42 CFR § 438.404 - Timely and adequate notice of adverse benefit determination.

§ 438.404 Timely and adequate notice of adverse benefit determination.

(a) Notice. The MCO, PIHP, or PAHP must give enrollees timely and adequate notice of an adverse benefit determination in writing consistent with the requirements below and in § 438.10.

(b) Content of notice. The notice must explain the following:

(1) The adverse benefit determination the MCO, PIHP, or PAHP has made or intends to make.

(2) The reasons for the adverse benefit determination, including the right of the enrollee to be provided upon request and free of charge, reasonable access to and copies of all documents, records, and other information relevant to the enrollee's adverse benefit determination. Such information includes medical necessity criteria, and any processes, strategies, or evidentiary standards used in setting coverage limits.

(3) The enrollee's right to request an appeal of the MCO's, PIHP's, or PAHP's adverse benefit determination, including information on exhausting the MCO's, PIHP's, or PAHP's one level of appeal described at § 438.402(b) and the right to request a State fair hearing consistent with § 438.402(c).

(4) The procedures for exercising the rights specified in this paragraph (b).

(5) The circumstances under which an appeal process can be expedited and how to request it.

(6) The enrollee's right to have benefits continue pending resolution of the appeal, how to request that benefits be continued, and the circumstances, consistent with state policy, under which the enrollee may be required to pay the costs of these services.

(c) Timing of notice. The MCO, PIHP, or PAHP must mail the notice within the following timeframes:

(1) For termination, suspension, or reduction of previously authorized Medicaid-covered services, within the timeframes specified in §§ 431.211, 431.213, and 431.214 of this chapter.

(2) For denial of payment, at the time of any action affecting the claim.

(3) For standard service authorization decisions that deny or limit services, within the timeframe specified in § 438.210(d)(1).

(4) If the MCO, PIHP, or PAHP meets the criteria set forth for extending the timeframe for standard service authorization decisions consistent with § 438.210(d)(1)(ii), it must—

(i) Give the enrollee written notice of the reason for the decision to extend the timeframe and inform the enrollee of the right to file a grievance if he or she disagrees with that decision; and

(ii) Issue and carry out its determination as expeditiously as the enrollee's health condition requires and no later than the date the extension expires.

(5) For service authorization decisions not reached within the timeframes specified in § 438.210(d) (which constitutes a denial and is thus an adverse benefit determination), on the date that the timeframes expire.

(6) For expedited service authorization decisions, within the timeframes specified in § 438.210(d)(2).