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SB-137 Health care coverage: provider directories.(2015-2016)

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SB137:v90#DOCUMENT

Senate Bill No. 137
CHAPTER 649

An act to add Section 1367.27 to, and to repeal Section 1367.26 of, the Health and Safety Code, and to add Section 10133.15 to the Insurance Code, relating to health care coverage.

[ Approved by Governor  October 08, 2015. Filed with Secretary of State  October 08, 2015. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 137, Hernandez. Health care coverage: provider directories.
Existing law, the Knox-Keene Health Care Service Plan Act of 1975, provides for the licensure and regulation of health care service plans by the Department of Managed Health Care. A willful violation of the act is a crime. Existing law requires a health care service plan to provide a list of contracting providers within a requesting enrollee’s or prospective enrollee’s general geographic area.
Existing law also provides for the regulation of health insurers by the Insurance Commissioner. Existing law requires health insurers subject to regulation by the commissioner to provide group policyholders with a current roster of institutional and professional providers under contract to provide services at alternative rates.
Existing law provides for the Medi-Cal program, which is administered by the State Department of Health Care Services, under which qualified low-income individuals receive health care services. One of the methods by which Medi-Cal services are provided is pursuant to contracts with various types of managed health care plans.
This bill, commencing July 1, 2016, would require a health care service plan, and a health insurer that contracts with providers for alternative rates of payment, to publish and maintain a provider directory or directories with information on contracting providers that deliver health care services to the plan’s enrollees or the health insurer’s insureds, and would require the plan or health insurer to make an online provider directory or directories available on the plan or health insurer’s Internet Web site, as specified.
This bill would require the Department of Managed Health Care and the Department of Insurance to develop uniform provider directory standards. The bill would require a health care service plan or health insurer to take appropriate steps to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in the plan or health insurer’s directory or directories, and would require the plan or health insurer, at least annually, to review and update the entire provider directory or directories for each product offered, as specified. The bill would require a plan or insurer, at least weekly, to update its online provider directory or directories, and would require a plan or insurer, at least quarterly, to update its printed provider directory or directories. The bill would require a health care service plan or health insurer to reimburse an enrollee or insured for any amount beyond what the enrollee or insured would have paid for in-network services, if the enrollee or insured reasonably relied on the provider directory, as specified. The bill would authorize a plan or health insurer to delay payment or reimbursement owed to a provider or provider group, as specified, if the provider or provider group fails to respond to the plan’s or health insurer’s attempts to verify the provider’s or provider group’s information. By placing additional requirements on health care service plans, the violation of which is a crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 1367.26 of the Health and Safety Code is repealed.

SEC. 2.

 Section 1367.27 is added to the Health and Safety Code, to read:

1367.27.
 (a) Commencing July 1, 2016, a health care service plan shall publish and maintain a provider directory or directories with information on contracting providers that deliver health care services to the plan’s enrollees, including those that accept new patients. A provider directory shall not list or include information on a provider that is not currently under contract with the plan.
(b) A health care service plan shall provide the directory or directories for the specific network offered for each product using a consistent method of network and product naming, numbering, or other classification method that ensures the public, enrollees, potential enrollees, the department, and other state or federal agencies can easily identify the networks and plan products in which a provider participates. By July 31, 2017, or 12 months after the date provider directory standards are developed under subdivision (k), whichever occurs later, a health care service plan shall use the naming, numbering, or classification method developed by the department pursuant to subdivision (k).
(c) (1) An online provider directory or directories shall be available on the plan’s Internet Web site to the public, potential enrollees, enrollees, and providers without any restrictions or limitations. The directory or directories shall be accessible without any requirement that an individual seeking the directory information demonstrate coverage with the plan, indicate interest in obtaining coverage with the plan, provide a member identification or policy number, provide any other identifying information, or create or access an account.
(2) The online provider directory or directories shall be accessible on the plan’s public Internet Web site through an identifiable link or tab and in a manner that is accessible and searchable by enrollees, potential enrollees, the public, and providers. By July 31, 2017, or 12 months after the date provider directory standards are developed under subdivision (k), whichever occurs later, the plan’s public Internet Web site shall allow provider searches by, at a minimum, name, practice address, city, ZIP Code, California license number, National Provider Identifier number, admitting privileges to an identified hospital, product, tier, provider language or languages, provider group, hospital name, facility name, or clinic name, as appropriate.
(d) (1) A health care service plan shall allow enrollees, potential enrollees, providers, and members of the public to request a printed copy of the provider directory or directories by contacting the plan through the plan’s toll-free telephone number, electronically, or in writing. A printed copy of the provider directory or directories shall include the information required in subdivisions (h) and (i). The printed copy of the provider directory or directories shall be provided to the requester by mail postmarked no later than five business days following the date of the request and may be limited to the geographic region in which the requester resides or works or intends to reside or work.
