(a)Written plan. A PACE organization must establish and maintain a written plan to handle emergency care. The plan must ensure that CMS, the State, and PACE participants are held harmless if the PACE organization does not pay for emergency services.
(b)Emergency care. Emergency care is appropriate when services are needed immediately because of an injury or sudden illness and the time required to reach the PACE organization or one of its contract providers, would cause risk of permanent damage to the participant's health. Emergency services include inpatient and outpatient services that meet the following requirements:
(1) Are furnished by a qualified emergency services provider, other than the PACE organization or one of its contract providers, either in or out of the PACE organization's service area.
(2) Are needed to evaluate or stabilize an emergency medical condition.
(c) An emergency medical condition means a condition manifesting itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity (including severe pain) such that a prudent layperson, with an average knowledge of health and medicine, could reasonably expect the absence of immediate medical attention to result in the following:
(1) Serious jeopardy to the health of the participant.
(2) Serious impairment to bodily functions.
(3) Serious dysfunction of any bodily organ or part.
(d)Explanation to participant. The organization must ensure that the participant or caregiver, or both, understand when and how to get access to emergency services and that no prior authorization is needed.
(e)On-call providers. The plan must provide for the following:
(1) An on-call provider, available 24-hours per day to address participant questions about emergency services and respond to requests for authorization of urgently needed out-of-network services and post stabilization care services following emergency services.
(2) Coverage of urgently needed out-of-network and post-stabilization care services when either of the following conditions are met:
(i) The services are preapproved by the PACE organization.
(ii) The services are not preapproved by the PACE organization because the PACE organization did not respond to a request for approval within 1 hour after being contacted or cannot be contacted for approval.
(3)Definitions. As used in this section, the following definitions apply:
(i) Post stabilization care means services provided subsequent to an emergency that a treating physician views as medically necessary after an emergency medical condition has been stabilized. They are not emergency services, which POs are obligated to cover. Rather, they are non-emergency services that the PO should approve before they are provided outside the service area.
(ii) Urgent care means the care provided to a PACE participant who is out of the PACE service area, and who believes their illness or injury is too severe to postpone treatment until they return to the service area, but their life or function is not in severe jeopardy.