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§ 1300.71.38. Fast, Fair and Cost-Effective Dispute Resolution Mechanism.

28 CA ADC § 1300.71.38BARCLAYS OFFICIAL CALIFORNIA CODE OF REGULATIONS

Barclays Official California Code of Regulations Currentness
Title 28. Managed Health Care
Division 1. The Department of Managed Health Care
Chapter 2. Health Care Service Plans
Article 8. Self-Policing Procedures
28 CCR § 1300.71.38
§ 1300.71.38. Fast, Fair and Cost-Effective Dispute Resolution Mechanism.
All health care service plans and their capitated providers that pay claims (plan's capitated provider) shall establish a fast, fair and cost-effective dispute resolution mechanism to process and resolve contracted and non-contracted provider disputes. The plan and the plan's capitated provider may maintain separate dispute resolution mechanisms for contracted and non-contracted provider disputes and separate dispute resolution mechanisms for claims and other types of billing and contract disputes, provided that each mechanism complies with sections 1367(h), 1371, 1371.1, 1371.2, 1371.22, 1371.35, 1371.36, 1371.37, 1371.4, and 1371.8 of the Health and Safety Code and sections 1300.71, 1300.71.38, 1300.71.4, and 1300.77.4 of title 28. Arbitration shall not be deemed a provider dispute or a provider dispute resolution mechanism for the purposes of this section.
(a) Definitions:
(1) “Contracted Provider Dispute” means a contracted provider's written notice to the plan or the plan's capitated provider challenging, appealing or requesting reconsideration of a claim (or a bundled group of substantially similar multiple claims that are individually numbered) that has been denied, adjusted or contested or seeking resolution of a billing determination or other contract dispute (or a bundled group of substantially similar multiple billing or other contractual disputes that are individually numbered) or disputing a request for reimbursement of an overpayment of a claim that contains, at a minimum, the following information: the provider's name; the provider's identification number; contact information; and:
(A) If the dispute concerns a claim or a request for reimbursement of an overpayment of a claim, a clear identification of the disputed item, the date of service and a clear explanation of the basis upon which the provider believes the payment amount, request for additional information, request for reimbursement for the overpayment of a claim, contest, denial, adjustment or other action is incorrect;
(B) If the dispute is not about a claim, a clear explanation of the issue and the provider's position thereon; and
(C) If the dispute involves an enrollee or group of enrollees: the name and identification number(s) of the enrollee or enrollees, a clear explanation of the disputed item, including the date of service and the provider's position thereon.
(2) “Non-Contracted Provider Dispute” means a non-contracted provider's written notice to the plan or the plan's capitated provider challenging, appealing or requesting reconsideration of a claim (or a bundled group of substantially similar claims that are individually numbered) that has been denied, adjusted or contested or disputing a request for reimbursement of an overpayment of a claim that contains, at a minimum, the following information: the provider's name, the provider's identification number, contact information and:
(A) If the dispute concerns a claim or a request for reimbursement of an overpayment of a claim, a clear identification of the disputed item, including the date of service, and a clear explanation of the basis upon which the provider believes the payment amount, request for additional information, contest, denial, request for reimbursement of an overpayment of a claim or other action is incorrect.
(B) If the dispute involves an enrollee or group of enrollees, the name and identification number(s) of the enrollee or enrollees, a clear explanation of the disputed item, including the date of service and the provider's position thereon.
(3) “Date of receipt” means the working day when the provider dispute or amended provider dispute, by physical or electronic means, is first delivered to the plan's or the plan's capitated provider's designated dispute resolution office or post office box. This definition shall not affect the presumption of receipt of mail set forth in Evidence Code section 641.
(4) “Date of Determination” means the date of postmark or electronic mark on the written provider dispute determination or amended provider dispute determination that is delivered, by physical or electronic means, to the claimant's office or other address of record. To the extent that a postmark or electronic mark is unavailable to confirm the Date of Determination, the Department may consider, when auditing the plan's or the plan's capitated provider's provider dispute mechanism, the date the check is printed for any monies determined to be due and owing the provider and date the check is presented for payment. This definition shall not affect the presumption of receipt of mail set forth in Evidence Code section 641.
(5) “Plan” for the purposes of this section means a licensed health care service plan and its contracted claims processing organization(s).
(b) Notice to Provider of Dispute Resolution Mechanism(s). Whenever the plan or the plan's capitated provider contests, adjusts or denies a claim, it shall inform the provider of the availability of the provider dispute resolution mechanism and the procedures for obtaining forms and instructions, including the mailing address, for filing a provider dispute.