(2) A health care service plan shall update its printed provider directory or directories at least quarterly, or more frequently, if required by federal law.
(e) (1) The plan shall update the online provider directory or directories, at least weekly, or more frequently, if required by federal law, when informed of and upon confirmation by the plan of any of the following:
(A) A contracting provider is no longer accepting new patients for that product, or an individual provider within a provider group is no longer accepting new patients.
(B) A provider is no longer under contract for a particular plan product.
(C) A provider’s practice location or other information required under subdivision (h) or (i) has changed.
(D) Upon completion of the investigation described in subdivision (o), a change is necessary based on an enrollee complaint that a provider was not accepting new patients, was otherwise not available, or whose contact information was listed incorrectly.
(E) Any other information that affects the content or accuracy of the provider directory or directories.
(2) Upon confirmation of any of the following, the plan shall delete a provider from the directory or directories when:
(A) A provider has retired or otherwise has ceased to practice.
(B) A provider or provider group is no longer under contract with the plan for any reason.
(C) The contracting provider group has informed the plan that the provider is no longer associated with the provider group and is no longer under contract with the plan.
(f) The provider directory or directories shall include both an email address and a telephone number for members of the public and providers to notify the plan if the provider directory information appears to be inaccurate. This information shall be disclosed prominently in the directory or directories and on the plan’s Internet Web site.
(g) The provider directory or directories shall include the following disclosures informing enrollees that they are entitled to both of the following:
(1) Language interpreter services, at no cost to the enrollee, including how to obtain interpretation services in accordance with Section 1367.04.
(2) Full and equal access to covered services, including enrollees with disabilities as required under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
(h) A full service health care service plan and a specialized mental health plan shall include all of the following information in the provider directory or directories:
(1) The provider’s name, practice location or locations, and contact information.
(2) Type of practitioner.
(3) National Provider Identifier number.
(4) California license number and type of license.
(5) The area of specialty, including board certification, if any.
(6) The provider’s office email address, if available.
(7) The name of each affiliated provider group currently under contract with the plan through which the provider sees enrollees.
(8) A listing for each of the following providers that are under contract with the plan:
(A) For physicians and surgeons, the provider group, and admitting privileges, if any, at hospitals contracted with the plan.
(B) Nurse practitioners, physician assistants, psychologists, acupuncturists, optometrists, podiatrists, chiropractors, licensed clinical social workers, marriage and family therapists, professional clinical counselors, qualified autism service providers, as defined in Section 1374.73, nurse midwives, and dentists.
(C) For federally qualified health centers or primary care clinics, the name of the federally qualified health center or clinic.
(D) For any provider described in subparagraph (A) or (B) who is employed by a federally qualified health center or primary care clinic, and to the extent their services may be accessed and are covered through the contract with the plan, the name of the provider, and the name of the federally qualified health center or clinic.
(E) Facilities, including, but not limited to, general acute care hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, urgent care clinics, ambulatory surgery centers, inpatient hospice, residential care facilities, and inpatient rehabilitation facilities.
(F) Pharmacies, clinical laboratories, imaging centers, and other facilities providing contracted health care services.
(9) The provider directory or directories may note that authorization or referral may be required to access some providers.
(10) Non-English language, if any, spoken by a health care provider or other medical professional as well as non-English language spoken by a qualified medical interpreter, in accordance with Section 1367.04, if any, on the provider’s staff.
(11) Identification of providers who no longer accept new patients for some or all of the plan’s products.
(12) The network tier to which the provider is assigned, if the provider is not in the lowest tier, as applicable. Nothing in this section shall be construed to require the use of network tiers other than contract and noncontracting tiers.
(13) All other information necessary to conduct a search pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (c).
(i) A vision, dental, or other specialized health care service plan, except for a specialized mental health plan, shall include all of the following information for each provider directory or directories used by the plan for its networks:
(1) The provider’s name, practice location or locations, and contact information.
(2) Type of practitioner.
(3) National Provider Identifier number.
(4) California license number and type of license, if applicable.
(5) The area of specialty, including board certification, or other accreditation, if any.
(6) The provider’s office email address, if available.
(7) The name of each affiliated provider group or specialty plan practice group currently under contract with the plan through which the provider sees enrollees.
(8) The names of each allied health care professional to the extent there is a direct contract for those services covered through a contract with the plan.
(9) The non-English language, if any, spoken by a health care provider or other medical professional as well as non-English language spoken by a qualified medical interpreter, in accordance with Section 1367.04, if any, on the provider’s staff.
(10) Identification of providers who no longer accept new patients for some or all of the plan’s products.
(11) All other applicable information necessary to conduct a provider search pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (c).
(j) (1) The contract between the plan and a provider shall include a requirement that the provider inform the plan within five business days when either of the following occur:
(A) The provider is not accepting new patients.
