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SB-282 Health care coverage: prescription drugs.(2015-2016)

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SB282:v93#DOCUMENT

Senate Bill No. 282
CHAPTER 654

An act to amend Sections 1367.24, 1367.241, 1368, and 1368.01 of the Health and Safety Code, and to amend Section 10123.191 of 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 282, Hernandez. Health care coverage: prescription drugs.
Existing law, the Knox-Keene Health Care Service Plan Act of 1975, provides for the regulation of health care service plans by the Department of Managed Health Care and makes a willful violation of the act a crime. Existing law provides for the regulation of health insurers by the Department of Insurance. Commonly referred to as utilization review, existing law governs the procedures that apply to every health care service plan and health insurer that prospectively, retrospectively, or concurrently reviews and approves, modifies, delays, or denies, based on medical necessity, requests by providers prior to, retrospectively, or concurrent with, the provision of health care services to enrollees or insureds, as specified.
Existing law requires the Department of Managed Health Care and the Department of Insurance to jointly develop a uniform prior authorization form for prescription drug benefits on or before July 1, 2012, and requires, 6 months after the form is developed, every prescribing provider, when requesting prior authorization for prescription drug benefits, to submit the request to the health care service plan or health insurer using the uniform form, and requires those plans and insurers to accept only the uniform form. Existing law authorizes a prescribing provider to submit the prior authorization form electronically to the plan or insurer, and, if the plan or insurer fails to respond to a request within 2 business days, the request is deemed granted. Existing law also requires health care service plans to maintain a process by which prescribing providers may obtain authorization for a medically necessary nonformulary prescription drug.
This bill would authorize the prescribing provider to additionally use an electronic process developed specifically for transmitting prior authorization information that meets the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs’ SCRIPT standard for electronic prior authorization transactions. The bill would require the departments to develop the uniform prior authorization form on or before January 1, 2017, and would require prescribing providers to use, and health care service plans and health insurers to accept, only those forms or electronic process on and after July 1, 2017, or 6 months after the form is developed, whichever is later. This bill would deem a prior authorization request to be granted if the plan or insurer fails to respond within 72 hours for nonurgent requests, and within 24 hours when exigent circumstances exist.
This bill would specify that the provisions described above relating to prior authorization for prescription drugs do not apply if a contracted physician group is delegated the financial risk for the prescription drugs by a health care service plan or health insurer, if a contracted physician group uses its own internal prior authorization process rather than the health care service plan’s or the health insurer’s prior authorization process for its enrollees or insureds, or if a contracted physician group is delegated a utilization management function by the health care service plan or the health insurer concerning any prescription drug, regardless of the delegation of financial risk.
Existing law requires health care service plans to establish a grievance process approved by the Department of Managed Health Care.
This bill would require, subject to exceptions, the grievance process established by a health care service plan or a health insurer to comply with specified federal regulations.
Because a willful violation of the bill’s requirements relative to health care service plans would be a crime, this 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 1367.24 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:

