MRI is indicated if a contrasted CT cannot be performed. MRIs should not be authorized routinely when a contrasted CT cannot be performed. An MRI may be appropriate when the eviCore evidence-based guidelines explicitly support approval for an MRI if a contrasted CT is not clinically supported, or if, after a non-contrast CT study, clinical questions remain that would affect patient management.  In these circumstances, please contact eviCore directly to alter the CPT code if necessary. Refer to the applicable imaging guidelines at eviCore.com for further information.

We hope that you find this temporary modification of preauthorization requirements helpful as you conduct your daily business with the Health Plan. We will provide you with updates as necessary. View the ACR Committee statement at acr.org/Advocacy-and-Economics/ACR-Position-Statements/Contrast-Media-Shortage  

Thank you for the valuable care that you provide to our members. If you have questions, contact your Provider Relations representative.

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