(B) If the provider had previously not accepted new patients, the provider is currently accepting new patients.
(2) If a provider who is not accepting new patients is contacted by an enrollee or potential enrollee seeking to become a new patient, the provider shall direct the enrollee or potential enrollee to both the plan for additional assistance in finding a provider and to the department to report any inaccuracy with the plan’s directory or directories.
(3) If an enrollee or potential enrollee informs a plan of a possible inaccuracy in the provider directory or directories, the plan shall promptly investigate, and, if necessary, undertake corrective action within 30 business days to ensure the accuracy of the directory or directories.
(k) (1) On or before December 31, 2016, the department shall develop uniform provider directory standards to permit consistency in accordance with subdivision (b) and paragraph (2) of subdivision (c) and development of a multiplan directory by another entity. Those standards shall not be subject to the Administrative Procedure Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code), until January 1, 2021. No more than two revisions of those standards shall be exempt from the Administrative Procedure Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code) pursuant to this subdivision.
(2) In developing the standards under this subdivision, the department shall seek input from interested parties throughout the process of developing the standards and shall hold at least one public meeting. The department shall take into consideration any requirements for provider directories established by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the State Department of Health Care Services.
(3) By July 31, 2017, or 12 months after the date provider directory standards are developed under this subdivision, whichever occurs later, a plan shall use the standards developed by the department for each product offered by the plan.
(l) (1) A plan shall take appropriate steps to ensure the accuracy of the information concerning each provider listed in the plan’s provider directory or directories in accordance with this section, and shall, at least annually, review and update the entire provider directory or directories for each product offered. Each calendar year the plan shall notify all contracted providers described in subdivisions (h) and (i) as follows:
(A) For individual providers who are not affiliated with a provider group described in subparagraph (A) or (B) of paragraph (8) of subdivision (h) and providers described in subdivision (i), the plan shall notify each provider at least once every six months.
(B) For all other providers described in subdivision (h) who are not subject to the requirements of subparagraph (A), the plan shall notify its contracted providers to ensure that all of the providers are contacted by the plan at least once annually.
(2) The notification shall include all of the following:
(A) The information the plan has in its directory or directories regarding the provider or provider group, including a list of networks and plan products that include the contracted provider or provider group.
(B) A statement that the failure to respond to the notification may result in a delay of payment or reimbursement of a claim pursuant to subdivision (p).
(C) Instructions on how the provider or provider group can update the information in the provider directory or directories using the online interface developed pursuant to subdivision (m).
(3) The plan shall require an affirmative response from the provider or provider group acknowledging that the notification was received. The provider or provider group shall confirm that the information in the provider directory or directories is current and accurate or update the information required to be in the directory or directories pursuant to this section, including whether or not the provider or provider group is accepting new patients for each plan product.
(4) If the plan does not receive an affirmative response and confirmation from the provider that the information is current and accurate or, as an alternative, updates any information required to be in the directory or directories pursuant to this section, within 30 business days, the plan shall take no more than 15 business days to verify whether the provider’s information is correct or requires updates. The plan shall document the receipt and outcome of each attempt to verify the information. If the plan is unable to verify whether the provider’s information is correct or requires updates, the plan shall notify the provider 10 business days in advance of removal that the provider will be removed from the provider directory or directories. The provider shall be removed from the provider directory or directories at the next required update of the provider directory or directories after the 10-business day notice period. A provider shall not be removed from the provider directory or directories if he or she responds before the end of the 10-business day notice period.
(5) General acute care hospitals shall be exempt from the requirements in paragraphs (3) and (4).
(m) A plan shall establish policies and procedures with regard to the regular updating of its provider directory or directories, including the weekly, quarterly, and annual updates required pursuant to this section, or more frequently, if required by federal law or guidance.
(1) The policies and procedures described under subdivision (l) shall be submitted by a plan annually to the department for approval and in a format described by the department pursuant to Section 1367.035.
(2) Every health care service plan shall ensure processes are in place to allow providers to promptly verify or submit changes to the information required to be in the directory or directories pursuant to this section. Those processes shall, at a minimum, include an online interface for providers to submit verification or changes electronically and shall generate an acknowledgment of receipt from the health care service plan. Providers shall verify or submit changes to information required to be in the directory or directories pursuant to this section using the process required by the health care service plan.
(3) The plan shall establish and maintain a process for enrollees, potential enrollees, other providers, and the public to identify and report possible inaccurate, incomplete, or misleading information currently listed in the plan’s provider directory or directories. These processes shall, at a minimum, include a telephone number and a dedicated email address at which the plan will accept these reports, as well as a hyperlink on the plan’s provider directory Internet Web site linking to a form where the information can be reported directly to the plan through its Internet Web site.
