Today's Law As Amended


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AB-1372 Health insurance: pervasive developmental disorder or autism.(2013-2014)



As Amends the Law Today


SECTION 1.

 Section 10144.52 of the Insurance Code is amended to read:

10144.52.
 (a) A disability insurer that provides hospital, medical, or surgical coverage shall base any medical necessity determination or the utilization review criteria that the insurer, and any entity acting on the insurer’s behalf, applies to determine the medical necessity of health care services and benefits for the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of mental health and substance use disorders on current generally accepted standards of mental health and substance use disorder care.
(b) In conducting utilization review of all covered health care services and benefits for the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of mental health and substance use disorders in children, adolescents, and adults, a disability insurer shall apply the criteria and guidelines set forth in the most recent versions of the treatment criteria developed by the nonprofit professional association for the relevant clinical specialty.
(c) In conducting utilization review involving level of care placement decisions or any other patient care decisions that are within the scope of the sources specified in subdivision (b), a disability insurer shall not apply different, additional, conflicting, or more restrictive utilization review criteria than the criteria and guidelines set forth in those sources. This subdivision does not prohibit a disability insurer from applying utilization review criteria to health care services and benefits for mental health and substance use disorders that meet either of the following criteria:
(1) Are outside the scope of the criteria and guidelines set forth in the sources specified in subdivision (b), provided the utilization review criteria were developed in accordance with subdivision (a).
(2) Relate to advancements in technology or types of care that are not covered in the most recent versions of the sources specified in subdivision (b), provided that the utilization review criteria were developed in accordance with subdivision (a).
(d) If a disability insurer purchases or licenses utilization review criteria pursuant to paragraph (1) or (2) of subdivision (c), the insurer shall verify and document before use that the criteria were developed in accordance with subdivision (a).
(e) To ensure the proper use of the criteria described in subdivision (b), every disability insurer shall do all of the following:
(1) Sponsor a formal education program by nonprofit clinical specialty associations to educate the disability insurer’s staff, including any third parties contracted with the disability insurer to review claims, conduct utilization reviews, or make medical necessity determinations about the clinical review criteria.
(2) Make the education program available to other stakeholders, including the insurer’s participating providers and covered lives.
(3) Provide, at no cost, the clinical review criteria and any training material or resources to providers and insured patients.
(4) Track, identify, and analyze how the clinical review criteria are used to certify care, deny care, and support the appeals process.
(5) Conduct interrater reliability testing to ensure consistency in utilization review decisionmaking covering how medical necessity decisions are made. This assessment shall cover all aspects of utilization review as defined in paragraph (3) of subdivision (f).
(6) Run interrater reliability reports about how the clinical guidelines are used in conjunction with the utilization management process and parity compliance activities.
(7) Achieve interrater reliability pass rates of at least 90 percent and, if this threshold is not met, immediately provide for the remediation of poor interrater reliability and interrater reliability testing for all new staff before they can conduct utilization review without supervision.
(f) The following definitions apply for purposes of this section:
(1) “Generally accepted standards of mental health and substance use disorder care” means standards of care and clinical practice that are generally recognized by health care providers practicing in relevant clinical specialties such as psychiatry, psychology, clinical sociology, addiction medicine and counseling, and behavioral health treatment pursuant to Section 10144.51. Valid, evidence-based sources establishing generally accepted standards of mental health and substance use disorder care include peer-reviewed scientific studies and medical literature, clinical practice guidelines and recommendations of nonprofit health care provider professional associations, specialty societies and federal government agencies, and drug labeling approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration.
(2) (a)  “Mental health and substance use disorders” has the same meaning  For purposes of this part, the terms “provider,” “professional provider,” “network provider,” “mental health provider,” and “mental health professional” shall include the term “qualified autism service provider,”  as defined in paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) subdivision (c)  of Section 10144.5. 10144.51. 
(3) “Utilization review” means either of the following:
(A) Prospectively, retrospectively, or concurrently reviewing and approving, modifying, delaying, or denying, based in whole or in part on medical necessity, requests by health care providers, insureds, or their authorized representatives for coverage of health care services prior to, retrospectively or concurrent with the provision of health care services to insureds.
(B) Evaluating the medical necessity, appropriateness, level of care, service intensity, efficacy, or efficiency of health care services, benefits, procedures, or settings, under any circumstances, to determine whether a health care service or benefit subject to a medical necessity coverage requirement in a disability insurance policy is covered as medically necessary for an insured.
(4) “Utilization review criteria” means any criteria, standards, protocols, or guidelines used by a disability insurer to conduct utilization review.
(g) (b)  This section applies to all health care services and benefits for the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of mental health and substance use disorders covered by a disability insurance policy, including prescription drugs. shall become inoperative on July 1, 2016, and, as of January 1, 2017, is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that becomes operative on or before January 1, 2017, deletes or extends the dates on which it becomes inoperative and is repealed. 
(h) This section applies to a disability insurer that covers hospital, medical, or surgical expenses and conducts utilization review as defined in this section, and any entity or contracting provider that performs utilization review or utilization management functions on an insurer’s behalf.
(i) If the commissioner determines that a disability insurer has violated this section, the commissioner may, after appropriate notice and opportunity for hearing in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act (Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 11500) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code), by order, assess a civil penalty not to exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000) for each violation, or, if a violation was willful, a civil penalty not to exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000) for each violation.
(j) A disability insurer shall not adopt, impose, or enforce terms in its policies or provider agreements, in writing or in operation, that undermine, alter, or conflict with the requirements of this section.
(k) This section does not apply to accident-only, specified disease, hospital indemnity, Medicare supplement, dental-only, or vision-only insurance policies.