Empire BlueCross BlueShield (“Empire”) utilization management (UM) decisions are based on the appropriateness of care and service needed, as well as the member’s coverage according to their health plan. We do not reward providers or other individuals for issuing denials of coverage, service or care. Nor do we make decisions about hiring, promoting, or terminating these individuals based on the idea or thought that they will deny benefits. In addition, we do not offer financial incentives for UM decision makers to encourage decisions resulting in under-utilization. Empire’s medical policies are available on our website at empireblue.com.


You can also request a free copy of our UM criteria from our medical management department, and each Treating and Ordering Provider directly involved in the member’s care may discuss a UM denial decision with a physician reviewer by calling us at the toll-free number listed on the UM denial letter, if they haven’t already done so, and before all applicable appeals are completed. UM criteria are also available on the web.  Just go to empireblue.com/provider > For Providers > Provider Resources > Policies, Guidelines & Manuals > View Medical Policies and Clinical UM Guidelines.


work with providers to answer questions about the utilization management process and the authorization of care.  Here’s how the process works:

  • Call us toll free from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET. Monday through Friday (except on holidays). More hours may be available in your area. Federal Employee Program (FEP) hours are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET.
  • If you call after normal business hours, you can leave a private message with your contact information. Our staff will return your call on the next business day. Calls received after 12 midnight will be returned the same business day.
  • Our associates will contact you about your UM inquiries during business hours, unless otherwise agreed upon.


The following phone lines are for physicians and their staffs. Members should call the customer service number on their health plan ID card.


To discuss UM Process and Authorization

To Discuss Peer-to-Peer

UM Denials w/Physician

To Request UM Criteria






National Transplant


Fax: 888-438-7051


Behavioral Health




844 269 0538




Fax: 800 732-8318 (UM)

Fax: 877 606-3807 (ABD

Please refer to the phone number on the denial notification letter. 



Pre-service Appeals

800-634-5605, option 2


Adaptive Behavioral Treatment





Call number on back of member’s ID card




Fax: 800-732-8318 (UM)

Fax: 877-606-3807 (ABD) 

711, or

TTY: 800-662-1220

Voice: 800-421-1220


For language assistance, members can simply call the Customer Service phone number on the back of their ID card and a representative will be able to assist them.


Our utilization management associates identify themselves to all callers by first name, title and our company name when making or returning calls.  They can inform you about specific utilization management requirements, operational review procedures, and discuss utilization management decisions with you.




Featured In:
December 2021 Newsletter