Code Section

Welfare and Institutions Code - WIC

DIVISION 9. PUBLIC SOCIAL SERVICES [10000 - 18999.8]

  ( Division 9 added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1784. )
  

PART 3. AID AND MEDICAL ASSISTANCE [11000 - 15771]

  ( Part 3 added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1784. )
  

CHAPTER 7. Basic Health Care [14000 - 14199.67]

  ( Chapter 7 added by Stats. 1965, 2nd Ex. Sess., Ch. 4. )
  

ARTICLE 6.3. Medi-Cal Managed Care Plans [14197 - 14197.5]
  ( Article 6.3 added by Stats. 2017, Ch. 738, Sec. 7. )

  
14197.  

(a) It is the intent of the Legislature that the department implement and monitor compliance with the time and distance requirements set forth in Sections 438.68, 438.206, and 438.207 of Title 42 of the Code of Federal Regulations and this section, to ensure that all Medi-Cal managed care covered services are available and accessible to enrollees of Medi-Cal managed care plans in a timely manner, as those standards were enacted in May 2016.

(b) Commencing January 1, 2018, for covered benefits under its contract, as applicable, a Medi-Cal managed care plan shall maintain a network of providers that are located within the following time and distance standards for the following services:

(1) For primary care, both adult and pediatric, 10 miles or 30 minutes from the beneficiary’s place of residence.

(2) For hospitals, 15 miles or 30 minutes from the beneficiary’s place of residence.

(3) For dental services provided by a Medi-Cal managed care plan, 10 miles or 30 minutes from the beneficiary’s place of residence.

(4) For obstetrics and gynecology primary care, 10 miles or 30 minutes from the beneficiary’s place of residence.

(c) Commencing July 1, 2018, for the covered benefits under its contracts, as applicable, a Medi-Cal managed care plan shall maintain a network of providers that are located within the following time and distance standards for the following services:

(1) For specialists, as defined in subdivision (h), adult and pediatric, including obstetric and gynecology specialty care, as follows:

(A) Up to 15 miles or 30 minutes from the beneficiary’s place of residence for the following counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Los Angeles, Orange, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara.

(B) Up to 30 miles or 60 minutes from the beneficiary’s place of residence for the following counties: Marin, Placer, Riverside, San Joaquin, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, and Ventura.

(C) Up to 45 miles or 75 minutes from the beneficiary’s place of residence for the following counties: Amador, Butte, El Dorado, Fresno, Kern, Kings, Lake, Madera, Merced, Monterey, Napa, Nevada, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Sutter, Tulare, Yolo, and Yuba.

(D) Up to 60 miles or 90 minutes from the beneficiary’s place of residence for the following counties: Alpine, Calaveras, Colusa, Del Norte, Glenn, Humboldt, Imperial, Inyo, Lassen, Mariposa, Mendocino, Modoc, Mono, Plumas, San Benito, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Tehama, Trinity, and Tuolumne.

(2) For pharmacy services, 10 miles or 30 minutes from the beneficiary’s place of residence.

(3) For outpatient mental health services, as follows:

(A) Up to 15 miles or 30 minutes from the beneficiary’s place of residence for the following counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Los Angeles, Orange, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara.

(B) Up to 30 miles or 60 minutes from the beneficiary’s place of residence for the following counties: Marin, Placer, Riverside, San Joaquin, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, and Ventura.

(C) Up to 45 miles or 75 minutes from the beneficiary’s place of residence for the following counties: Amador, Butte, El Dorado, Fresno, Kern, Kings, Lake, Madera, Merced, Monterey, Napa, Nevada, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Sutter, Tulare, Yolo, and Yuba.

(D) Up to 60 miles or 90 minutes from the beneficiary’s place of residence for the following counties: Alpine, Calaveras, Colusa, Del Norte, Glenn, Humboldt, Imperial, Inyo, Lassen, Mariposa, Mendocino, Modoc, Mono, Plumas, San Benito, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Tehama, Trinity, and Tuolumne.

(4) (A) For outpatient substance use disorder services other than opioid treatment programs, as follows:

(i) Up to 15 miles or 30 minutes from the beneficiary’s place of residence for the following counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Los Angeles, Orange, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara.

(ii) Up to 30 miles or 60 minutes from the beneficiary’s place of residence for the following counties: Marin, Placer, Riverside, San Joaquin, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, and Ventura.

