Is the Beacon Turning Off?

February 9, 2016

  • Physicians in Florida must now get pre-authorization for many typical lab tests
  • They must also use separate proprietary software to do so
  • Physicians are fighting back against the cost-cutting programs

Many physicians in Florida are more than a bit upset about UnitedHealthcare’s (UHC) BeaconLBS® program, which is managed by Laboratory Corporation of America.  The key frustration seems to be that for many of the typical lab tests, physicians must now get a pre-notification or pre-authorization, and they must use BeaconLBS’ own system. This frustration is echoed in Florida Senate Bill 1084 which would limit these “benefit management programs” (read: cost cutting programs).

Why is UHC doing this? The goal is, since the physician now has to get a pre-authorization for these simple tests, and UHC now has the option to deny them, the volume of tests will decrease, saving money for UHC.

So in summary, the referring physicians now have to get pre-authorization for tests which they used to order without any authorization, and they have to use separate proprietary software to do so.

If this is the future of healthcare, then it is good to see the physicians pushing back.

Many of our clients have been pursued by BeaconLBS over the past few years, and it has always seemed the rules and payment structure where vague. We’ve helped them navigate the issues and fight for their revenue.

If you have questions you can contact Mick Raich at Vachette Pathology, 517-486-4262 or at mraich@vachettepathology.com

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