BlueCross is always looking for ways to simplify our business processes and make it easier for providers to partner with us. Specifically, we are working hard to improve your online experience, giving you easy access to the information you need most.
BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee (BCBST) and Availity have teamed up to make it easier for you to manage healthcare for our members online.
In the coming months, we will share more about the Availity platform and how to begin using it. As changes emerge, you will see eBusiness and other BlueCross resources leading efforts on education, provider engagement, and training. We will communicate any changes or updates in advance. Be sure to check back here often, read the monthly BlueAlert provider newsletters, and check our website for updates: www.bcbst.com/providers.
BCBST’s secure portal at www.bcbst.com/providers will remain available during the transition to Availity.
One password is the key to information from multiple payers.
The Availity Provider Portal is a multi-payer site where you can use a single user ID and password to work with BCBST and other participating payers online. Availity is compliant with all HIPAA regulations, and there is no cost for providers to register or use any of the online tools.
If you are not registered for the Availity Provider Portal, please register now so you have access to the most up-to-date resources and tools for working with BCBST. Go to Availity.com and select REGISTER.
Q: What is the Availity Provider Portal?
A: The Availity Provider Portal is a multi-payer site where you can use a single user ID and password to work with BCBST and other participating payers online. Availity is compliant with all HIPAA regulations, and there is no cost for providers to register or use any of the online tools.
Q: What features does Availity offer?
A: Initially, the new portal will be used for reviewing eligibility and benefits, claims status and remittance advices with more features added throughout the year. It will also feature a BlueCross-specific “payer space”, which offers providers direct access to BlueCross applications and updates.
- Unified Member Search – This custom member search will closely match our capabilities in BlueAccessSM, and will include search options by SSN, name and DOB.
- BlueCard® - Searches for your out-of-state members will be available in the same interface, which means you will no longer have to use a separate application to view your out-of-state members (a valid ID and prefix will still be required). As long as you know the Blue prefix and patient ID you can search for both eligibility and benefits and claim status for BlueCard, FEP, and in-state members in one place. To gain maximum value from these features at Availity, be sure you start using the Prefix and Patient ID in all of your searches and claim submissions.
- Claims Management Tool – BlueCross will be among the first payers to implement Availity’s upgraded Claim Management Tool for managing claim follow-up tasks. A customized search for BlueCross will include rejected claims, as well as adjudicated claims.
- ERA to view remits – You can view and download your Electronic Remittance Advices (ANSI X12 835) from within the Availity Provider Portal if:
- Your NPI and Tax ID are enrolled with BCBST for ERAs via CAQH,
- Your organization is enrolled for ERAs within Availity’s Remittance Advice application, and
- Your user account is part of the ‘Remits’ role at Availity.
Since 835s are delivered mid-week due to federal CORE Operating Rules for EFT/ERA, you should see remits on Availity no later than Thursday of a given week.
If you need to view payment data or the BCBST copy of a remittance advice prior to Thursday, you can visit the BCBST Payer Space in Availity to view a PDF version of your remit via the View/print Your Remittance Advice link.
We are also working on future enhancements to bring BCBST PDF remits into the claims status application where possible.
Q: Will I be able to select the same benefits for inquiries?
A: The benefit categories are changing. Availity uses industry-standard benefit categories also utilized in standard transactions such as the ANSI X12 270/271. Additionally, you can now request a subset of the benefits you normally see in BlueAccess, or, all the benefits that BCBST can provide electronically all at one time (up to 10 categories). Be sure you select the correct benefit categories when requesting benefits for BCBST through Availity so that you can verify members’ coverage prior to rendering services.
Q: Can I transact with other payers via the Availity Provider Portal?
A: View a searchable list of payers.
Q: What is BCBST's relationship with Availity?
A: Availity was formed in Jacksonville, Florida, as a joint venture between Florida Blue (formerly Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida) and four other payers in an effort to improve efficiency and reduce administrative complexity in the healthcare industry, with the ultimate goal of improving healthcare outcomes. BCBST collaborates with Availity to develop and improve online tools for healthcare providers.
Q: Why does BCBST want me to use the Availity Provider Portal?
