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After-Hours Access is Required

December 28, 2012

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) requires that Primary Care Physicians and Specialty Care Physicians and other Professional Providers provide urgent care & emergency care or coverage for care 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They must have a verifiable mechanism in place, for immediate response, for directing patients to alternative after hours care based on the urgency of the patient's need. 

Acceptable after-hours access mechanisms may include:

  • an answering service that offers to call or page the physician or on-call physician; 
  • a recorded message that directs the patient to call the answering service and the phone number is provided; or
  • a recorded message that directs the patient to call or page the physician or on-call physician and the phone number is provided.

For more detail, please refer to the BlueChoice® Physician and Other Professional Provider Manual (Section B) and the HMO Blue® Texas Physician and Other Professional Provider Manual (Section B), available on the BCBSTX website at bcbstx.com/provider.  Click on the "Education & Reference" tab, then click on "Manuals" and enter the password.