42 CFR § 476.98 - Reviewer qualifications and participation.
(a) Peer review by physician.
(1) Except as provided in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, each person who makes an initial denial determination about services furnished or proposed to be furnished by a licensed doctor of medicine or osteopathy or by a doctor of dentistry must be respectively another licensed doctor of medicine or osteopathy or of dentistry in the QIO area.
(2) If a QIO determines that peers are not available to make initial denial determinations, a doctor of medicine or osteopathy may make denial determinations for services ordered or performed by a doctor in any of the three specialties.
(3) For purposes of paragraph (a)(1) of this section, individuals authorized to practice medicine in American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands as “medical officers” may make determinations on care ordered or furnished by their peers but not on care ordered or furnished by licensed doctors of medicine or osteopathy.
(b) Peer review by health care practitioners other than physicians. Health care practitioners other than physicians may review services furnished by other practitioners in the same professional field.
(c) DRG validation review. Decisions about procedural and diagnostic information must be made by physicians. Technical coding issues must be reviewed by individuals with training and experience in ICD-9-CM coding.
(d) Persons excluded from review.
(i) Participated in developing or executing the beneficiary's treatment plan;
(ii) Is a member of the beneficiary's family; or
(iii) Is a governing body member, officer, partner, 5 percent or more owner, or managing employee in the health care facility where the services were or are to be furnished.
(2) A member of a reviewer's family is a spouse (other than a spouse who is legally separated under a decree of divorce or separate maintenance), child (including a legally adopted child), grandchild, parent, or grandparent.