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Referrals - Chapter 5, 2018 UnitedHealthcare Administrative Guide

Referrals vs. Prior Authorization and Notification

The referral process, advance notification process, and prior authorization process are separate processes. All care providers must follow the notification and/or prior authorization requirements when providing a service that requires a notification and/or prior authorization. 

A referral does not replace the advance notification or prior authorization process. If you do not obtain a referral when required, we deny coverage or give the member a higher cost share.