(c) Submission of Provider Disputes. The plan and the plan's capitated provider shall establish written procedures for the submission, receipt, processing and resolution of contracted and non-contracted provider disputes that, at a minimum, provide that:
(1) Provider disputes be submitted utilizing the same number assigned to the original claim; thereafter the plan or the plan's capitated provider shall process and track the provider dispute in a manner that allows the plan, the plan's capitated provider, the provider and the Department to link the provider dispute with the number assigned to the original claim.
(2) Contracted Provider Disputes be submitted in a manner consistent with procedures disclosed in sections 1300.71(l)(1) -(4).
(3) Non-contracted Provider Disputes be submitted in a manner consistent with the directions for obtaining forms and instructions for filing a provider dispute attached to the plan's or the plan's capitated provider's notice that the subject claim has been denied, adjusted or contested or pursuant to the directions for filing Non-contracted Provider Disputes contained on the plan's or the plan's capitated provider's website.
(4) The plan shall resolve any provider dispute submitted on behalf of an enrollee or a group of enrollees treated by the provider in the plan's consumer grievance process and not in the plan's or the plan's capitated provider's dispute resolution mechanism. The plan may verify the enrollee's authorization to proceed with the grievance prior to submitting the complaint to the plan's consumer grievance process. When a provider submits a dispute on behalf of an enrollee or a group of enrollees, the provider shall be deemed to be joining with or assisting the enrollee within the meaning of section 1368 of the Health and Safety Code.
(d) Time Period for Submission.
(1) Neither the plan nor the plan's capitated provider that pays claims, except as required by any state or federal law or regulation, shall impose a deadline for the receipt of a provider dispute for an individual claim, billing dispute or other contractual dispute that is less than 365 days of plan's or the plan's capitated provider's action or, in the case of inaction, that is less than 365 days after the Time for Contesting or Denying Claims has expired. If the dispute relates to a demonstrable and unfair payment pattern by the plan or the plan's capitated provider, neither the plan nor the plan's capitated provider shall impose a deadline for the receipt of a dispute that is less than 365 days from the plan's or the plan's capitated provider's most recent action or in the case of inaction that is less than 365 days after the most recent Time for Contesting or Denying Claims has expired.
(2) The plan or the plan's capitated provider may return any provider dispute lacking the information enumerated in either section (a)(1) or (a)(2), if the information is in the possession of the provider and is not readily accessible to the plan or the plan's capitated provider. Along with any returned provider dispute, the plan or the plan's capitated provider shall clearly identify in writing the missing information necessary to resolve the dispute consistent with sections 1300.71(a)(10) and (11) and 1300.71(d)(1), (2) and (3). Except in situation where the claim documentation has been returned to the provider, no plan or a plan's capitated provider shall request the provider to resubmit claim information or supporting documentation that the provider previously submitted to the plan or the plan's capitated provider as part of the claims adjudication process.
(3) A provider may submit an amended provider dispute within thirty (30) working days of the date of receipt of a returned provider dispute setting forth the missing information.
(e) Time Period for Acknowledgment. A plan or a plan's capitated provider shall enter into its dispute resolution mechanism system(s) each provider dispute submission (whether or not complete), and shall identify and acknowledge the receipt of each provider dispute:
(1) In the case of an electronic provider dispute, the acknowledgement shall be provided within two (2) working days of the date of receipt of the electronic provider dispute by the office designated to receive provider disputes, or
(2) In the case of a paper provider dispute, the acknowledgement shall be provided within fifteen (15) working days of the date of receipt of the paper provider dispute by the office designated to receive provider disputes.
(f) Time Period for Resolution and Written Determination. The plan or the plan's capitated provider shall resolve each provider dispute or amended provider dispute, consistent with applicable state and federal law and the provisions of sections 1371, 1371.1, 1371.2, 1371.22, 1371.35, 1371.37, 1371.4 and 1371.8 of the Health and Safety Code and section 1300.71, 1300.71.38, 1300.71.4 and 1300.77.4 of title 28, and issue a written determination stating the pertinent facts and explaining the reasons for its determination within 45 working days after the date of receipt of the provider dispute or the amended provider dispute.
Copies of provider disputes and determinations, including all notes, documents and other information upon which the plan or the plan's capitated provider relied to reach its decision, and all reports and related information shall be retained for at least the period specified in section 1300.85.1 of title 28.
