U.S. Code of Federal Regulations
Regulations most recently checked for updates: May 28, 2020
(a) Coverage. Each contract between a State and an MCO, PIHP, or PAHP must do the following:
(1) Identify, define, and specify the amount, duration, and scope of each service that the MCO, PIHP, or PAHP is required to offer.
(2) Require that the services identified in paragraph (a)(1) of this section be furnished in an amount, duration, and scope that is no less than the amount, duration, and scope for the same services furnished to beneficiaries under FFS Medicaid, as set forth in § 440.230 of this chapter, and for enrollees under the age of 21, as set forth in subpart B of part 441 of this chapter.
(3) Provide that the MCO, PIHP, or PAHP -
(i) Must ensure that the services are sufficient in amount, duration, or scope to reasonably achieve the purpose for which the services are furnished.
(ii) May not arbitrarily deny or reduce the amount, duration, or scope of a required service solely because of diagnosis, type of illness, or condition of the beneficiary.
(4) Permit an MCO, PIHP, or PAHP to place appropriate limits on a service -
(i) On the basis of criteria applied under the State plan, such as medical necessity; or
(ii) For the purpose of utilization control, provided that -
(A) The services furnished can reasonably achieve their purpose, as required in paragraph (a)(3)(i) of this section;
(B) The services supporting individuals with ongoing or chronic conditions or who require long-term services and supports are authorized in a manner that reflects the enrollee's ongoing need for such services and supports; and
(C) Family planning services are provided in a manner that protects and enables the enrollee's freedom to choose the method of family planning to be used consistent with § 441.20 of this chapter.
(5) Specify what constitutes “medically necessary services” in a manner that -
(i) Is no more restrictive than that used in the State Medicaid program, including quantitative and non-quantitative treatment limits, as indicated in State statutes and regulations, the State Plan, and other State policy and procedures; and
(ii) Addresses the extent to which the MCO, PIHP, or PAHP is responsible for covering services that address:
(A) The prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of an enrollee's disease, condition, and/or disorder that results in health impairments and/or disability.
(B) The ability for an enrollee to achieve age-appropriate growth and development.
(C) The ability for an enrollee to attain, maintain, or regain functional capacity.
(D) The opportunity for an enrollee receiving long-term services and supports to have access to the benefits of community living, to achieve person-centered goals, and live and work in the setting of their choice.
(b) Authorization of services. For the processing of requests for initial and continuing authorizations of services, each contract must require -
(1) That the MCO, PIHP, or PAHP and its subcontractors have in place, and follow, written policies and procedures.
(2) That the MCO, PIHP, or PAHP -
(i) Have in effect mechanisms to ensure consistent application of review criteria for authorization decisions.
(ii) Consult with the requesting provider for medical services when appropriate.
(iii) Authorize LTSS based on an enrollee's current needs assessment and consistent with the person-centered service plan.
(3) That any decision to deny a service authorization request or to authorize a service in an amount, duration, or scope that is less than requested, be made by an individual who has appropriate expertise in addressing the enrollee's medical, behavioral health, or long-term services and supports needs.
(c) Notice of adverse benefit determination. Each contract must provide for the MCO, PIHP, or PAHP to notify the requesting provider, and give the enrollee written notice of any decision by the MCO, PIHP, or PAHP to deny a service authorization request, or to authorize a service in an amount, duration, or scope that is less than requested. For MCOs, PIHPs, and PAHPs, the enrollee's notice must meet the requirements of § 438.404.
(d) Timeframe for decisions. Each MCO, PIHP, or PAHP contract must provide for the following decisions and notices:
(1) Standard authorization decisions. For standard authorization decisions, provide notice as expeditiously as the enrollee's condition requires and within State-established timeframes that may not exceed 14 calendar days following receipt of the request for service, with a possible extension of up to 14 additional calendar days, if -
(i) The enrollee, or the provider, requests extension; or
(ii) The MCO, PIHP, or PAHP justifies (to the State agency upon request) a need for additional information and how the extension is in the enrollee's interest.
(2) Expedited authorization decisions. (i) For cases in which a provider indicates, or the MCO, PIHP, or PAHP determines, that following the standard timeframe could seriously jeopardize the enrollee's life or health or ability to attain, maintain, or regain maximum function, the MCO, PIHP, or PAHP must make an expedited authorization decision and provide notice as expeditiously as the enrollee's health condition requires and no later than 72 hours after receipt of the request for service.
(ii) The MCO, PIHP, or PAHP may extend the 72 hour time period by up to 14 calendar days if the enrollee requests an extension, or if the MCO, PIHP, or PAHP justifies (to the State agency upon request) a need for additional information and how the extension is in the enrollee's interest.
(3) Covered outpatient drug decisions. For all covered outpatient drug authorization decisions, provide notice as described in section 1927(d)(5)(A) of the Act.
(e) Compensation for utilization management activities. Each contract between a State and MCO, PIHP, or PAHP must provide that, consistent with §§ 438.3(i), and 422.208 of this chapter, compensation to individuals or entities that conduct utilization management activities is not structured so as to provide incentives for the individual or entity to deny, limit, or discontinue medically necessary services to any enrollee.
(f) Applicability date. This section applies to the rating period for contracts with MCOs, PIHPs, and PAHPs beginning on or after July 1, 2017. Until that applicability date, states are required to continue to comply with § 438.210 contained in the 42 CFR parts 430 to 481, edition revised as of October 1, 2015.