(n) (1) This section does not prohibit a plan from requiring its provider groups or contracting specialized health care service plans to provide information to the plan that is required by the plan to satisfy the requirements of this section for each of the providers that contract with the provider group or contracting specialized health care service plan. This responsibility shall be specifically documented in a written contract between the plan and the provider group or contracting specialized health care service plan.
(2) If a plan requires its contracting provider groups or contracting specialized health care service plans to provide the plan with information described in paragraph (1), the plan shall continue to retain responsibility for ensuring that the requirements of this section are satisfied.
(3) A provider group may terminate a contract with a provider for a pattern or repeated failure of the provider to update the information required to be in the directory or directories pursuant to this section.
(4) A provider group is not subject to the payment delay described in subdivision (p) if all of the following occurs:
(A) A provider does not respond to the provider group’s attempt to verify the provider’s information. As used in this paragraph, “verify” means to contact the provider in writing, electronically, and by telephone to confirm whether the provider’s information is correct or requires updates.
(B) The provider group documents its efforts to verify the provider’s information.
(C) The provider group reports to the plan that the provider should be deleted from the provider group in the plan directory or directories.
(5) Section 1375.7, known as the Health Care Providers’ Bill of Rights, applies to any material change to a provider contract pursuant to this section.
(o) (1) Whenever a health care service plan receives a report indicating that information listed in its provider directory or directories is inaccurate, the plan shall promptly investigate the reported inaccuracy and, no later than 30 business days following receipt of the report, either verify the accuracy of the information or update the information in its provider directory or directories, as applicable.
(2) When investigating a report regarding its provider directory or directories, the plan shall, at a minimum, do the following:
(A) Contact the affected provider no later than five business days following receipt of the report.
(B) Document the receipt and outcome of each report. The documentation shall include the provider’s name, location, and a description of the plan’s investigation, the outcome of the investigation, and any changes or updates made to its provider directory or directories.
(C) If changes to a plan’s provider directory or directories are required as a result of the plan’s investigation, the changes to the online provider directory or directories shall be made no later than the next scheduled weekly update, or the update immediately following that update, or sooner if required by federal law or regulations. For printed provider directories, the change shall be made no later than the next required update, or sooner if required by federal law or regulations.
(p) (1) Notwithstanding Sections 1371 and 1371.35, a plan may delay payment or reimbursement owed to a provider or provider group as specified in subparagraph (A) or (B), if the provider or provider group fails to respond to the plan’s attempts to verify the provider’s or provider group’s information as required under subdivision (l). The plan shall not delay payment unless it has attempted to verify the provider’s or provider group’s information. As used in this subdivision, “verify” means to contact the provider or provider group in writing, electronically, and by telephone to confirm whether the provider’s or provider group’s information is correct or requires updates. A plan may seek to delay payment or reimbursement owed to a provider or provider group only after the 10-business day notice period described in paragraph (4) of subdivision (l) has lapsed.
(A) For a provider or provider group that receives compensation on a capitated or prepaid basis, the plan may delay no more than 50 percent of the next scheduled capitation payment for up to one calendar month.
(B) For any claims payment made to a provider or provider group, the plan may delay the claims payment for up to one calendar month beginning on the first day of the following month.
(2) A plan shall notify the provider or provider group 10 business days before it seeks to delay payment or reimbursement to a provider or provider group pursuant to this subdivision. If the plan delays a payment or reimbursement pursuant to this subdivision, the plan shall reimburse the full amount of any payment or reimbursement subject to delay to the provider or provider group according to either of the following timelines, as applicable:
(A) No later than three business days following the date on which the plan receives the information required to be submitted by the provider or provider group pursuant to subdivision (l).
(B) At the end of the one-calendar month delay described in subparagraph (A) or (B) of paragraph (1), as applicable, if the provider or provider group fails to provide the information required to be submitted to the plan pursuant to subdivision (l).
(3) A plan may terminate a contract for a pattern or repeated failure of the provider or provider group to alert the plan to a change in the information required to be in the directory or directories pursuant to this section.
(4) A plan that delays payment or reimbursement under this subdivision shall document each instance a payment or reimbursement was delayed and report this information to the department in a format described by the department pursuant to Section 1367.035. This information shall be submitted along with the policies and procedures required to be submitted annually to the department pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (m).
(5) With respect to plans with Medi-Cal managed care contracts with the State Department of Health Care Services pursuant to Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 14000), Chapter 8 (commencing with Section 14200), or Chapter 8.75 (commencing with Section 14591) of the Welfare and Institutions Code, this subdivision shall be implemented only to the extent consistent with federal law and guidance.
