ASSEMBLY, No. 3176

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

218th LEGISLATURE

INTRODUCED FEBRUARY 8, 2018

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  HERB CONAWAY, JR.

District 7 (Burlington)

Assemblywoman  ANGELICA M. JIMENEZ

District 32 (Bergen and Hudson)

Assemblyman  TIM EUSTACE

District 38 (Bergen and Passaic)

Assemblywoman  NANCY J. PINKIN

District 18 (Middlesex)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblyman Gusciora

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Deletes prior authorization requirements by certain insurers for accessing certain health care services.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

 


An Act concerning prior authorization requirements by certain carriers for accessing certain health care services and amending P.L.1997, c.192.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    Section 6 of P.L.1997, c.192 (C.26:2S-6) is amended to read as follows:

     6.    a.  A carrier which offers a managed care plan or uses a utilization management system in any of its health benefits plans shall designate a licensed physician to serve as medical director. The medical director, or his designee, shall be designated to serve as the medical director for medical services provided to covered persons in the State and shall be licensed to practice medicine in New Jersey.

     The medical director shall be responsible for treatment policies, protocols, quality assurance activities and utilization management decisions of the carrier.  The treatment policies, protocols, quality assurance program and utilization management decisions of the carrier shall be based on generally accepted standards of health care practice.  The quality assurance and utilization management programs shall be in accordance with standards adopted by regulation of the department pursuant to this act.

     b.    The medical director shall ensure that:

     (1)   Any utilization management decision to deny, reduce or terminate a health care benefit or to deny payment for a health care service, because that service is not medically necessary, shall be made by a physician.  In the case of a health care service prescribed or provided by a dentist, the decision shall be made by a dentist;

     (2)   A utilization management decision shall not retrospectively deny coverage for health care services provided to a covered person when prior approval has been obtained from the carrier for those services, unless the approval was based upon fraudulent information submitted by the covered person or the participating provider;

     (3)   In the case of a managed care plan, a procedure is implemented whereby participating physicians and dentists have an opportunity to review and comment on all medical and surgical and dental protocols, respectively, of the carrier;

     (4)   The utilization management program is available on a 24-hour basis to respond to authorization requests for emergency  and urgent services and is available, at a minimum, during normal working hours for inquiries and authorization requests for nonurgent health care services; [and]

     (5)   In the case of a managed care plan, a covered person is permitted to:  choose or change a primary care physician from among participating providers in the provider network, and, when appropriate, choose a specialist from among participating network providers following an authorized referral, if required by the carrier, and subject to the ability of the specialist to accept new patients; and

     (6)   No prior authorization is required by the carrier in order for a covered person to access the following health care services:  physical and occupational therapy services; prescription drugs and biologics; radiological examinations; durable medical equipment; and surgical services that address a single organ or organ system.

(cf:  P.L.1997, c.192, s.6)

 

     2.    This act shall take effect on the first day of the fourth month next following the date of enactment and shall apply to all contracts and policies issued or renewed on or after the effective date.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill amends the "Health Care Quality Act," P.L.1997, c.192 (C.26:2S-1 et seq.), to prohibit certain health insurance carriers from requiring prior authorization for accessing certain health care services.

     The bill requires the medical director of a carrier which offers a managed care plan or uses a utilization management system in any of its health benefits plans to ensure that no prior authorization is required by the carrier in order for a covered person to access the following health care services:  physical and occupational therapy services; prescription drugs and biologics; radiological examinations; durable medical equipment; and surgical services that address a single organ or organ system.