A: BCBST and Availity are working to streamline healthcare processes wherever possible. BCBST has selected Availity as its preferred provider portal as a way to help providers access secure information and submit transactions online. By using the multi-payer Availity Provider Portal, you can access information and transactions from BCBST and other payers on one website, with only one login and one password to remember.
Initially, the new portal will be used for reviewing eligibility and benefits, claims status and remittance advices with more features added throughout the year. It will also feature a BlueCross-specific payer space, which offers providers direct access to BlueCross applications and updates.
Q: Why did I receive a request from BCBST to register for the Availity Provider Portal?
A: BCBST is contacting providers who currently use the BCBST BlueAccess Portal at www.bcbst.com/providers and asking them to register for the Availity Provider Portal. BCBST will eventually discontinue BlueAccess, so we ask that you begin using the Availity Provider Portal to see its advantages for yourself and your organization.
Q: I am registered for BlueAccess. Is it going away?
A: Yes, BlueAccess is scheduled to be retired on March 2, 2018. BCBST is migrating to Availity as its sole secure portal for healthcare providers. Please register for the Availity Provider Portal now to access BCBST’s current tools and resources via payer spaces, along with customized training opportunities. See Get up to speed quickly with training opportunities below for more information.
Q: Is BCBST eBusiness going away?
A: Even though BlueAccess is going away, many of your applications will remain available well into the future and if there is ever an issue with these apps A: or custom features we have built on Availity’s platform, BCBST’s eBusiness team is still here to train and support you as needed. The main difference is that you contact Availity first for questions about standard functions like E&B, CS, and Remits.
Availity will then contact us if there is an issue that BCBST needs to resolve. Of course, you can always call us with any questions you may have about the transition or any other “e” topic, but, we’ll work with Availity where systems have been changed to get your issue resolved. We have planned the transition and support paths carefully with Availity’s help to ensure a smooth transition. If you have any questions you can call either support team and we will get your problem resolved as quickly as possible.
Q: What are the plans for BCBST Provider Portal?
A: BCBST is migrating its secure Provider Portal tools to the Availity Provider Portal and asking that providers use Availity for online transactions. When the migration is complete, the secure BCBST Provider Portal at www.bcbst.com/providers will no longer be available. BCBST will be sending communications to allow time for an easy transition. You may be used to watching for updates to your data in certain BlueAccess applications like THCII Episodes of Care or Quality Care Rewards on the landing page where we currently house all of our apps. Over time, this content will be migrated either to the Availity Payer Space or within the app because the landing page will no longer be available once BlueAccess is completely retired. Be sure to watch for these changes over the course of the transition as well as the News and Announcements section of Availity so that you are up to date with the latest changes to your BCBST-specific app and program updates.
Note: BCBST’s public website that does not require registration, BCBST.com, will continue to offer information to healthcare providers as it does today.
Q: What should I do if my organization is not registered to use the Availity Provider Portal?
A: Go to the Availity registration page and select Let’s get started! to begin registration. Before starting the process, make sure you have basic information about your practice readily available, including your federal tax ID and NPI.
TIP: If you have a check from BCBST handy, you can complete the registration in real-time.
Important: By submitting the registration you agree to be one of the administrators for your organization, and you attest that you have authority to enter into agreements for your organization.
After you complete the registration, Availity will send you an email that includes the user name you created, temporary password, and instructions for next steps. You may then begin registering other users for your organization.
Q: As an administrator, how do I register additional users in my organization?
A: In the Availity Provider Portal, click Help & Training | Find Help. Open the Administrator book and select the Adding Users help topic. This explains how to add one user at a time, or upload multiple users from a spreadsheet.
Q: What do I do if I get locked out of my Availity account?
A: Review the Can’t Log in to the Availity Portal help topic for the solution to your problem.
Q: Who do I contact if I need additional help registering or have questions about my organization’s Availity account?
A: Call Availity Client Services at 1-800-AVAILITY (282-4548). Assistance is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Eastern time (excluding holidays).
Technical support from BCBST eBusiness is available at 423-535-5717, option 2, Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m.to 6 p.m., and on Fridays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Eastern Time. You can also email email@example.com.