November 05, 2013
Area(s) of Interest: Commercial Payors Payor Issues and Reimbursement Practice Management
Anthem Blue Cross will soon be migrating member eligibility, benefits and claim status inquiry functions from its ProviderAccess portal to the Availity Health Information Network web portal. Citing ease of use, broad functionality and breadth of services provided through the Availity portal, Blue Cross will transition these electronic functions exclusively to Availity in the coming months. Blue Cross has not, however, announced a completion date for the transition.
While BlueCard eligibility and benefits functions will transition to Availity, the BlueCard Advisor function that allows practices to determine which Blues plan to send the claim to will continue to be available on the ProviderAccess website.
In order to access information on the Availity website, practices must first register and sign the Availity Organizational Access Agreement.
Earlier this year, the California Medical Association (CMA) received calls from some practices concerned about the security of the Availity website and any potential liability for physicians under privacy and security laws, including HIPAA. CMA contacted Availity to address potentially problematic language in its agreement.
CMA’s Center for Economic Services and Legal Counsel worked collaboratively with Availity to address the specific areas of concern within the agreement to ensure that physicians would be able to meet their obligations under HIPAA.
We are pleased to report that Availity amended its agreement to reflect CMA’s feedback and also released an updated agreement via email on October 21 to those who had signed prior versions. The updated agreement clearly incorporates a business associate agreement and will make it easier for physicians who use Availity to be in compliance with their obligations under the new HIPAA regulations.
Practices wishing to register for access to the Availity web portal should go to www.availity.com/providers/registration-details. Or, to view the current Availity free training webinar schedule, go to www.rsvpbook.com/AvailityWest.