1367.24.
 (a) Every health care service plan that provides prescription drug benefits shall maintain an expeditious process by which prescribing providers may obtain authorization for a medically necessary nonformulary prescription drug. On or before July 1, 1999, every health care service plan that provides prescription drug benefits shall file with the department a description of its process, including timelines, for responding to authorization requests for nonformulary drugs. Any changes to this process shall be filed with the department pursuant to Section 1352. Each plan shall provide a written description of its most current process, including timelines, to its prescribing providers. For purposes of this section, a prescribing provider shall include a provider authorized to write a prescription, pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 4040 of the Business and Professions Code, to treat a medical condition of an enrollee.
(b) Any plan that disapproves a request made pursuant to subdivision (a) by a prescribing provider to obtain authorization for a nonformulary drug shall provide the reasons for the disapproval in a notice provided to the enrollee. The notice shall indicate that the enrollee may file a grievance with the plan if the enrollee objects to the disapproval, including any alternative drug or treatment offered by the plan. The notice shall comply with subdivision (b) of Section 1368.02. Any health plan that is required to maintain an external exception request review process pursuant to subdivision (k) shall indicate in the notice required under this subdivision that the enrollee may file a grievance seeking an external exception request review.
(c) The process described in subdivision (a) by which prescribing providers may obtain authorization for medically necessary nonformulary drugs shall not apply to a nonformulary drug that has been prescribed for an enrollee in conformance with the provisions of Section 1367.22.
(d) The process described in subdivision (a) by which enrollees may obtain medically necessary nonformulary drugs, including specified timelines for responding to prescribing provider authorization requests, shall be described in evidence of coverage and disclosure forms, as required by subdivision (a) of Section 1363, issued on or after July 1, 1999.
(e) Every health care service plan that provides prescription drug benefits shall maintain, as part of its books and records under Section 1381, all of the following information, which shall be made available to the director upon request:
(1) The complete drug formulary or formularies of the plan, if the plan maintains a formulary, including a list of the prescription drugs on the formulary of the plan by major therapeutic category with an indication of whether any drugs are preferred over other drugs.
(2) Records developed by the pharmacy and therapeutic committee of the plan, or by others responsible for developing, modifying, and overseeing formularies, including medical groups, individual practice associations, and contracting pharmaceutical benefit management companies, used to guide the drugs prescribed for the enrollees of the plan, that fully describe the reasoning behind formulary decisions.
(3) Any plan arrangements with prescribing providers, medical groups, individual practice associations, pharmacists, contracting pharmaceutical benefit management companies, or other entities that are associated with activities of the plan to encourage formulary compliance or otherwise manage prescription drug benefits.
(f) If a plan provides prescription drug benefits, the department shall, as part of its periodic onsite medical survey of each plan undertaken pursuant to Section 1380, review the performance of the plan in providing those benefits, including, but not limited to, a review of the procedures and information maintained pursuant to this section, and describe the performance of the plan as part of its report issued pursuant to Section 1380.
(g) The director shall not publicly disclose any information reviewed pursuant to this section that is determined by the director to be confidential pursuant to state law.
(h) For purposes of this section, “authorization” means approval by the health care service plan to provide payment for the prescription drug.
(i) Nonformulary prescription drugs shall include any drug for which an enrollee’s copayment or out-of-pocket costs are different than the copayment for a formulary prescription drug, except as otherwise provided by law or regulation or in cases in which the drug has been excluded in the plan contract pursuant to Section 1342.7.
(j) Nothing in this section shall be construed to restrict or impair the application of any other provision of this chapter, including, but not limited to, Section 1367, which includes among its requirements that a health care service plan furnish services in a manner providing continuity of care and demonstrate that medical decisions are rendered by qualified medical providers unhindered by fiscal and administrative management.
(k) For any individual, small group, or large health plan contracts, a health care service plan’s process described in subdivision (a) shall comply with the request for exception and external exception request review processes described in subdivision (c) of Section 156.122 of Title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations. This subdivision shall not apply to Medi-Cal managed care health care service plan contracts as described in subdivision (l).
(l) “Medi-Cal managed care health care service plan contract” means any entity that enters into a contract 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 Part 3 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(m) Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect an enrollee’s or subscriber’s eligibility to submit a grievance to the department for review under Section 1368 or to apply to the department for an independent medical review under Section 1370.4, or Article 5.55 (commencing with Section 1374.30) of this chapter.

SEC. 2.

 Section 1367.241 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:

