Dispute resolution for vendors and beneficiaries.
(a) General rule.
Cases of an approved CAP vendor's dissatisfaction with denied drug claims are resolved through a voluntary alternative dispute resolution process delivered by the designated carrier, and a reconsideration process provided by CMS.
(b) Dispute resolution.
When an approved CAP vendor is not paid on claims submitted to the designated carrier, the vendor may appeal to the designated carrier to counsel the responsible participating CAP physician on his or her agreement to file a clean claim and pursue an administrative appeal in accordance with subpart H of part 405 of this chapter. If problems persist, the approved CAP vendor may ask the designated carrier to—
Review the participating CAP physician's performance; and
Potentially recommend to CMS that CMS suspend the participating CAP physician's CAP election agreement.
The designated carrier—
Gathers information from the local carrier, the participating CAP physician, the beneficiary, and the approved CAP vendor; and
Makes a recommendation to CMS on whether the participating CAP physician has been filing his or her CAP drug administration claims in accordance with the requirements for physician participation in the CAP as set forth in § 414.908(a)(3). The recommendation will include numbered findings of fact.
CMS will review the recommendation of the designated carrier and gather relevant additional information from the participating CAP physician before deciding whether to suspend the participating CAP physician's CAP election agreement. A suspension commencing before October 1 will conclude on December 31 of the same year. A suspension commencing on or after October 1 will conclude on December 31 of the next year.
Upon notification from CMS of a participating CAP physician's suspension from the program, the approved CAP vendor must cease delivery of CAP drugs to the suspended participating CAP physician until the suspension has been lifted.
The participating CAP physician may appeal that suspension by requesting a reconsideration of CMS' decision. The reconsideration will address whether the participating CAP physician's denied claims and appeals were the result of the participating CAP physician's failure to participate in accordance with the requirements of § 414.908(a)(3).
(1) Right to a reconsideration.
A participating CAP physician dissatisfied with a determination that his or her CAP election agreement has been suspended by CMS or a determination under § 414.917(d) denying the participating CAP physician's request to terminate participation in the CAP under § 414.908(a)(v) is entitled to a reconsideration as provided in this subpart.
(2) Eligibility for reconsideration.
CMS reconsiders any determination to suspend a participating CAP physician's election agreement if the participating CAP physician files a written request for reconsideration in accordance with paragraphs (c)(3) and (c)(4) of this section.
(3) Manner and timing of request for reconsideration.
A participating CAP physician who is dissatisfied with a CMS decision to suspend his or her CAP election agreement may request a reconsideration of the decision by filing a request with CMS. The request must be filed within 30 days of receipt of the CMS decision letter notifying the participating CAP physician of CMS' decision to suspend his or her CAP election agreement. From the date of receipt of the decision letter until the day the reconsideration determination is final, the ASP payment methodology under section 1847A of the Act applies to the physician.
(4) Content of request.
The request for reconsideration must specify—
The findings or issues with which the participating CAP physician disagrees;
The reasons for the disagreement;
A recital of the facts and law supporting the participating CAP physician's position;
Any supporting documentation; and
Any supporting statements from approved CAP vendors, local carriers, or beneficiaries.
(5) Withdrawal of request for reconsideration.
A participating CAP physician may withdraw his or her request for reconsideration at any time before the issuance of a reconsideration determination.
(6) Discretionary informal hearing.
In response to a request for reconsideration, CMS may, at its discretion, provide the participating CAP physician the opportunity for an informal hearing that—
Is conducted by a hearing officer appointed by the director of the CMS Center for Medicare Management or his or her designee; and
Provides the participating CAP physician the opportunity to present, by telephone or in person, evidence to rebut CMS' decision to suspend or terminate a participating CAP physician's CAP election agreement.
(7) Informal hearing procedures.
CMS provides written notice of the time and place of the informal hearing at least 10 days before the scheduled date.
The informal reconsideration hearing will be conducted in accordance with the following procedures:
The hearing is open to CMS and the participating CAP physician requesting the reconsideration, including—
(1) Authorized representatives;
(2) Technical advisors (individuals with knowledge of the facts of the case or presenting interpretation of the facts);
(3) Representatives from the local carrier;
(4) Representatives from the approved CAP vendor; and
(5) Legal counsel.
The hearing is conducted by the hearing officer who receives relevant testimony;
Testimony and other evidence may be accepted by the hearing officer even though it would be inadmissible under the rules of evidence applied in Federal courts;
Either party may call witnesses from among those individuals specified in paragraph (c)(7)(ii)(A) of this section; and
The hearing officer does not have the authority to compel by subpoena the production of witnesses, papers, or other evidence.
(8) Hearing officer's findings.
Within 30 days of the hearing officer's receipt of the hearing request, the hearing officer presents the findings and recommendations to the participating CAP physician who requested the reconsideration. If the hearing officer decides to conduct an in-person or telephone hearing, the hearing officer will send a hearing notice to the participating CAP physician within 10 days of receipt of the hearing request, and the findings and recommendations are due to the participating CAP physician within 30 days of the hearing's conclusion.
The written report of the hearing officer includes separate numbered findings of fact and the legal conclusions of the hearing officer.
(9) Final reconsideration determination.
The hearing officer's decision is final unless the director of the CMS Center for Medicare Management or his or her designee chooses to review that decision within 30 days. If the decision is favorable to the participating CAP physician, then the participating CAP physician may resume his or her participation in CAP. The hearing officer and the CMS official may review decisions that are favorable or unfavorable to the participating CAP physician.
The CMS official may accept, reject, or modify the hearing officer's findings.
If the CMS official reviews the hearing officer's decision, the CMS official issues a final reconsideration determination to the participating CAP physician on the basis of the hearing officer's findings and recommendations and other relevant information.
The reconsideration determination of the CMS official is final. If the final decision is unfavorable to the participating CAP physician, then the participating CAP physician's CAP election agreement is terminated.
The approved CAP vendor may not charge the beneficiary for the full drug coinsurance amount if the designated contractor did not pay the approved CAP vendor in full, unless a properly executed advance beneficiary notice is in place. When a beneficiary receives an inappropriate coinsurance bill, the beneficiary may participate in the approved CAP vendor's grievance process to request correction of the approved CAP vendor's file. If the beneficiary is dissatisfied with the result of the approved CAP vendor's grievance process, the beneficiary may request intervention from the designated carrier. This is in addition to, rather than in place of, any other beneficiary appeal rights. The designated carrier will first investigate the facts and then facilitate correction to the appropriate claim record and beneficiary file.
[70 FR 39097, July 6, 2005, as amended at 72 FR 66403, Nov. 27, 2007; 74 FR 62013, Nov. 25, 2009]