42 CFR 438.210 - Coverage and authorization of services.
(a) Coverage. Each contract with 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 fee-for-service Medicaid, as set forth in § 440.230.
(3) Provide that the MCO, PIHP, or PAHP -
(i) Must ensure that the services are sufficient in amount, duration, or scope to reasonably be expected to 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;
(iii) May place appropriate limits on a service -
(A) On the basis of criteria applied under the State plan, such as medical necessity; or
(B) For the purpose of utilization control, provided the services furnished can reasonably be expected to achieve their purpose, as required in paragraph (a)(3)(i) of this section; and
(4) Specify what constitutes “medically necessary services” in a manner that -
(i) Is no more restrictive than that used in the State Medicaid program 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 related to the following:
(A) The prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of health impairments.
(B) The ability to achieve age-appropriate growth and development.
(C) The ability to attain, maintain, or regain functional capacity.
(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; and
(ii) Consult with the requesting provider when appropriate.
(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 a health care professional who has appropriate clinical expertise in treating the enrollee's condition or disease.
(c) Notice of adverse action. 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 and PIHPs, the notice must meet the requirements of § 438.404, except that the notice to the provider need not be in writing.
(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 health 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 3 working days after receipt of the request for service.
(ii) The MCO, PIHP, or PAHP may extend the 3 working days 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.
(e) Compensation for utilization management activities. Each contract must provide that, consistent with §§ 438.6(h), 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.