1367.241.
 (a) Notwithstanding any other law, on and after January 1, 2013, a health care service plan that provides coverage for prescription drugs shall accept only the prior authorization form developed pursuant to subdivision (c), or an electronic prior authorization process described in subdivision (e), when requiring prior authorization for prescription drugs. This section does not apply in the event that a physician or physician group has been delegated the financial risk for prescription drugs by a health care service plan and does not use a prior authorization process. This section does not apply to a health care service plan, or to its affiliated providers, if the health care service plan owns and operates its pharmacies and does not use a prior authorization process for prescription drugs.
(b) If a health care service plan or a contracted physician group fails to respond within 72 hours for nonurgent requests, and within 24 hours if exigent circumstances exist, upon receipt of a completed prior authorization request from a prescribing provider, the prior authorization request shall be deemed to have been granted. The requirements of this subdivision shall not apply to contracts entered into pursuant to Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 14000), Chapter 8 (commencing with Section 14200), or Chapter 8.75 (commencing with Section 14591) of Part 3 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code. Medi-Cal managed care health care service plans that contract under those chapters shall not be required to maintain an external exception request review as provided in Section 156.122 of Title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
(c) On or before January 1, 2017, the department and the Department of Insurance shall jointly develop a uniform prior authorization form. Notwithstanding any other law, on and after July 1, 2017, or six months after the form is completed pursuant to this section, whichever is later, every prescribing provider shall use that uniform prior authorization form, or an electronic prior authorization process described in subdivision (e), to request prior authorization for coverage of prescription drugs and every health care service plan shall accept that form or electronic process as sufficient to request prior authorization for prescription drugs.
(d) The prior authorization form developed pursuant to subdivision (c) shall meet the following criteria:
(1) The form shall not exceed two pages.
(2) The form shall be made electronically available by the department and the health care service plan.
(3) The completed form may also be electronically submitted from the prescribing provider to the health care service plan.
(4) The department and the Department of Insurance shall develop the form with input from interested parties from at least one public meeting.
(5) The department and the Department of Insurance, in development of the standardized form, shall take into consideration the following:
(A) Existing prior authorization forms established by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the State Department of Health Care Services.
(B) National standards pertaining to electronic prior authorization.
(e) A prescribing provider may use an electronic prior authorization system utilizing the standardized form described in subdivision (c) or an electronic process developed specifically for transmitting prior authorization information that meets the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs’ SCRIPT standard for electronic prior authorization transactions.
(f) Subdivision (a) does not apply if any of the following occurs:
(1) A contracted physician group is delegated the financial risk for prescription drugs by a health care service plan.
(2) A contracted physician group uses its own internal prior authorization process rather than the health care service plan’s prior authorization process for plan enrollees.
(3) A contracted physician group is delegated a utilization management function by the health care service plan concerning any prescription drug, regardless of the delegation of financial risk.
(g) For prescription drugs, prior authorization requirements described in subdivisions (c) and (e) apply regardless of how that benefit is classified under the terms of the health plan’s group or individual contract.
(h) For purposes of this section:
(1) “Prescribing provider” shall include a provider authorized to write a prescription, pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 4040 of the Business and Professions Code, to treat a medical condition of an enrollee.
(2) “Exigent circumstances” exist when an enrollee is suffering from a health condition that may seriously jeopardize the enrollee’s life, health, or ability to regain maximum function or when an enrollee is undergoing a current course of treatment using a nonformulary drug.
(3) “Completed prior authorization request” means a completed uniform prior authorization form developed pursuant to subdivision (c), or a completed request submitted using an electronic prior authorization system described in subdivision (e), or, for contracted physician groups described in subdivision (f), the process used by the contracted physician group.

SEC. 3.

 Section 1368 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:

