(a) This section applies to entities that propose to issue or deliver individual, group, or blanket health insurance policies or contracts in the State or to administer health benefit programs that provide for the coverage of health care services and the utilization review of those services, including:
(1) an authorized insurer that provides health insurance in the State;
(2) a nonprofit health service plan;
(3) a health maintenance organization;
(4) a dental plan organization; or
(5) except for a managed care organization as defined in Title 15, Subtitle 1 of the Health-General Article, any other person that provides health benefit plans subject to regulation by the State.
Requirements of reviewing entity
(b)(1) Subject to paragraph (2) of this subsection, each entity subject to this section shall:
(i) 1. have a certificate issued under Subtitle 10B of this title; or
2. contract with a private review agent that has a certificate issued under Subtitle 10B of this title; and
(ii) when conducting utilization review for mental health and substance use benefits, ensure that the criteria and standards used are in compliance with the federal Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act.
(2) For hospital services, each entity subject to this section may contract with or delegate utilization review to a hospital utilization review program approved under § 19-319(d) of the Health--General Article.
Determination of medical necessity of covered benefit
(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of this article, if the medical necessity of providing a covered benefit is disputed, an entity subject to this section that does not meet the requirements of subsection (b) of this section shall pay any person entitled to reimbursement under the policy or contract in accordance with the determination of medical necessity by:
(1) the treating provider; or
(2) when hospital services are provided, the hospital utilization review program approved under § 19-319(d) of the Health-General Article.
Restrictions relating to actions or use of private review agents
(d) An entity subject to this section may not:
(1) act as a private review agent without holding a certificate issued under Subtitle 10B of this title; or
(2) use a private review agent that does not hold a certificate issued under Subtitle 10B of this title.
Penalties for violation of section
(e) An entity that violates any provision of this section is subject to the penalties provided under § 15-10B-12 of this title.
Added by Acts 1997, c. 35, § 2, eff. Oct. 1, 1997. Amended by Acts 1998, c. 111, § 2, eff. Jan. 1, 1999; Acts 1998, c. 112, § 2, eff. Jan. 1, 1999; Acts 2000, c. 123, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 2001; Acts 2013, c. 290, § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 2013; Acts 2013, c. 291, § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 2013.