(iii) Up to 60 miles or 90 minutes from the beneficiary’s place of residence for the following counties: Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Del Norte, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Humboldt, Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Lake, Lassen, Madera, Mariposa, Mendocino, Merced, Modoc, Monterey, Mono, Napa, Nevada, Plumas, San Benito, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Tulare, Tuolumne, Yolo, and Yuba.

(B) For opioid treatment programs, as follows:

(i) Up to 15 miles or 30 minutes from the beneficiary’s place of residence for the following counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Los Angeles, Orange, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara.

(ii) Up to 30 miles or 60 minutes from the beneficiary’s place of residence for the following counties: Marin, Placer, Riverside, San Joaquin, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, and Ventura.

(iii) Up to 45 miles or 75 minutes from the beneficiary’s place of residence for the following counties: Amador, Butte, El Dorado, Fresno, Kern, Kings, Lake, Madera, Merced, Monterey, Napa, Nevada, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Sutter, Tulare, Yolo, and Yuba.

(iv) Up to 60 miles or 90 minutes from the beneficiary’s place of residence for the following counties: Alpine, Calaveras, Colusa, Del Norte, Glenn, Humboldt, Imperial, Inyo, Lassen, Mariposa, Mendocino, Modoc, Mono, Plumas, San Benito, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Tehama, Trinity, and Tuolumne.

(d) (1) (A) A Medi-Cal managed care plan shall comply with the appointment time standards developed pursuant to Section 1367.03 of the Health and Safety Code, Section 1300.67.2.2 of Title 28 of the California Code of Regulations, subject to any allowable exceptions in Section 1300.67.2.2 of Title 28 of the California Code of Regulations, and the standards set forth in contracts entered into between the department and Medi-Cal managed care plans.

(B) Commencing July 1, 2018, subparagraph (A) applies to Medi-Cal managed care plans that are not, as of January 1, 2018, subject to the appointment time standards described in subparagraph (A).

(2) A Medi-Cal managed care plan shall comply with the following availability standards for skilled nursing facility services and intermediate care facility services, as follows:

(A) Within five business days of the request for the following counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Los Angeles, Orange, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara.

(B) Within seven business days of the request for the following counties: Marin, Placer, Riverside, San Joaquin, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, and Ventura.

(C) Within 14 calendar days of the request for the following counties: Amador, Butte, El Dorado, Fresno, Kern, Kings, Lake, Madera, Merced, Monterey, Napa, Nevada, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Sutter, Tulare, Yolo, and Yuba.

(D) Within 14 calendar days of the request for the following counties: Alpine, Calaveras, Colusa, Del Norte, Glenn, Humboldt, Imperial, Inyo, Lassen, Mariposa, Mendocino, Modoc, Mono, Plumas, San Benito, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Tehama, Trinity, and Tuolumne.

(3) A county Drug Medi-Cal organized delivery system shall provide an appointment within three business days to an opioid treatment program.

(4) A dental managed care plan shall provide an appointment within four weeks of a request for routine pediatric dental services and within 30 calendar days of a request for specialist pediatric dental services.

(e) (1) The department, upon request of a Medi-Cal managed care plan, may allow alternative access standards for the time and distance standards established under this section if either of the following occur:

(A) The requesting Medi-Cal managed care plan has exhausted all other reasonable options to obtain providers to meet the applicable standard.

(B) The department determines that the requesting Medi-Cal managed care plan has demonstrated that its delivery structure is capable of delivering the appropriate level of care and access.

(2) If a Medi-Cal managed care plan cannot meet the time and distance standards set forth in this section, the Medi-Cal managed care plan shall submit a request for alternative access standards to the department, in the form and manner specified by the department. A request may be submitted at the same time as the Medi-Cal managed care plan submits its annual demonstration of compliance with time and distance standards, if known at that time.

(3) A request for alternative access standards shall be approved or denied on a ZIP Code and provider type, including specialty type, basis by the department within 90 days of submission of the request. The Medi-Cal managed care plan shall also include a description of the reasons justifying the alternative access standards based on those facts and circumstances. The department may stop the 90-day timeframe, on one or more occasions as necessary, in the event of an incomplete submission or to obtain additional information from the Medi-Cal managed care plan requesting the alternative access standards. Upon submission of sufficient additional information to the department, the 90-day timeframe shall resume at the same point in time it was previously stopped, except if there is less than 30 days remaining in which case the department shall approve or deny the request within 30 days of submission of sufficient additional information. If the department rejects the Medi-Cal managed care plan’s proposal, the department shall inform the Medi-Cal managed care plan of the department’s reason for rejecting the proposal. The department shall post any approved alternative access standards on its Internet Web site.

