(1) Our AMA defines screening as: Health care services or products provided to an individual without apparent signs or symptoms of an illness, injury or disease for the purpose of identifying or excluding an undiagnosed illness, disease, or condition.
(2) Our AMA recognizes that federal law (EMTALA) includes the distinct use of the word screening in the term “medical screening examination”; “The process required to reach, with reasonable clinical confidence, the point at which it can be determined whether a medical emergency does or does not exist.”
(3) Our AMA defines medical necessity as: Health care services or products that a prudent physician would provide to a patient for the purpose of preventing, diagnosing or treating an illness, injury, disease or its symptoms in a manner that is: (a) in accordance with generally accepted standards of medical practice; (b) clinically appropriate in terms of type, frequency, extent, site, and duration; and (c) not primarily for the economic benefit of the health plans and purchasers or for the convenience of the patient, treating physician, or other health care provider.
(4) Our AMA incorporates its definition of “medical necessity” in relevant AMA advocacy documents, including its “Model Managed Care Services Agreement.” Usage of the term “medical necessity” must be consistent between the medical profession and the insurance industry. Carrier denials for non-covered services should state so explicitly and not confound this with a determination of lack of “medical necessity”.
(5) Our AMA encourages physicians to carefully review their health plan medical services agreements to ensure that they do not contain definitions of medical necessity that emphasize cost and resource utilization above quality and clinical effectiveness.
(6) Our AMA urges private sector health care accreditation organizations to develop and incorporate standards that prohibit the use of definitions of medical necessity that emphasize cost and resource utilization above quality and clinical effectiveness.
(7) Our AMA advocates that determinations of medical necessity shall be based only on information that is available at the time that health care products or services are provided.
(8) Our AMA continues to advocate its policies on medical necessity determinations to government agencies, managed care organizations, third party payers, and private sector health care accreditation organizations.
CMS Rep. 13, I-98 Reaffirmed: BOT Action in response to referred for decision Res. 724, A-99 Modified: Res. 703, A-03 Reaffirmation I-06 Reaffirmed: CMS Rep. 01, A-16