Prior Authorization - Acute Care Services

Cigna-HealthSpring Members should access care through their PCPs. If the PCP determines that specialty care, diagnostic testing, or other ancillary services are required, the PCP should refer the Member to an in-network provider. Certain services require prior authorization from Cigna-HealthSpring. 

Services that Require Prior Authorization

The following services require prior authorization (Click here to view Pre-certification List - Effective 9/1/2017 - To be update on our STAR+PLUS provider manual):
  • Non-emergency ambulance

  • Audiology testing and hearing aids

  • Behavioral health services after the 30th session

  • DME – all rental as well as purchase, maintenance, or repair over $500

  • Home health services

  • Inpatient services

  • Long term services and supports (Long Term Support Services)

  • Outpatient surgeries/procedures in hospital as well as certain procedures in ASC (refer to complete list in Cigna-HealthSpring’s Provider Manual)

  • Psychological and Neuropsychological Testing

  • Radiological procedures such as MRI, MRA,CT Scan, Pet Scan, maternity ultrasound

  • Rehabilitative Therapy – OT/PT/ST, cardiac, pulmonary rehab

  • Sleep studies

  • TMJ treatments

  • Transplant services

Providers should refer to Appendix E and/or F in Cigna-HealthSpring's Provider Manual for a complete overview of services requiring authorization.


How to Request Prior Authorization for Acute Care Services

There are three ways to request a prior authorization.
  1. Fax a Prior Authorization Form for Acute Care Services to Cigna-HealthSpring at the applicable fax number listed below.

    Home Health:




    Skilled Nursing Facility:


    Other Outpatient Requests:


  2. Request a Prior Authorization for Acute Care Services online through Cigna-HealthSpring's Provider Portal.

  3. Speak with a Cigna-HealthSpring representative in the Prior Authorization Department at 1-877-725-2688.


Prior Authorization Process

Cigna-HealthSpring prioritizes prior authorization requests according to medical necessity. If a prior authorization request is approved, Cigna-HealthSpring issues an authorization number that should be used for billing. Cigna-HealthSpring faxes the approved Prior Authorization Request Form and the authorization number to the requesting provider according to the following timeframes:

Requests for authorization that are made after hours are reviewed the next business day.

To determine the status of an authorization request, call the Prior Authorization Department at 1-877-725-2688.

Limits of Authorization

Authorizations for Acute Care Services are usually issued for thirty (30) days. Authorizations for Long Term Support Services are issued for up to twelve (12) months, depending on the service requested.


Prior Authorization Forms – Acute Care Services

Cigna-HealthSpring maintains the following Prior Authorization Forms for Acute Care Services:

Beginning September 1, 2015, the Texas Standard Prior Authorization Request Form for Health Care Services is mandatory for prior authorization of a health care service.  Cigna-HealthSpring is currently accepting the Texas Standard Prior Authorization Request Form and the form may be used in lieu of our authorization form.

To review the Prior Authorization process for Long Term Support Services providers, please see link for
Long Term Support Services Providers under Resources for Providers.