United Healthcare Delays Lab Registry and Billing Requirement Until 2022

December 16, 2020

United Healthcare (UHC) announced it will delay implementation of a controversial hospital lab billing policy until January 1, 2022. UHC had previously delayed implementation to April 1, 2021. UHC had notified hospitals of a new requirement that they register and bill hospital lab services to UHC using hospital-specific lab codes, rather than the standard CPT codes required by CMS and other carriers. The proposed policy was originally to go into effect December 2020. The American Hospital Association and hospitals challenged the new policy due to significant implementation costs during the COVID-19 emergency. Hospitals also believe the policy conflicts with HIPAA provisions regarding standard billing codes, forcing hospitals to build and maintain separate billing infrastructure for UHC claims. While UHC agreed to the delay, it has not indicated that it plans to withdraw the proposal. (Andrew Busz, AndrewB@wsha.org


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