State Law

North Dakota Century Code-Title 26.1-Chapter. 26.1-26.4. Health Care Service Utilization Review

07/23/2020 North Dakota Section 26.1-26.4-04

Minimum standards of utilization review agents

ERISA-Med. Nec. Appeals-Deadlines, ERISA-Med. Nec. Decisions-Deadlines, State Medical Necessity Appeals-Deadlines, State Medical Necessity Decisions-Deadlines

See bold text below:

All utilization review agents must meet the following minimum standards:

Medical Necessity Decisions-Deadlines (This N.D. law incorporates the ERISA Medical Necessity Decisions Deadlines)

1. Notification of a determination by the utilization review agent must be provided to the enrollee or other appropriate individual in accordance with 29 U.S.C. 1133 and the timeframes set forth in 29 CFR 2560.503-1.

2. Any determination by a utilization review agent as to the necessity or appropriateness of an admission, service, or procedure must be reviewed by a physician or, if appropriate, a licensed psychologist, or determined in accordance with standards or guidelines approved by a physician or licensed psychologist.

3. Any notification of a determination not to certify an admission or service or procedure must include the information required by 29 U.S.C. 1133 and 29 CFR 2560.503-1.

4. Utilization review agents shall maintain and make available a written description of the appeal procedure by which enrollees or the provider of record may seek review of determinations by the utilization review agent. The appeal procedure must provide for the following:

a. On appeal, all determinations not to certify an admission, service, or procedure as being necessary or appropriate must be made by a physician or, if appropriate, a licensed psychologist.

Medical Necessity Appeals-Deadlines (This N.D. law incorporates the ERISA Medical Necessity Appeals Deadlines)

b. Utilization review agents shall complete the adjudication of appeals of determinations not to certify admissions, services, and procedures in accordance with 29 U.S.C. 1133 and the timeframes for appeals set forth in 29 CFR 2560.503-1.

c. Utilization review agents shall provide for an expedited appeals process complying with 29 U.S.C. 1133 and 29 CFR 2560.503-1.

5. Utilization review agents shall make staff available by toll-free telephone at least forty hours per week during normal business hours.

6. Utilization review agents shall have a telephone system capable of accepting or recording incoming telephone calls during other than normal business hours and shall respond to these calls within two working days.

7. Utilization review agents shall comply with all applicable laws to protect confidentiality of individual medical records.

8. Psychologists making utilization review determinations shall have current licenses from the state board of psychologist examiners. Physicians making utilization review determinations shall have current licenses from the North Dakota board of medicine.

9. When conducting utilization review or making a benefit determination for emergency services:

a. A utilization review agent may not deny coverage for emergency services and may not require prior authorization of these services.

b. Coverage of emergency services is subject to applicable copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles.

10. When an initial appeal to reverse a determination is unsuccessful, a subsequent determination regarding hospital, medical, or other health care services provided or to be provided to a patient which may result in a denial of third-party reimbursement or a denial of precertification for that service must include the evaluation, findings, and concurrence of a physician trained in the relevant specialty to make a final determination that care provided or to be provided was, is, or may be medically inappropriate.

However, the commissioner may find that the standards in this section have been met if the utilization review agent has received approval or accreditation by a utilization review accreditation organization.

SeeĀ https://www.legis.nd.gov/cencode/t26-1c26-4.html