Empire BlueCross Blue Shield (“Empire”) previously communicated in the April 2019 edition of Empire’s Provider News that AIM Specialty Health® (AIM), a separate company, would begin to perform prior authorization review of rehabilitative (restoring function) and habilitative (enhancing function) services for Empire fully insured members beginning July 1, 2019. Due to recent group membership, provider status, and system issues experienced by Empire and AIM, the program will now be implemented on August 1, 2019. Effective through July 31st, for requests in progress and for new requests, coverage for PT/ST/OT visits will not require a prior authorization.


AIM will manage Physical Therapy (PT), Occupational Therapy (OT) and Speech Therapy (ST) medical necessity reviews and will require prior authorization for all outpatient facility and office-based rehabilitative and habilitative services following the initial evaluation. AIM will use the following Anthem Clinical UM Guidelines:


The clinical criteria to be used for these reviews can be found on the empireblue.com Clinical UM Guidelines page. A complete list of CPT codes requiring prior authorization for the AIM Rehabilitative Program is available on the AIM Rehabilitation microsite. There you can access additional helpful information such as order entry checklists and FAQs.


AIM will now begin accepting prior authorization requests on July 17, 2019 for dates of service on and after August 1, 2019. Ordering and servicing providers may submit prior authorization requests to AIM in one of several ways:

  • Access AIM’s ProviderPortallSM directly at providerportal.com. Online access is available 24/7 to process orders in real-time, and is the fastest and most convenient way to request authorization.
  • Access AIM via the Availity Web Portal at availity.com.
  • Call the AIM Contact Center toll-free number at 877-430-2288, Monday–Friday, 8:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m. ET.


Empire invites you to take advantage of an informational webinar that will introduce you to the Rehabilitative Program and the robust capabilities of the AIM ProviderPortalSM.  Visit the AIM Rehabilitation microsite to register for an upcoming training session.

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Important Update from Empire