(q) In circumstances where the department finds that an enrollee reasonably relied upon materially inaccurate, incomplete, or misleading information contained in a health plan’s provider directory or directories, the department may require the health plan to provide coverage for all covered health care services provided to the enrollee and to reimburse the enrollee for any amount beyond what the enrollee would have paid, had the services been delivered by an in-network provider under the enrollee’s plan contract. Prior to requiring reimbursement in these circumstances, the department shall conclude that the services received by the enrollee were covered services under the enrollee’s plan contract. In those circumstances, the fact that the services were rendered or delivered by a noncontracting or out-of-plan provider shall not be used as a basis to deny reimbursement to the enrollee.
(r) Whenever a plan determines as a result of this section that there has been a 10-percent change in the network for a product in a region, the plan shall file an amendment to the plan application with the department consistent with subdivision (f) of Section 1300.52 of Title 28 of the California Code of Regulations.
(s) This section shall apply to plans with Medi-Cal managed care contracts with the State Department of Health Care Services pursuant to Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 14000), Chapter 8 (commencing with Section 14200), or Chapter 8.75 (commencing with Section 14591) of the Welfare and Institutions Code to the extent consistent with federal law and guidance and state law guidance issued after January 1, 2016. Notwithstanding any other provision to the contrary in a plan contract with the State Department of Health Care Services, and to the extent consistent with federal law and guidance and state guidance issued after January 1, 2016, a Medi-Cal managed care plan that complies with the requirements of this section shall not be required to distribute a printed provider directory or directories, except as required by paragraph (1) of subdivision (d).
(t) A health plan that contracts with multiple employer welfare agreements regulated pursuant to Article 4.7 (commencing with Section 742.20) of Chapter 1 of Part 2 of Division 1 of the Insurance Code shall meet the requirements of this section.
(u) Nothing in this section shall be construed to alter a provider’s obligation to provide health care services to an enrollee pursuant to the provider’s contract with the plan.
(v) As part of the department’s routine examination of the fiscal and administrative affairs of a health care service plan pursuant to Section 1382, the department shall include a review of the health care service plan’s compliance with subdivision (p).
(w) For purposes of this section, “provider group” means a medical group, independent practice association, or other similar group of providers.

SEC. 3.

 Section 10133.15 is added to the Insurance Code, to read:

10133.15.
 (a) Commencing July 1, 2016, a health insurer that contracts with providers for alternative rates of payment pursuant to Section 10133 shall publish and maintain provider directory or directories with information on contracting providers that deliver health care services to the insurer’s insureds, including those that accept new patients. A provider directory shall not list or include information on a provider that is not currently under contract with the insurer.
(b) An insurer shall provide the online directory or directories for the specific network offered for each product using a consistent method of network and product naming, numbering, or other classification method that ensures the public, insureds, potential insureds, the department, and other state or federal agencies can easily identify the networks and insurer products in which a provider participates. By July 31, 2017, or 12 months after the date provider directory standards are developed under subdivision (k), whichever occurs later, an insurer shall use the naming, numbering, or classification method developed by the department pursuant to subdivision (k).
(c) (1) An online provider directory or directories shall be available on the insurer’s Internet Web site to the public, potential insureds, insureds, and providers without any restrictions or limitations. The directory or directories shall be accessible without any requirement that an individual seeking the directory information demonstrate coverage with the insurer, indicate interest in obtaining coverage with the insurer, provide a member identification or policy number, provide any other identifying information, or create or access an account.
(2) The online provider directory or directories shall be accessible on the insurer’s public Internet Web site through an identifiable link or tab and in a manner that is accessible and searchable by insureds, potential insureds, the public, and providers. By July 1, 2017, or 12 months after the date provider directory standards are developed under subdivision (k), whichever occurs later, the insurer’s public Internet Web site shall allow provider searches by, at a minimum, name, practice address, city, ZIP Code, California license number, National Provider Identifier number, admitting privileges to an identified hospital, product, tier, provider language or languages, provider group, hospital name, facility name, or clinic name, as appropriate.
(d) (1) An insurer shall allow insureds, potential insureds, providers, and members of the public to request a printed copy of the provider directory or directories by contacting the insurer through the insurer’s toll-free telephone number, electronically, or in writing. A printed copy of the provider directory or directories shall include the information required in subdivisions (h) and (i). The printed copy of the provider directory or directories shall be provided to the requester by mail postmarked no later than five business days following the date of the request and may be limited to the geographic region in which the requester resides or works or intends to reside or work.
(2) An insurer shall update its printed provider directory or directories at least quarterly, or more frequently, if required by federal law.
(e) (1) The insurer shall update the online provider directory or directories, at least weekly, or more frequently, if required by federal law, when informed of and upon confirmation by the insurer of any of the following:
(A) A contracting provider is no longer accepting new patients for that product, or an individual provider within a provider group is no longer accepting new patients.
(B) A contracted provider is no longer under contract for a particular product.
(C) A provider’s practice location or other information required under subdivision (h) or (i) has changed.