1368.
 (a) Every plan shall do all of the following:
(1) Establish and maintain a grievance system approved by the department under which enrollees may submit their grievances to the plan. Each system shall provide reasonable procedures in accordance with department regulations that shall ensure adequate consideration of enrollee grievances and rectification when appropriate.
(2) Inform its subscribers and enrollees upon enrollment in the plan and annually thereafter of the procedure for processing and resolving grievances. The information shall include the location and telephone number where grievances may be submitted.
(3) Provide forms for grievances to be given to subscribers and enrollees who wish to register written grievances. The forms used by plans licensed pursuant to Section 1353 shall be approved by the director in advance as to format.
(4) (A) Provide for a written acknowledgment within five calendar days of the receipt of a grievance, except as noted in subparagraph (B). The acknowledgment shall advise the complainant of the following:
(i) That the grievance has been received.
(ii) The date of receipt.
(iii) The name of the plan representative and the telephone number and address of the plan representative who may be contacted about the grievance.
(B) (i) Grievances received by telephone, by facsimile, by email, or online through the plan’s Internet Web site pursuant to Section 1368.015, that are not coverage disputes, disputed health care services involving medical necessity, or experimental or investigational treatment and that are resolved by the next business day following receipt are exempt from the requirements of subparagraph (A) and paragraph (5). The plan shall maintain a log of all these grievances. The log shall be periodically reviewed by the plan and shall include the following information for each complaint:
(I) The date of the call.
(II) The name of the complainant.
(III) The complainant’s member identification number.
(IV) The nature of the grievance.
(V) The nature of the resolution.
(VI) The name of the plan representative who took the call and resolved the grievance.
(ii) For health plan contracts in the individual, small group, or large group markets, a health care service plan’s response to grievances subject to Section 1367.24 shall also comply with subdivision (c) of Section 156.122 of Title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations. This paragraph shall not apply to Medi-Cal managed care health care service plan contracts or any entity that enters into a contract 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 Part 3 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(5) Provide subscribers and enrollees with written responses to grievances, with a clear and concise explanation of the reasons for the plan’s response. For grievances involving the delay, denial, or modification of health care services, the plan response shall describe the criteria used and the clinical reasons for its decision, including all criteria and clinical reasons related to medical necessity. If a plan, or one of its contracting providers, issues a decision delaying, denying, or modifying health care services based in whole or in part on a finding that the proposed health care services are not a covered benefit under the contract that applies to the enrollee, the decision shall clearly specify the provisions in the contract that exclude that coverage.
(6) For grievances involving the cancellation, rescission, or nonrenewal of a health care service plan contract, the health care service plan shall continue to provide coverage to the enrollee or subscriber under the terms of the health care service plan contract until a final determination of the enrollee’s or subscriber’s request for review has been made by the health care service plan or the director pursuant to Section 1365 and this section. This paragraph shall not apply if the health care service plan cancels or fails to renew the enrollee’s or subscriber’s health care service plan contract for nonpayment of premiums pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 1365.
(7) Keep in its files all copies of grievances, and the responses thereto, for a period of five years.
(b) (1) (A) After either completing the grievance process described in subdivision (a), or participating in the process for at least 30 days, a subscriber or enrollee may submit the grievance to the department for review. In any case determined by the department to be a case involving an imminent and serious threat to the health of the patient, including, but not limited to, severe pain, the potential loss of life, limb, or major bodily function, cancellations, rescissions, or the nonrenewal of a health care service plan contract, or in any other case where the department determines that an earlier review is warranted, a subscriber or enrollee shall not be required to complete the grievance process or to participate in the process for at least 30 days before submitting a grievance to the department for review.
(B) A grievance may be submitted to the department for review and resolution prior to any arbitration.
(C) Notwithstanding subparagraphs (A) and (B), the department may refer any grievance that does not pertain to compliance with this chapter to the State Department of Public Health, the California Department of Aging, the federal Health Care Financing Administration, or any other appropriate governmental entity for investigation and resolution.
(2) If the subscriber or enrollee is a minor, or is incompetent or incapacitated, the parent, guardian, conservator, relative, or other designee of the subscriber or enrollee, as appropriate, may submit the grievance to the department as the agent of the subscriber or enrollee. Further, a provider may join with, or otherwise assist, a subscriber or enrollee, or the agent, to submit the grievance to the department. In addition, following submission of the grievance to the department, the subscriber or enrollee, or the agent, may authorize the provider to assist, including advocating on behalf of the subscriber or enrollee. For purposes of this section, a “relative” includes the parent, stepparent, spouse, adult son or daughter, grandparent, brother, sister, uncle, or aunt of the subscriber or enrollee.
(3) The department shall review the written documents submitted with the subscriber’s or the enrollee’s request for review, or submitted by the agent on behalf of the subscriber or enrollee. The department may ask for additional information, and may hold an informal meeting with the involved parties, including providers who have joined in submitting the grievance or who are otherwise assisting or advocating on behalf of the subscriber or enrollee. If after reviewing the record, the department concludes that the grievance, in whole or in part, is eligible for review under the independent medical review system established pursuant to Article 5.55 (commencing with Section 1374.30), the department shall immediately notify the subscriber or enrollee, or agent, of that option and shall, if requested orally or in writing, assist the subscriber or enrollee in participating in the independent medical review system.
(4) If after reviewing the record of a grievance, the department concludes that a health care service eligible for coverage and payment under a health care service plan contract has been delayed, denied, or modified by a plan, or by one of its contracting providers, in whole or in part due to a determination that the service is not medically necessary, and that determination was not communicated to the enrollee in writing along with a notice of the enrollee’s potential right to participate in the independent medical review system, as required by this chapter, the director shall, by order, assess administrative penalties. A proceeding for the issuance of an order assessing administrative penalties shall be subject to appropriate notice of, and the opportunity for, a hearing with regard to the person affected in accordance with Section 1397. The administrative penalties shall not be deemed an exclusive remedy available to the director. These penalties shall be paid to the Managed Care Administrative Fines and Penalties Fund and shall be used for the purposes specified in Section 1341.45.
(5) The department shall send a written notice of the final disposition of the grievance, and the reasons therefor, to the subscriber or enrollee, the agent, to any provider that has joined with or is otherwise assisting the subscriber or enrollee, and to the plan, within 30 calendar days of receipt of the request for review unless the director, in his or her discretion, determines that additional time is reasonably necessary to fully and fairly evaluate the relevant grievance. In any case not eligible for the independent medical review system established pursuant to Article 5.55 (commencing with Section 1374.30), the department’s written notice shall include, at a minimum, the following:
(A) A summary of its findings and the reasons why the department found the plan to be, or not to be, in compliance with any applicable laws, regulations, or orders of the director.
(B) A discussion of the department’s contact with any medical provider, or any other independent expert relied on by the department, along with a summary of the views and qualifications of that provider or expert.
(C) If the enrollee’s grievance is sustained in whole or in part, information about any corrective action taken.
(6) In any department review of a grievance involving a disputed health care service, as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 1374.30, that is not eligible for the independent medical review system established pursuant to Article 5.55 (commencing with Section 1374.30), in which the department finds that the plan has delayed, denied, or modified health care services that are medically necessary, based on the specific medical circumstances of the enrollee, and those services are a covered benefit under the terms and conditions of the health care service plan contract, the department’s written notice shall do either of the following:
(A) Order the plan to promptly offer and provide those health care services to the enrollee.
(B) Order the plan to promptly reimburse the enrollee for any reasonable costs associated with urgent care or emergency services, or other extraordinary and compelling health care services, when the department finds that the enrollee’s decision to secure those services outside of the plan network was reasonable under the circumstances.
The department’s order shall be binding on the plan.
(7) Distribution of the written notice shall not be deemed a waiver of any exemption or privilege under existing law, including, but not limited to, Section 6254.5 of the Government Code, for any information in connection with and including the written notice, nor shall any person employed or in any way retained by the department be required to testify as to that information or notice.
(8) The director shall establish and maintain a system of aging of grievances that are pending and unresolved for 30 days or more that shall include a brief explanation of the reasons each grievance is pending and unresolved for 30 days or more.
(9) A subscriber or enrollee, or the agent acting on behalf of a subscriber or enrollee, may also request voluntary mediation with the plan prior to exercising the right to submit a grievance to the department. The use of mediation services shall not preclude the right to submit a grievance to the department upon completion of mediation. In order to initiate mediation, the subscriber or enrollee, or the agent acting on behalf of the subscriber or enrollee, and the plan shall voluntarily agree to mediation. Expenses for mediation shall be borne equally by both sides. The department shall have no administrative or enforcement responsibilities in connection with the voluntary mediation process authorized by this paragraph.
(c) The plan’s grievance system shall include a system of aging of grievances that are pending and unresolved for 30 days or more. The plan shall provide a quarterly report to the director of grievances pending and unresolved for 30 or more days with separate categories of grievances for Medicare enrollees and Medi-Cal enrollees. The plan shall include with the report a brief explanation of the reasons each grievance is pending and unresolved for 30 days or more. The plan may include the following statement in the quarterly report that is made available to the public by the director:

