State Law

South Carolina Code of Laws-Title 38-Chapter 71-Article 15. Access to Emergency Medical Care Act

08/22/2023 South Carolina Section 38-71-1530

Screening; initial intervention; role of managed care organization; payments to providers

Retroactive Denial

See bold text below:

(A) A patient who presents to an emergency department, by the Federal Social Security Act, must be screened to determine whether an emergency medical condition exists. This evaluation may include, but is not limited to, diagnostic testing to assess the extent of the condition, sickness, or injury and radiographic procedures and interpretation.

(B) Appropriate intervention must be initiated by medical personnel to stabilize any emergency medical condition before requesting authorization for the treatment by a managed care organization.

(C) A managed care organization shall inform its insureds, enrollees, patients, and affiliated providers about all policies related to emergency medical care access, coverage, payment, and grievance procedures. It is the ultimate responsibility of the managed care organization to inform any contracted third party administrator, independent contractor, or primary care provider about the emergency medical care provisions contained in this subsection.

(D) A managed care organization which includes emergency medical care services as part of its policy or contract shall provide coverage and shall subsequently pay providers for emergency medical care services provided to an insured, enrollee, or patient who presents an emergency medical condition. This subsection must not be construed to require coverage for illnesses, diseases, equipment, supplies, or procedures or treatments which are not otherwise covered under the terms of the insured’s policy or contract.

(E) A managed care organization may not retrospectively deny or reduce payments to providers for emergency medical care of an insured, enrollee, or patient even if it is determined that the emergency medical condition initially presented is later identified through screening not to be an actual emergency, except in these cases:

(1) material misrepresentation, fraud, omission, or clerical error;

(2) a payment reduction due to applicable co-payments, coinsurance, or deductibles which may be the responsibility of the insured;

(3) cases in which the insured does not meet the emergency medical condition definition, unless the insured has been referred to the emergency department by the insured’s primary care physician or other agent acting on behalf of the insurer.