(D) Upon the completion of the investigation described in subdivision (o), a change is necessary based on an insured complaint that a provider was not accepting new patients, was otherwise not available, or whose contact information was listed incorrectly.
(E) Any other information that affects the content or accuracy of the provider directory or directories.
(2) Upon confirmation of any of the following, the insurer shall delete a provider from the directory or directories when:
(A) A provider has retired or otherwise has ceased to practice.
(B) A provider or provider group is no longer under contract with the insurer for any reason.
(C) The contracting provider group has informed the insurer that the provider is no longer associated with the provider group and is no longer under contract with the insurer.
(f) The provider directory or directories shall include both an email address and a telephone number for members of the public and providers to notify the insurer if the provider directory information appears to be inaccurate. This information shall be disclosed prominently in the directory or directories and on the insurer’s Internet Web site.
(g) The provider directory or directories shall include the following disclosures informing insureds that they are entitled to both of the following:
(1) Language interpreter services, at no cost to the insured, including how to obtain interpretation services in accordance with Section 10133.8.
(2) Full and equal access to covered services, including insureds with disabilities as required under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
(h) The insurer and a specialized mental health insurer shall include all of the following information in the provider directory or directories:
(1) The provider’s name, practice location or locations, and contact information.
(2) Type of practitioner.
(3) National Provider Identifier number.
(4) California license number and type of license.
(5) The area of specialty, including board certification, if any.
(6) The provider’s office email address, if available.
(7) The name of each affiliated provider group currently under contract with the insurer through which the provider sees enrollees.
(8) A listing for each of the following providers that are under contract with the insurer:
(A) For physicians and surgeons, the provider group, and admitting privileges, if any, at hospitals contracted with the insurer.
(B) Nurse practitioners, physician assistants, psychologists, acupuncturists, optometrists, podiatrists, chiropractors, licensed clinical social workers, marriage and family therapists, professional clinical counselors, qualified autism service providers, as defined in Section 10144.51, nurse midwives, and dentists.
(C) For federally qualified health centers or primary care clinics, the name of the federally qualified health center or clinic.
(D) For any provider described in subparagraph (A) or (B) who is employed by a federally qualified health center or primary care clinic, and to the extent their services may be accessed and are covered through the contract with the insurer, the name of the provider, and the name of the federally qualified health center or clinic.
(E) Facilities, including but not limited to, general acute care hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, urgent care clinics, ambulatory surgery centers, inpatient hospice, residential care facilities, and inpatient rehabilitation facilities.
(F) Pharmacies, clinical laboratories, imaging centers, and other facilities providing contracted health care services.
(9) The provider directory or directories may note that authorization or referral may be required to access some providers.
(10) Non-English language, if any, spoken by a health care provider or other medical professional as well as non-English language spoken by a qualified medical interpreter, in accordance with Section 10133.8 of the Insurance Code, if any, on the provider’s staff.
(11) Identification of providers who no longer accept new patients for some or all of the insurer’s products.
(12) The network tier to which the provider is assigned, if the provider is not in the lowest tier, as applicable. Nothing in this section shall be construed to require the use of network tiers other than contract and noncontracting tiers.
(13) All other information necessary to conduct a search pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (c).
(i) A vision, dental, or other specialized insurer, except for a specialized mental health insurer, shall include all of the following information for each provider directory or directories used by the insurer for its networks:
(1) The provider’s name, practice location or locations, and contact information.
(2) Type of practitioner.
(3) National Provider Identifier number.
(4) California license number and type of license, if applicable.
(5) The area of specialty, including board certification, or other accreditation, if any.
(6) The provider’s office email address, if available.
(7) The name of each affiliated provider group or specialty insurer practice group currently under contract with the insurer through which the provider sees insureds.
(8) The names of each allied health care professional to the extent there is a direct contract for those services covered through a contract with the insurer.
(9) The non-English language, if any, spoken by a health care provider or other medical professional as well as non-English language spoken by a qualified medical interpreter, in accordance with Section 10133.8 of the Insurance Code, if any, on the provider’s staff.
(10) Identification of providers who no longer accept new patients for some or all of the insurer’s products.
(11) All other applicable information necessary to conduct a provider search pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (c).
(j) (1) The contract between the insurer and a provider shall include a requirement that the provider inform the insurer within five business days when either of the following occur:
(A) The provider is not accepting new patients.
(B) If the provider had previously not accepted new patients, the provider is currently accepting new patients.
(2) If a provider who is not accepting new patients is contacted by an insured or potential insured seeking to become a new patient, the provider shall direct the insurer or potential insured to both the insurer for additional assistance in finding a provider and to the department to report any inaccuracy with the insurer’s directory or directories.
(3) If an insured or potential insured informs an insurer of a possible inaccuracy in the provider directory or directories, the insurer shall promptly investigate and, if necessary, undertake corrective action within 30 business days to ensure the accuracy of the directory or directories.
