State Law

Nebraska Rev. Statutes-Chapter 44. Insurance

08/10/2023 Nebraska Section 44-5418

Terms, defined

U.R. Criteria

See bold text below:

For purposes of the Utilization Review Act:

(1) Adverse determination means a determination by a health carrier or its designee utilization review agent that an admission, availability of care, continued stay, or other health care service has been reviewed and, based upon the information provided, does not meet the health carrier’s requirements for medical necessity, appropriateness, health care setting, level of care, or effectiveness, and the requested health care service is therefor denied, reduced, or terminated;

(2) Ambulatory review means utilization review of health care services performed or provided in an outpatient setting;

(3) Case management means a coordinated set of activities conducted for individual patient management of serious, complicated, protracted, or other health conditions;

(4) Certification means a determination by a health carrier or its designee utilization review agent that an admission, availability of care, continued stay, or other health care service has been reviewed and, based on the information provided, satisfies the health carrier’s requirements for medical necessity, appropriateness, health care setting, level of care, and effectiveness;

(5) Clinical review criteria means the written screening procedures, decision abstracts, clinical protocols, and practice guidelines used by the health carrier to determine the necessity and appropriateness of health care services;

(6) Closed plan means a managed care plan that requires covered persons to use participating providers under the terms of the managed care plan;

(7) Concurrent review means utilization review conducted during a patient’s hospital stay or course of treatment;

(8) Covered person means a policyholder, subscriber, enrollee, or other individual participating in a health benefit plan;

(9) Department means the Department of Insurance;

(10) Director means the Director of Insurance;

(11) Discharge planning means the formal process for determining, prior to discharge from a facility, the coordination and management of the care that a patient receives following discharge from a facility;

(12) Emergency medical condition means a medical or behavioral condition, the onset of which is sudden, that manifests itself by symptoms of sufficient severity, including, but not limited to, severe pain, that a prudent layperson, possessing an average knowledge of medicine and health, could reasonably expect the absence of immediate medical attention to result in (a) placing the health of the person afflicted with such condition in serious jeopardy or, in the case of a behavioral condition, placing the health of such person or others in serious jeopardy, (b) serious impairment to such person’s bodily functions, (c) serious impairment of any bodily organ or part of such person, or (d) serious disfigurement of such person;

(13) Emergency services means health care services necessary to screen and stabilize a covered person in connection with an emergency medical condition;

(14) Facility means an institution providing health care services or a health care setting, including, but not limited to, hospitals and other licensed inpatient centers, ambulatory surgical or treatment centers, skilled nursing centers, residential treatment centers, diagnostic, laboratory, and imaging centers, and rehabilitation and other therapeutic health settings. Facility does not include physicians’ offices;

(15) Health benefit plan means a policy, contract, certificate, or agreement entered into, offered, or issued by any person to provide, deliver, arrange for, pay for, or reimburse any of the costs of health care services. Health benefit plan does not include workers’ compensation insurance coverage;

(16) Health care professional means a physician or other health care practitioner licensed, certified, or registered to perform specified health services consistent with state law;

(17) Health care provider or provider means a health care professional or a facility;

(18) Health care services or health services means services for the diagnosis, prevention, treatment, cure, or relief of a health condition, illness, injury, or disease;

(19) Health carrier means an entity that contracts, offers to contract, or enters into an agreement to provide, deliver, arrange for, pay for, or reimburse any of the costs of health care services, including a sickness and accident insurance company, a health maintenance organization, a prepaid limited health service organization, a prepaid dental service corporation, or any other entity providing a plan of health insurance, health benefits, or health care services. Health carrier does not include a workers’ compensation insurer, risk management pool, or self-insured employer who contracts for services to be provided through a managed care plan certified pursuant to section 48-120.02;

(20) Managed care plan means a health benefit plan, including closed plans and open plans, that either requires a covered person to use or creates financial incentives by providing a more favorable deductible, coinsurance, or copayment level for a covered person to use health care providers managed, owned, under contract with, or employed by the health carrier;

(21) Network means the group of participating providers providing services to a managed care plan;

(22) Open plan means a managed care plan other than a closed plan that provides incentives, including financial incentives, for covered persons to use participating providers under the terms of the managed care plan;

(23) Participating provider means a provider who, under a contract with the health carrier or with its contractor or subcontractor, has agreed to provide health care services to covered persons with an expectation of receiving payment, other than coinsurance, copayments, or deductibles, directly or indirectly from the health carrier;

(24) Person means an individual, a corporation, a partnership, an association, a joint venture, a joint stock company, a trust, an unincorporated organization, any similar entity, or any combination of the foregoing;

(25) Prospective review means utilization review conducted prior to an admission or a course of treatment;

(26) Retrospective review means utilization review of medical necessity that is conducted after health services have been provided to a patient, but does not include the review of a claim that is limited to an evaluation of reimbursement levels, veracity of documentation, accuracy of coding, or adjudication for payment;

(27) Second opinion means an opportunity or requirement to obtain a clinical evaluation by a provider other than the one originally making a recommendation for a proposed health service to assess the clinical necessity and appropriateness of the initial proposed health service;

(28) Significant beneficial interest means the ownership of any financial interest that is greater than the lesser of (a) five percent of the whole or (b) five thousand dollars;

(29) Stabilize means when, with respect to transfer to another facility, the examining physician at a hospital emergency department where an individual has sought treatment for an emergency medical condition has determined, within reasonable medical probability:

(a) With respect to an emergency medical condition, that no material deterioration of the condition is likely to result from or occur during a transfer of the individual from the facility; and

(b) The receiving facility has available space and qualified personnel for the treatment of the individual and has agreed to accept transfer of the individual and provide appropriate medical treatment;

(30) Utilization review means a set of formal techniques designed to monitor the use of, or evaluate the clinical necessity, appropriateness, efficacy, or efficiency of, health care services, procedures, or facilities. Techniques may include ambulatory review, prospective review, second opinion, certification, concurrent review, case management, discharge planning, or retrospective review. Utilization review does not include elective requests for clarification of coverage; and

(31) Utilization review agent means any person, company, health carrier, organization, or other entity performing utilization review. The following shall not be considered utilization review agents:

(a) An agency of the federal government;

(b) An agent acting on behalf of the federal government or a federally qualified peer review organization or the State of Nebraska but only to the extent that the agent is providing services to the federal government or the State of Nebraska;

(c) An agency of the State of Nebraska;

(d) Internal quality assurance programs conducted by hospitals, home health agencies, preferred provider organizations, health maintenance organizations, other managed care entities, clinics, or private offices for purposes other than for allowing, denying, or making a recommendation on allowing or denying a covered person’s claim for payment;

(e) Nebraska licensed pharmacists, pharmacies, or organizations thereof while engaged in the practice of pharmacy, including the dispensing of drugs, participating in drug utilization reviews, and monitoring of patient drug therapy;

(f) Any person performing utilization review of workers’ compensation benefits but only to the extent that the person is providing utilization review of workers’ compensation benefits;

(g) Any individual or group employed or used by a utilization review agent certified under the Utilization Review Act when performing utilization review for or on behalf of such agent, including nurses and physicians; and

(h) An employee benefit plan or any person on behalf of an employee benefit plan to the extent that the activities of such plan or person are exempt from state regulation of the business of insurance pursuant to the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended.