Services Requiring Prior Authorization

Prior authorization lookup tool

Prior authorization is not a guarantee of payment for the service(s) authorized. Keystone First reserves the right to adjust any payment made following a review of the medical record and determination of medical necessity of the services provided.

Important payment notice

Please note that reimbursement for all rendering network providers subject to the ordering/referring/prescribing (ORP) requirement for an approved authorization is determined by satisfying the mandatory requirement to have a valid Pennsylvania Medical Assistance (MA) Provider ID. Claims submitted by rendering network providers that are subject to the ORP requirement will be denied when billed with the NPI of an ORP provider that is not enrolled in MA.

To check the MA enrollment status of the practitioner ordering, referring, or prescribing the service you are providing, visit the DHS provider look-up portal.

Members with Medicare coverage may go to Medicare Health Care Providers of choice for Medicare covered services, whether or not the Medicare Health Care Provider has complied with Keystone First’s Prior Authorization requirements. Keystone First’s policies and procedures must be followed for Non-Covered Medicare services.

The following is a list of services requiring prior authorization review for medical necessity and place of service.

  1. All elective (scheduled) inpatient hospital admissions, medical and surgical including rehabilitation
  2. All elective transplant evaluations and procedures
  3. Elective/non-emergent Air Ambulance Transportation
  4. All elective transfers for inpatient and/or outpatient services between acute care facilities
  5. Skilled Nursing facility admission for alternate levels of care in a facility, either free-standing or part of a hospital, that accepts patients in need of skilled level rehabilitation and/or medical care that is of lesser intensity than that received in a hospital, not to include long term care placements
  6. Gastroenterology services (codes 91110 and 91111 only)
  7. Bariatric surgery
  8. Pain management services performed in a short procedure unit (SPU) or ambulatory surgery unit (either hospital-based or free-standing) and pain management services not on the Medical Assistance fee schedule performed in a physician’s office.
  9. Cosmetic procedures, regardless of treatment setting, to include, but not limited to the following: reduction mammoplasty, gastroplasty, ligation and stripping of veins, and rhinoplasty
  10. Outpatient Therapy Services (physical, occupational, speech)
    • Prior authorization is not required for an evaluation and up to 24 visits per discipline within a calendar year
    • Prior authorization is required for services exceeding 24 visits per discipline within a calendar year
  11. Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation
  12. Chiropractic services after the initial visit
  13. Home Health Services by a network provider
    • Prior authorization is not required for up to 6 home visits per modality per calendar year including: skilled nursing visits by a RN or LPN; Home Health Aide visits; Physical Therapy; Occupational Therapy and Speech Therapy
    • The duration of services may not exceed a 60 day period. The member must be re-evaluated every 60 days
    • All Shiftcare/Private Duty Nursing services, including services performed at a medical daycare or Prescribed Pediatric Extended Care Center (PPECC)
    • Injectables
    • Home Sleep Study
  14. DME
    • Purchase of all items in excess of $750
    • DME monthly rental items regardless of the per month cost/charge
    • The purchase of all wheelchairs (motorized and manual) and all wheelchair items (components) regardless of cost per item
    • The rental of all wheelchairs (motorized and manual) and all wheelchair items (components) regardless of cost per item
    • Prior authorization is required for members over the age of 21
    • Prior authorization is required when the request is in excess of $350/month for members under the age of 21
    • Any request in excess of 300 a month for diapers or pull-ups or a combination of both.
    • Requests for brand specific diapers.
    • All requests for diapers supplied by a DME provider, other than J&B Medical Supply, Bright Medical Supply, King of Prussia Pharmacy, or Matts Pharmacy & Medical Supply (refer to the Durable Medical Equipment section of provider manual for complete details)
  15. Home Oxygen Therapy
    • All requests for oxygen and oxygen equipment require authorization. Initial authorizations are for 6 months and reauthorizations require an updated prescription with current oxygen saturation level (refer to the Durable Medical Equipment section for complete requirements and details).
  16. Any service(s) performed by non-participating or non-contracted practitioners or providers, unless the service is an emergency service
  17. All services that may be considered experimental and/or investigational
  18. Neurological Psychological Testing
  19. Genetic Laboratory Testing
  20. All miscellaneous/unlisted or not otherwise specified codes
  21. Any service/product not listed on the Medical Assistance Fee Schedule or services or equipment in excess of limitations set forth by the Department of Human Services fee schedule, benefit limits and regulation. (Regardless of cost, i.e. above or below the $500 DME threshold)
  22. Ambulance Transportation to and from Prescribed Pediatric Extended Care Center PPECC/Medical Daycare Guidelines:
    • Member under 21 years of age
    • Member approved for services at a PPECC/Medical Daycare
    • Member requires intermittent or continuous oxygen, ventilator support and/or critical physiologic monitoring or critical medication(s) during transport requiring ambulance level of care
    • There are no existing mechanisms for caregivers to transport the member
    • Request for ambulance services are prior authorized along with initial request for PPECC/Medical Daycare services, with each re-authorization of Medical Daycare services, and/or when there is a change in level of care regarding oxygen, ventilator support and/or specific medical treatment during transport
      Rapid Response Transportation Department will be notified with each ambulance approval to initiate and/or continue ambulance transport services
  23. Radiology - The following services, when performed as an outpatient service, requires prior authorization by Keystone First’s radiology benefits vendor. Refer to the Radiology Services section of provider manual for details.
    • Positron Emission Tomography (PET)
    • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)/Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA)
    • Nuclear Cardiology/MPI
    • Computed Axial Tomography (CT/CTA/CCTA)

      Emergency room, Observation Care and inpatient imaging procedures do not require Prior Authorization.

  24. Select prescription medications. For information on which prescription drugs require authorization, visit the Pharmacy Prior Authorization page.
  25. Select dental services. For information on which dental services require authorization, please refer to the Dental Services section of provider manual.
  26. Elective termination of pregnancy – Refer to the Termination of Pregnancy section of provider manual for complete details.
  27. Home Modifications

*Prior authorization is not a guarantee of payment for the service(s) authorized. Keystone First reserves the right to adjust any payment made following a review of the medical record and determination of medical necessity of the services provided.