(g) Past Due Payments. If the provider dispute or amended provider dispute involves a claim and is determined in whole or in part in favor of the provider, the plan or the plan's capitated provider shall pay any outstanding monies determined to be due, and all interest and penalties required under sections 1371 and 1371.35 of the Health and Safety Code and section 1300.71 of title 28, within five (5) working days of the issuance of the Written Determination. Accrual of interest and penalties for the payment of these resolved provider disputes shall commence on the day following the expiration of “Time for Reimbursement” as forth in section 1300.71(g).
(h) Designation of Plan Officer. The plan and the plan's capitated provider shall each designate a principal officer, as defined by section 1300.45(o) of title 28, to be primarily responsible for the maintenance of their respective provider dispute resolution mechanism(s), for the review of its operations and for noting any emerging patterns of provider disputes to improve administrative capacity, plan-provider relations, claim payment procedures and patient care. The designated principal officer shall be responsible for preparing, the reports and disclosures as specified in sections 1300.71(e)(3) and (q) and 1300.71.38(k) of title 28.
(i) No Discrimination. The plan or the plan's capitated provider shall not discriminate or retaliate against a provider (including but not limited to the cancellation of the provider's contract) because the provider filed a contracted provider dispute or a non-contracted provider dispute.
(j) Dispute Resolution Costs. A provider dispute received under this section shall be received, handled and resolved by the plan and the plan's capitated provider without charge to the provider. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the plan and the plan's capitated provider shall have no obligation to reimburse a provider for any costs incurred in connection with utilizing the provider dispute resolution mechanism.
(k) Required Reports. Beginning with the 2004 calendar year and for each subsequent year, the plan shall submit to the Department no more than fifteen (15) days after the close of the calendar year, an “Annual Plan Claims Payment and Dispute Resolution Mechanism Report,” described in part in Section 1300.71(q) of this regulation, on an electronic form to be supplied by the Department Managed Health Care pursuant to section 1300.41.8 of title 28 containing the following, which shall be reported based upon the date of receipt of the provider dispute or amended provider dispute:
(1) Information on the number and types of providers using the dispute resolution mechanism;
(2) A summary of the disposition of all provider disputes, which shall include an informative description of the types, terms and resolution. Disputes contained in a bundled submission shall be reported separately as individual disputes. Information may be submitted in an aggregate format so long as all data entries are appropriately footnoted to provide full and fair disclosure; and
(3) A detailed, informative statement disclosing any emerging or established patterns of provider disputes and how that information has been used to improve the plan's administrative capacity, plan-provider relations, claim payment procedures, quality assurance system (process) and quality of patient care (results) and how the information has been used in the development of appropriate corrective action plans. The information provided pursuant to this paragraph shall be submitted with, but separately from the other portions of the Annual Plan Claims Payment and Dispute Resolution Mechanism Report and may be accompanied by a cover letter requesting confidential treatment pursuant section 1007 of title 28.
(4) The first report shall be due on or before January 15, 2005.
(l) Confidentiality.
(1) The plan's Annual Plan Claims Payment and Dispute Resolution Mechanism Report to the Department regarding its dispute resolution mechanism shall be public information except for information disclosed pursuant to section (k)(3) above, that the Director, pursuant to a plan's written request, determines should be maintained on a confidential basis.
(2) The plan's quarterly disclosures pursuant to section 1300.71(q)(1) shall be public information except for the information relating to the plan's corrective action strategies that the Director, pursuant to a plan's written request, determines should be maintained on a confidential basis.
(m) Review and Enforcement.
(1) The Department shall review the plan's and the plan's capitated provider's provider dispute resolution mechanism(s), including the records of provider disputes filed with the plan and remedial action taken pursuant to section 1300.71.38(m)(3), through medical surveys and financial examinations under sections 1380, 1381 or 1382 of the Health and Safety Code, and when appropriate, through the investigation of complaints of unfair provider dispute resolution mechanism(s).
(2) The failure of a plan to comply with the requirements of this regulation shall be a basis for disciplinary action against the plan. The civil, criminal, and administrative remedies available to the Director under the Health and Safety Code and this regulation are not exclusive, and may be sought and employed in any combination deemed advisable by the Director to enforce the provisions of this regulation.
(3) Violations of the Act and this regulation are subject to enforcement action whether or not remediated, although a plan's self-identification and self-initiated remediation of violations or deficiencies may be considered in determining the appropriate penalty.
Note: Authority cited: Sections 1344 and 1371.38, Health and Safety Code. Reference: Sections 1367, 1371 and 1371.38, Health and Safety Code.
HISTORY
1. New section filed 7-24-2003; operative 8-23-2003 (Register 2003, No. 30).
This database is current through 2/19/21 Register 2021, No. 8
28 CCR § 1300.71.38, 28 CA ADC § 1300.71.38
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