“Under Medicare and Medi-Cal law, Medicare enrollees and Medi-Cal enrollees each have separate avenues of appeal that are not available to other enrollees. Therefore, grievances pending and unresolved may reflect enrollees pursuing their Medicare or Medi-Cal appeal rights.”

If requested by a plan, the director shall include this statement in a written report made available to the public and prepared by the director that describes or compares grievances that are pending and unresolved with the plan for 30 days or more. Additionally, the director shall, if requested by a plan, append to that written report a brief explanation, provided in writing by the plan, of the reasons why grievances described in that written report are pending and unresolved for 30 days or more. The director shall not be required to include a statement or append a brief explanation to a written report that the director is required to prepare under this chapter, including Sections 1380 and 1397.5.
(d) Subject to subparagraph (C) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (b), the grievance or resolution procedures authorized by this section shall be in addition to any other procedures that may be available to any person, and failure to pursue, exhaust, or engage in the procedures described in this section shall not preclude the use of any other remedy provided by law.
(e) Nothing in this section shall be construed to allow the submission to the department of any provider grievance under this section. However, as part of a provider’s duty to advocate for medically appropriate health care for his or her patients pursuant to Sections 510 and 2056 of the Business and Professions Code, nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to prohibit a provider from contacting and informing the department about any concerns he or she has regarding compliance with or enforcement of this chapter.
(f) To the extent required by Section 2719 of the federal Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 300gg-19) and any subsequent rules or regulations, there shall be an independent external review pursuant to the standards required by the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services of a health care service plan’s cancellation, rescission, or nonrenewal of an enrollee’s or subscriber’s coverage.

SEC. 4.

