Prior Authorization Exemptions                      (Texas House Bill 3459)

Important: We have reviewed prior authorizations (PA) for PA Exemptions to be effective March 1, 2024.  If you qualified for a PA Exemption, it is available via the Provider Correspondence Viewer  via Availity on 03/01/2024. If you submitted a mail or email preference for HB3459 communications, prior to 02/05/24, it will also be sent via your preference. 

Prior Authorization Exemptions Summary

Under Texas House Bill 3459 providers may qualify for an exemption from submitting prior authorization requests for specific health care service(s) for all fully insured (TDI is indicated on the card) and certain Administrative Services Only groups.

Exemption Status 

BCBSTX will periodically review required prior authorizations submitted to determine if providers qualify for any exemptions for specific services or review claims to determine if the provider still meets the qualifications to keep a previously issued exemption.

During the applicable review period for new PA Exemptions, providers who submitted at least 5 required prior authorizations for applicable members are reviewed to determine if least 90% of the reviewed requests were approved by BCBSTX. If a provider meets these qualifications a PA  Exemption is issued for the applicable particular health care service(s). Refer to Re-evaluation of Prior Authorization Exemption Status below for information on continuation of PA exemptions after they are issued. 

Accessing Exemption Status Communications

Providers can view all of your PA Exemption communications via the Provider Correspondence Viewer on our BCBSTX-branded Availity® Payer Spaces. If you are currently not signed up for Availity, you can do so free of charge by registering at Availity or by contacting Availity Client Services at 1-800-282-4548. Refer to the Provider Correspondence Viewer page to learn how to view your exemption status notices online and view our user guide.

Per the Texas Department of Insurance regulation, providers can complete the Prior Authorization Exemption Communication Preference Questionnaire to notify BCBSTX of your preferred communication method.

If you complete a Prior Authorization Exemption Communication Preference Questionnaire, your prior authorization exemption status communication will be delivered by your preferred method if received at least 30 days prior to the distribution of any notifications. Any requests received later will be used for future communications. If you previously, submitted a request and do not have any changes we will continue to honor your specified preference. In addition, all initial determination and renewal communications of prior authorization status will be available via Availity®. We is not responsible if the email address provided is no longer valid or blocks email from BCBSTX. If an email is used and that person leaves the practice, providers are responsible for updating the PA Exemption Communications Preference Questionnaire.

Have a Question?

If you are a BCBSTX participating provider with a general inquiry, contact your local Network Management Representative for assistance. Non-participating providers can complete the PA Exemption Inquiry Form.

If you would like to request an appeal of a denied exemption for a specific treatment setting or care category, complete the PA Exemption Appeal Form

Both forms can be emailed to TX PA Exemption InquiriesIn addition, you can also file a complaint with the Texas Department of Insurance.

Prior Authorization Exemption Process

  • PA Exemption does not supersede benefits or eligibility requirements.
  • Prior to rendering services, please confirm benefits and eligibility through Availity or your preferred electronic vendor or by contacting BCBSTX. This process will also notify you if the service has a PA exemption for the member submitted.
  • We request you submit a notification to determine the initial length of stay or initial units for service(s) with a PA Exemption. Notification can be submitted via Availity® Authorizations & Referrals or by calling the number on the back of the member’s ID card. A Notification Acknowledgement for the specific service(s) allowable per the PA exemption will be provided.
  • Any days/units beyond what is outlined in the Notification Acknowledgement will require submission of an extension request (or concurrent review) and may be subject to a medical necessity review. 
  • For members not covered per HB3459 by the PA exemption, providers will need to continue to request the appropriate prior authorizations.
  • For ordering or referring physicians or providers who may not be submitting claims, claims submitted by the rendering or billing provider must include the referring provider in Box 17 and 17B of the HCFA 1500 and in Box 76-79 on UB-04 claims or the applicable field on electronic submission.

Services Applicable to Prior Authorization Exemption

Below is a list of the TX Prior Authorization Exemption Inpatient Treatment/Types and Outpatient Care Categories that may be reviewed.  In addition, we have the TX HB3459 Elective Prior Authorization (PA) Exemption Clinical Guidelines which contains a list of the PA exempted services or codes applicable to the specific Inpatient Treatment/Types or Outpatient Care Categories as indicated on your notification. Providers should refer to the lists of services that require prior authorization on the Utilization Management page.

List of TX Prior Authorization Exemption Inpatient Treatment/Types and Outpatient Care Categories List

PA Exemption Clinical Guidelines

Re-evaluation of Prior Authorization Exemption Status

Your exemption will last at least six months and may be re-evaluated after that time to determine if you still meet the exemption requirement for the particular health care service (s) and/or other qualifying care categories. We will review at least 5 randomly chosen claims submitted during the evaluation period against medical necessity criteria.

  • If the review meets the 90% approval threshold, your PA exemption will continue and may be evaluated during a future evaluation period. 
  • If the 90% approval threshold is not met, you will be sent a rescission notice which includes a list of the claims reviewed. To protect the privacy of our members, this notice will be sent under the TAX ID that billed the claims. If a provider has more than one TAX ID, the other Tax IDs, will receive a copy of the rescission notice that does not include claim data. 

You can request a review of your rescission conducted by an Independent Review Organization not associated with BCBSTX. Refer to your notification for information on how to submit the request for an IRO review. The request can be submitted via fax 1-972-907-1868 or mail BCBSTX PO Box 660044 Dallas, TX 75266. It must be received before the rescission effective date on your notice. The Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) will assign the IRO provider and the IRO will make a decision within 30 days of receipt of the request.  For information about the independent review process, please contact TDI at 1-866-554-4926, option 2 or email

If a PA exemption for a particular health service is rescinded, unless you request an appeal for an IRO, you will need to request prior authorization for all services when required as of the effective date of the rescission. If your PA exemption is rescinded, it will be reviewed again after 6 months to determine if it can be reinstated.

Related Links

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