(k) (1) On or before December 31, 2016, the department shall develop uniform provider directory standards to permit consistency in accordance with subdivision (b) and paragraph (2) of subdivision (c) and development of a multiplan directory by another entity. Those standards shall not be subject to the Administrative Procedure Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code), until January 1, 2021. No more than two revisions of those standards shall be exempt from the Administrative Procedure Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code) pursuant to this subdivision.
(2) In developing the standards under this subdivision, the department shall seek input from interested parties throughout the process of developing the standards and shall hold at least one public meeting. The department shall take into consideration any requirements for provider directories established by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the State Department of Health Care Services.
(3) By July 31, 2017, or 12 months after the date provider directory standards are developed under this subdivision, whichever occurs later, an insurer shall use the standards developed by the department for each product offered by the insurer.
(l) (1) An insurer shall take appropriate steps to ensure the accuracy of the information concerning each provider listed in the insurer’s provider directory or directories in accordance with this section, and shall, at least annually, review and update the entire provider directory or directories for each product offered. Each calendar year the insurer shall notify all contracted providers described in subdivisions (h) and (i) as follows:
(A) For individual providers who are not affiliated with a provider group described in subparagraph (A) or (B) of paragraph (8) of subdivision (h) and providers described in subdivision (i), the insurer shall notify each provider at least once every six months.
(B) For all other providers described in subdivision (h) who are not subject to the requirements of subparagraph (A), the insurer shall notify its contracted providers to ensure that all of the providers are contacted by the insurer at least once annually.
(2) The notification shall include all of the following:
(A) The information the insurer has in its directory or directories regarding the provider or provider group, including a list of networks and products that include the contracted provider or provider group.
(B) A statement that the failure to respond to the notification may result in a delay of payment or reimbursement of a claim pursuant to subdivision (p).
(C) Instructions on how the provider or provider group can update the information in the provider directory or directories using the online interface developed pursuant to subdivision (m).
(3) The insurer shall require an affirmative response from the provider or provider group acknowledging that the notification was received. The provider or provider group shall confirm that the information in the provider directory or directories is current and accurate or update the information required to be in the directory or directories pursuant to this section, including whether or not the provider group is accepting new patients for each product.
(4) If the insurer does not receive an affirmative response and confirmation from the provider that the information is current and accurate or, as an alternative, updates any information required to be in the directory or directories pursuant to this section, within 30 business days, the insurer shall take no more than 15 business days to verify whether the provider’s information is correct or requires updates. The insurer shall document the receipt and outcome of each attempt to verify the information. If the insurer is unable to verify whether the provider’s information is correct or requires updates, the insurer shall notify the provider 10 business days in advance of removal that the provider will be removed from the directory or directories. The provider shall be removed from the directory or directories at the next required update of the provider directory or directories after the 10-business day notice period. A provider shall not be removed from the provider directory or directories if he or she responds before the end of the 10-business day notice period.
(5) General acute care hospitals shall be exempt from the requirements in paragraphs (3) and (4).
(m) An insurer shall establish policies and procedures with regard to the regular updating of its provider directory or directories, including the weekly, quarterly, and annual updates required pursuant to this section, or more frequently, if required by federal law or guidance.
(1) The policies and procedures described under subdivision (l) shall be submitted by an insurer annually to the department for approval and in a format described by the department.
(2) Every insurer shall ensure processes are in place to allow providers to promptly verify or submit changes to the information required to be in the directory or directories pursuant to this section. Those processes shall, at a minimum, include an online interface for providers to submit verification or changes electronically and shall generate an acknowledgment of receipt from the insurer. Providers shall verify or submit changes to information required to be in the directory or directories pursuant to this section using the process required by the insurer.
(3) The insurer shall establish and maintain a process for insureds, potential insureds, other providers, and the public to identify and report possible inaccurate, incomplete, or misleading information currently listed in the insurer’s provider directory or directories. These processes shall, at a minimum, include a telephone number and a dedicated email address at which the insurer will accept these reports, as well as a hyperlink on the insurer’s provider directory Internet Web site linking to a form where the information can be reported directly to the insurer through its Internet Web site.
(n) (1) This section does not prohibit an insurer from requiring its provider groups or contracting specialized health insurers to provide information to the insurer that is required by the insurer to satisfy the requirements of this section for each of the providers that contract with the provider group or contracting specialized health insurer. This responsibility shall be specifically documented in a written contract between the insurer and the provider group or contracting specialized health insurer.
(2) If an insurer requires its contracting provider groups or contracting specialized health insurers to provide the insurer with information described in paragraph (1), the insurer shall continue to retain responsibility for ensuring that the requirements of this section are satisfied.
(3) A provider group may terminate a contract with a provider for a pattern or repeated failure of the provider to update the information required to be in the directory or directories pursuant to this section.
