Medical Policies and Clinical UM Guidelines

There are several factors that impact whether a service or procedure is covered under a member’s benefit plan. Medical Policies and Clinical Utilization Management (UM) Guidelines are two resources that help us determine if a procedure is medically necessary. These guidelines are available to you as a reference when interpreting claim decisions.  

Our member’s Medicare plan may make coverage decisions using criteria from the clinical care guidelines provided by MCG Health. Visit the MCG Health website and follow the steps in their Coverage Guidelines tool to access criteria.

Access the MCG Medicare Coverage Guidelines tool

Medical Policies

Medical policies are used by all plans and lines of business unless federal or state law — as well as contract language, including definitions and specific contract provisions or exclusions — take precedence over a medical policy. Those provisions will be considered first in determining eligibility for coverage before the medical policy is used to determine medical necessity.

Clinical UM Guidelines

The clinical utilization management (UM) guidelines published on this website are not always used by all plans or lines of business. Clinical UM guidelines are available for adoption to review the medical necessity of services related to the guideline when the plan performs a utilization review for the subject. Because practice patterns, claims systems, and benefit designs vary, a local plan may choose whether to adopt a particular clinical UM guideline.

Health plans or lines of business that determine there is not a need to adopt a clinical utilization management guideline may instead use the guideline for educational purposes or to review the medical necessity of services for any provider who has been notified that their claims will be reviewed due to billing practices or claims that are inconsistent with other providers.

To determine which clinical utilization management guidelines and medical policies have been implemented by your plan, or to determine if there are applicable other criteria, you can use the following guideline adoption link:

In addition to the documents we develop and maintain for coverage decisions, we may adopt criteria developed and maintained by other organizations. Note that where we have developed a medical policy that addresses a service also described in one of these other sets of criteria, the plan's medical policy supersedes.


MCG Care Guidelines are licensed and utilized to guide utilization management decisions for some health plans. This may include but is not limited to decisions involving prior authorization, inpatient review, level of care, discharge planning, and retrospective review. MCG guidelines licensed include:

  • Inpatient & Surgical Care
  • General Recovery Care
  • Ambulatory Care (AC)
  • Recovery Facility Care
  • Home Care (HC)
  • Chronic Care
  • Behavioral Health Care

MCG and Anthem’s Medical Policies and Clinical UM Guidelines are available and can be requested by contacting Provider Services at 844-912-1226 or by emailing Anthem at

Carelon Medical Benefits Management

Our health plans may use guidelines developed by Carelon Medical Benefits Management, Inc. to perform utilization management services for some procedures and certain members.

Carelon Medical Benefits Management guidelines applicable to plan programs are maintained by Carelon Medical Benefits Management. Updates to these guidelines can be found on their website.

By clicking on the following link, you are now leaving our site and linking to a site created and/or maintained by Carelon Medical Benefits Management ("External Site"). Upon linking you are subject to the terms of use, privacy, copyright and security policies of the External Site. We provide this link solely for your information and convenience. We encourage you to review the privacy practices of the External Site. The information contained on the External Site should not be interpreted as medical advice or treatment provided by us.

Carelon Medical Benefits Management Guidelines


CarelonRx is an independent company providing pharmacy benefit management services on behalf of the plan. Clinical criteria for drugs and biologics paid under the medical benefit for certain Medicare/Medicaid markets can be found on the CarelonRx website.

The pharmacy clinical criteria for injectable, infused or implanted prescription drugs and therapies covered under the medical benefit are available for certain Medicare/Medicaid markets.

There are several different dates that may be associated with a medical policy or clinical utilization management guideline.

Publish Date — the date a medical policy or clinical UM guideline was made available on our public websites
Last Review Date — the date a medical policy or clinical UM guideline was reviewed and approved

Note that while a publish date is enterprise-wide, the implementation date may differ depending on notification requirements. Please refer to the plan Provider Newsletter for more information relating to implementation dates.

If a medical policy or clinical UM guideline is not yet implemented for your plan, historical versions may be accessed.

Please contact us with inquiries.

To see a list of all Medical Policies and Clinical UM Guidelines, visit our Utilization Management Clinical Criteria List — this document lists the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield utilization management criteria that has been implemented.