42 CFR § 438.206 - Availability of services.

§ 438.206 Availability of services.

(a) Basic rule. Each State must ensure that all services covered under the State plan are available and accessible to enrollees of MCOs, PIHPs, and PAHPs in a timely manner. The State must also ensure that MCO, PIHP and PAHP provider networks for services covered under the contract meet the standards developed by the State in accordance with § 438.68.

(b) Delivery network. The State must ensure, through its contracts, that each MCO, PIHP and PAHP, consistent with the scope of its contracted services, meets the following requirements:

(1) Maintains and monitors a network of appropriate providers that is supported by written agreements and is sufficient to provide adequate access to all services covered under the contract for all enrollees, including those with limited English proficiency or physical or mental disabilities.

(2) Provides female enrollees with direct access to a women's health specialist within the provider network for covered care necessary to provide women's routine and preventive health care services. This is in addition to the enrollee's designated source of primary care if that source is not a women's health specialist.

(3) Provides for a second opinion from a network provider, or arranges for the enrollee to obtain one outside the network, at no cost to the enrollee.

(4) If the provider network is unable to provide necessary services, covered under the contract, to a particular enrollee, the MCO, PIHP, or PAHP must adequately and timely cover these services out of network for the enrollee, for as long as the MCO, PIHP, or PAHP's provider network is unable to provide them.

(5) Requires out-of-network providers to coordinate with the MCO, PIHP, or PAHP for payment and ensures the cost to the enrollee is no greater than it would be if the services were furnished within the network.

(6) Demonstrates that its network providers are credentialed as required by § 438.214.

(7) Demonstrates that its network includes sufficient family planning providers to ensure timely access to covered services.

(c) Furnishing of services. The State must ensure that each contract with a MCO, PIHP, and PAHP complies with the following requirements.

(1) Timely access. Each MCO, PIHP, and PAHP must do the following:

(i) Meet and require its network providers to meet State standards for timely access to care and services, taking into account the urgency of the need for services.

(ii) Ensure that the network providers offer hours of operation that are no less than the hours of operation offered to commercial enrollees or comparable to Medicaid FFS, if the provider serves only Medicaid enrollees.

(iii) Make services included in the contract available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, when medically necessary.

(iv) Establish mechanisms to ensure compliance by network providers.

(v) Monitor network providers regularly to determine compliance.

(vi) Take corrective action if there is a failure to comply by a network provider.

(2) Access and cultural considerations. Each MCO, PIHP, and PAHP participates in the State's efforts to promote the delivery of services in a culturally competent manner to all enrollees, including those with limited English proficiency and diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds, disabilities, and regardless of sex.

(3) Accessibility considerations. Each MCO, PIHP, and PAHP must ensure that network providers provide physical access, reasonable accommodations, and accessible equipment for Medicaid enrollees with physical or mental disabilities.

(d) Applicability date. This section applies to the rating period for contracts with MCOs, PIHPs, and PAHPs beginning on or after July 1, 2018. Until that applicability date, states are required to continue to comply with § 438.206 contained in the 42 CFR parts 430 to 481, edition revised as of October 1, 2015.

[81 FR 27853, May 6, 2016, as amended at 85 FR 37243, June 19, 2020]