(4) A provider group is not subject to the payment delay described in subdivision (p) if all of the following occurs:
(A) A provider does not respond to the provider group’s attempt to verify the provider’s information. As used in this paragraph, “verify” means to contact the provider in writing, electronically, and by telephone to confirm whether the provider’s information is correct or requires updates.
(B) The provider group documents its efforts to verify the provider’s information.
(C) The provider group reports to the insurer that the provider should be deleted from the provider group in the insurer’s provider directory or directories.
(5) Section 10133.65, known as the Health Care Providers’ Bill of Rights, applies to any material change to a provider contract pursuant to this section.
(o) (1) Whenever an insurer receives a report indicating that information listed in its provider directory or directories is inaccurate, the insurer shall promptly investigate the reported inaccuracy and, no later than 30 business days following receipt of the report, either verify the accuracy of the information or update the information in its provider directory or directories, as applicable.
(2) When investigating a report regarding its provider directory or directories, the insurer shall, at a minimum, do the following:
(A) Contact the affected provider no later than five business days following receipt of the report.
(B) Document the receipt and outcome of each report. The documentation shall include the provider’s name, location, and a description of the insurer’s investigation, the outcome of the investigation, and any changes or updates made to its provider directory or directories.
(C) If changes to an insurer’s provider directory or directories are required as a result of the insurer’s investigation, the changes to the online provider directory or directories shall be made no later than the next scheduled weekly update, or the update immediately following that update, or sooner if required by federal law or regulations. For printed provider directories, the change shall be made no later than the next required update, or sooner if required by federal law or regulations.
(p) (1) Notwithstanding Sections 10123.13 and 10123.147, an insurer may delay payment or reimbursement owed to a provider or provider group for any claims payment made to a provider or provider group for up to one calendar month beginning on the first day of the following month, if the provider or provider group fails to respond to the insurer’s attempts to verify the provider’s information as required under subdivision (l). The insurer shall not delay payment unless it has attempted to verify the provider’s or provider group’s information. As used in this subdivision, “verify” means to contact the provider or provider group in writing, electronically, and by telephone to confirm whether the provider’s or provider group’s information is correct or requires updates. An insurer may seek to delay payment or reimbursement owed to a provider or provider group only after the 10-business day notice period described in paragraph (4) of subdivision (l) has lapsed.
(2) An insurer shall notify the provider or provider group 10 days before it seeks to delay payment or reimbursement to a provider or provider group pursuant to this subdivision. If the insurer delays a payment or reimbursement pursuant to this subdivision, the insurer shall reimburse the full amount of any payment or reimbursement subject to delay to the provider or provider group according to either of the following timelines, as applicable:
(A) No later than three business days following the date on which the insurer receives the information required to be submitted by the provider or provider group pursuant to subdivision (l).
(B) At the end of the one-calendar month delay described in subparagraph (A) or (B) of paragraph (1), as applicable, if the provider or provider group fails to provide the information required to be submitted to the insurer pursuant to subdivision (l).
(3) An insurer may terminate a contract for a pattern or repeated failure of the provider or provider group to alert the insurer to a change in the information required to be in the directory or directories pursuant to this section.
(4) An insurer that delays payment or reimbursement under this subdivision shall document each instance a payment or reimbursement was delayed and report this information to the department in a format described by the department. This information shall be submitted along with the policies and procedures required to be submitted annually to the department pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (m).
(q) In circumstances where the department finds that an insured reasonably relied upon materially inaccurate, incomplete, or misleading information contained in an insurer’s provider directory or directories, the department may require the insurer to provide coverage for all covered health care services provided to the insured and to reimburse the insured for any amount beyond what the insured would have paid, had the services been delivered by an in-network provider under the insured’s health insurance policy. Prior to requiring reimbursement in these circumstances, the department shall conclude that the services received by the insured were covered services under the insured’s health insurance policy. In those circumstances, the fact that the services were rendered or delivered by a noncontracting or out-of-network provider shall not be used as a basis to deny reimbursement to the insured.
(r) Whenever an insurer determines as a result of this section that there has been a 10-percent change in the network for a product in a region, the insurer shall file a statement with the commissioner.
(s) An insurer that contracts with multiple employer welfare agreements regulated pursuant to Article 4.7 (commencing with Section 742.20) of Chapter 1 of Part 2 of Division 1 shall meet the requirements of this section.
(t) Nothing in this section shall be construed to alter a provider’s obligation to provide health care services to an insured pursuant to the provider’s contract with the insurer.
(u) As part of the department’s routine examination of a health insurer pursuant to Section 730, the department shall include a review of the health insurer’s compliance with subdivision (p).
(v) For purposes of this section, “provider group” means a medical group, independent practice association, or other similar group of providers.

SEC. 4.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.