(4) The department may allow for the use of clinically appropriate telecommunications technology as a means of determining annual compliance with the time and distance standards established pursuant to this section or approving alternative access to care, including telehealth consistent with the requirements of Section 2290.5 of the Business and Professions Code, e-visits, or other evolving and innovative technological solutions that are used to provide care from a distance.

(f) (1) Effective for contract periods commencing on or after July 1, 2018, a Medi-Cal managed care plan shall, on an annual basis and when requested by the department, demonstrate to the department its compliance with the time and distance and appointment time standards developed pursuant to this section. The report shall measure compliance separately for adult and pediatric services for primary care, behavioral health, and core specialist services.

(2) Effective for contract periods commencing on or after July 1, 2018, the department shall evaluate on an annual basis a Medi-Cal managed care plan’s compliance with the time and distance and appointment time standards implemented pursuant to this section. This evaluation may include, but need not be limited to, annual and random surveys, investigation of complaints, grievances or other indicia of noncompliance. Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to limit the appeal rights of a Medi-Cal managed care plan under its contracts with the department.

(3) The department shall annually publish on its Internet Web site a report in which it details its findings in evaluating a Medi-Cal managed care plan’s compliance under paragraph (2). At a minimum, the department shall specify in this report those Medi-Cal managed care plans, if any, that were subject to a corrective action plan due to noncompliance with the time and distance and appointment time standards implemented pursuant to this section during the applicable year and the basis for the department’s finding of noncompliance. The report shall include a Medi-Cal managed care plan’s response to the corrective plan, if available.

(g) The department shall consult with Medi-Cal managed care plans, including mental health plans, health care providers, consumers, providers and consumers of LTSS, and organizations representing Medi-Cal beneficiaries in the implementation of the requirements of this section.

(h) For purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:

(1) “Medi-Cal managed care plan” means any individual, organization, or entity that enters into a contract with the department to provide services to enrolled Medi-Cal beneficiaries pursuant to any of the following:

(A) Article 2.7 (commencing with Section 14087.3), including dental managed care programs developed pursuant to Section 14087.46.

(B) Article 2.8 (commencing with Section 14087.5).

(C) Article 2.81 (commencing with Section 14087.96).

(D) Article 2.82 (commencing with Section 14087.98).

(E) Article 2.9 (commencing with Section 14088).

(F) Article 2.91 (commencing with Section 14089).

(G) Chapter 8 (commencing with Section 14200), including dental managed care plans.

(H) Chapter 8.9 (commencing with Section 14700).

(I) A county Drug Medi-Cal organized delivery system authorized under the California Medi-Cal 2020 Demonstration, Number 11-W-00193/9, as approved by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and described in the Special Terms and Conditions. For purposes of this subdivision, “Special Terms and Conditions” shall have the same meaning as set forth in subdivision (o) of Section 14184.10.

(2) “Specialist” means any of the following:

(A) Cardiology/interventional cardiology.

(B) Nephrology.

(C) Dermatology.

(D) Neurology.

(E) Endocrinology.

(F) Ophthalmology.

(G) Ear, nose, and throat/otolaryngology.

(H) Orthopedic surgery.

(I) Gastroenterology.

(J) Physical medicine and rehabilitation.

(K) General surgery.

(L) Psychiatry.

(M) Hematology.

(N) Oncology.

(O) Pulmonology.

(P) HIV/AIDS specialists/infectious diseases.

(i) Notwithstanding Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code, the department, without taking any further regulatory action, may implement, interpret, or make specific this section by means of all-county letters, plan letters, plan or provider bulletins, or similar instructions until the time regulations are adopted.

(j) The department shall seek any federal approvals it deems necessary to implement this section. This section shall be implemented only to the extent that any necessary federal approvals are obtained and federal financial participation is available and is not otherwise jeopardized.

(k) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2022, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute that is enacted before January 1, 2022, deletes or extends that date.

(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 92, Sec. 238. (SB 1289) Effective January 1, 2019. Repealed as of January 1, 2022, by its own provisions.)