We’re Reducing Prior Authorization Requirements for Certain Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) Codes for Some Commercial Members, in some instances

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico (BCBSNM) is using claims data to improve access to care for our members and make the prior authorization process easier for you. Effective Sept. 1, 2022, we eliminated the prior authorization requirement for certain ABA assessments for some commercial members, in some instances.

What’s Changing

Based on your specific claim history going forward you may not have to request prior authorization for Current Procedural Terminology (CPT®) codes 97151 and 97152.*  Prior authorization for these two codes still may be required, however, when:

  • The member’s benefit plan specifically requires prior authorization of these codes.
  • Use of these codes isn’t consistent with the presenting clinical issue, related medical policy or benefit plan design (in these cases, we’ll ask for more information).
  • Claim analysis shows billing patterns that vary significantly from your peers.

Prior Authorization Verification

Providers can determine if they require prior authorization for 97151 and 97152 for their patient by calling the customer service number on the member ID card. Ask to speak to a behavioral health customer advocate.

We hope this change helps reduce the administrative burden of your office in submitting prior authorization requests. 

For additional information about ABA criteria, or claims processes, please reference the BCBSNM Medical Policy Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Diagnosis and the BCBSNM Applied Behavioral Analysis Clinical Payment and Coding Policy.


*Only CPT codes 97151 and 97152 are subject to this new ABA assessment prior authorization process.

CPT Copyright 2021 American Medical Association. All rights reserved. CPT® is a registered trademark of the American Medical Association.

Checking eligibility and/or benefit information and/or obtaining prior authorization is not a guarantee of payment. Benefits will be determined once a claim is received and will be based upon, among other things, the member’s eligibility, and the terms of the member’s certificate of coverage, including, but not limited to, exclusions and limitations applicable on the date services were rendered. If you have any questions, call the number on the member's ID card.