 Section 1368.01 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:

1368.01.
 (a)  The grievance system shall require the plan to resolve grievances within 30 days, except as provided in subdivision (c).
(b)  The grievance system shall include a requirement for expedited plan review of grievances for cases involving an imminent and serious threat to the health of the patient, including, but not limited to, severe pain, potential loss of life, limb, or major bodily function. When the plan has notice of a case requiring expedited review, the grievance system shall require the plan to immediately inform enrollees and subscribers in writing of their right to notify the department of the grievance. The grievance system shall also require the plan to provide enrollees, subscribers, and the department with a written statement on the disposition or pending status of the grievance no later than three days from receipt of the grievance, except as provided in subdivision (c). Paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 1368 shall not apply to grievances handled pursuant to this section.
(c) A health care service plan contract in the individual, small group, or large group markets that provides coverage for outpatient prescription drugs shall comply with subdivision (c) of Section 156.122 of Title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations. This subdivision shall not apply to Medi-Cal managed care health care service plan contracts or any entity that enters into a contract 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 Part 3 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.

SEC. 5.

 Section 10123.191 of the Insurance Code is amended to read:

10123.191.
 (a) Notwithstanding any other law, on and after January 1, 2013, a health insurer that provides coverage for prescription drugs shall utilize and accept only the prior authorization form developed pursuant to subdivision (c), or an electronic prior authorization process described in subdivision (e), when requiring prior authorization for prescription drugs.
(b) If a health insurer or a contracted physician group fails to respond within 72 hours for nonurgent requests, and within 24 hours if exigent circumstances exist, upon receipt of a completed prior authorization request from a prescribing provider, the prior authorization request shall be deemed to have been granted.
(c) On or before January 1, 2017, the department and the Department of Managed Health Care shall jointly develop a uniform prior authorization form. Notwithstanding any other law, on and after July 1, 2017, or six months after the form is completed pursuant to this section, whichever is later, every prescribing provider shall use that uniform prior authorization form, or an electronic prior authorization process described in subdivision (e), to request prior authorization for coverage of prescription drugs and every health insurer shall accept that form or electronic process as sufficient to request prior authorization for prescription drugs.
(d) The prior authorization form developed pursuant to subdivision (c) shall meet the following criteria:
(1) The form shall not exceed two pages.
(2) The form shall be made electronically available by the department and the health insurer.
(3) The completed form may also be electronically submitted from the prescribing provider to the health insurer.
(4) The department and the Department of Managed Health Care shall develop the form with input from interested parties from at least one public meeting.
(5) The department and the Department of Managed Health Care, in development of the standardized form, shall take into consideration the following:
(A) Existing prior authorization forms established by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the State Department of Health Care Services.
(B) National standards pertaining to electronic prior authorization.
(e) A prescribing provider may use an electronic prior authorization system utilizing the standardized form described in subdivision (c) or an electronic process developed specifically for transmitting prior authorization information that meets the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs’ SCRIPT standard for electronic prior authorization transactions.
(f) Subdivision (a) does not apply if any of the following occurs:
(1) A contracted physician group is delegated the financial risk for the pharmacy or medical drug benefit by a health insurer.
(2) A contracted physician group uses its own internal prior authorization process rather than the health insurer’s prior authorization process for the health insurer’s insureds.
(3) A contracted physician group is delegated a utilization management function by the health insurer concerning any prescription drug, regardless of the delegation of financial risk.
(g) For prescription drugs, prior authorization requirements described in subdivisions (c) and (e) apply regardless of how that benefit is classified under the terms of the health insurer’s group or individual policy.
(h) A health insurer shall maintain a process for an external exception request review that complies with subdivision (c) of Section 156.122 of Title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
(i) For an individual, small group, or large group health insurance policy, a health insurer that provides coverage for outpatient prescription drugs shall comply with subdivision (c) of Section 156.122 of Title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
(j) For purposes of this section:
(1) “Prescribing provider” shall include a provider authorized to write a prescription, pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 4040 of the Business and Professions Code, to treat a medical condition of an insured.
(2) “Exigent circumstances” exist when an insured is suffering from a health condition that may seriously jeopardize the insured’s life, health, or ability to regain maximum function or when an insured is undergoing a current course of treatment using a nonformulary drug.
(3) “Completed prior authorization request” means a completed uniform prior authorization form developed pursuant to subdivision (c), or a completed request submitted using an electronic prior authorization system described in subdivision (e), or, for contracted physician groups described in subdivision (f), the process used by the contracted physician group.

SEC. 6.

 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.