Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 32.1. Health
9/26/2018

Article 1.1. Certificate of Quality Assurance of Managed Care Health Insurance Plan Licensees.

§ 32.1-137.1. Definitions.

As used in this and the following article, unless the context indicates otherwise:

"Agent" or "insurance agent," when used without qualification, means an individual, partnership, limited liability company, or corporation that solicits, negotiates, procures or effects contracts of insurance or annuity in this Commonwealth.

"Bureau of Insurance" means the State Corporation Commission acting pursuant to Title 38.2.

"Complaint" means any written communication from a covered person primarily expressing a grievance.

"Covered person" means an individual residing in the Commonwealth, whether a policyholder, subscriber, enrollee, or member of a managed care health insurance plan, who is entitled to health care services or benefits provided, arranged for, paid for or reimbursed pursuant to a managed care health insurance plan under Title 38.2.

"Managed care health insurance plan" means an arrangement for the delivery of health care in which a health carrier as defined in § 38.2-5800 undertakes to provide, arrange for, pay for, or reimburse any of the costs of health care services for a covered person on a prepaid or insured basis which (i) contains one or more incentive arrangements, including any credentialing requirements intended to influence the cost or level of health care services between the health carrier and one or more providers with respect to the delivery of health care services; and (ii) requires or creates benefit payment differential incentives for covered persons to use providers that are directly or indirectly managed, owned, under contract with or employed by the health carrier. Any health maintenance organization as defined in § 38.2-4300 or health carrier that offers preferred provider contracts or policies as defined in § 38.2-3407 or preferred provider subscription contracts as defined in § 38.2-4209 shall be deemed to be offering one or more managed care health insurance plans. For the purposes of this definition, the prohibition of balance billing by a provider shall not be deemed a benefit payment differential incentive for covered persons to use providers who are directly or indirectly managed, owned, under contract with or employed by the health carrier. A single managed care health insurance plan may encompass multiple products and multiple types of benefit payment differentials; however, a single managed care health insurance plan shall encompass only one provider network or set of provider networks.

"Managed care health insurance plan licensee" means a health carrier subject to licensure by the Bureau of Insurance under Title 38.2 who is responsible for a managed care health insurance plan in accordance with Chapter 58 (§ 38.2-5801 et seq.) of Title 38.2.

"Person" means any association, aggregate of individuals, business, company, corporation, individual, joint-stock company, Lloyds type of organization, other organization, partnership, receiver, reciprocal or inter-insurance exchange, trustee or society.

1998, c. 891.

§ 32.1-137.2. Certification of quality assurance; application; issuance; denial; renewal.

A. Every managed care health insurance plan licensee shall request a certificate of quality assurance with reference to its managed care health insurance plans simultaneously with filing an initial application to the Bureau of Insurance for licensure. If already licensed by the Bureau of Insurance, every managed care health insurance plan licensee may file an application for quality assurance certification with the Department of Health by December 1, 1998, and shall file an application for quality assurance certification with the Department of Health by December 1, 1999, in order to obtain its certificate of quality assurance by July 1, 2000.

On or before July 1, 2000, the State Health Commissioner shall certify to the Bureau of Insurance that a managed care health insurance plan licensee has been issued a certificate of quality assurance by providing the Bureau of Insurance with a copy of each certificate at the time of issuance.

Application for a certificate of quality assurance shall be made on a form prescribed by the Board and shall be accompanied by a fee based upon a percentage, not to exceed one-tenth of one percent, of the proportion of direct gross premium income on business done in this Commonwealth attributable to the operation of managed care health insurance plans in the preceding biennium, sufficient to cover reasonable costs for the administration of the quality assurance program. Such fee shall not exceed $10,000 per licensee. Whenever the account of the program shows expenses for the past biennium to be more than ten percent greater or lesser than the funds collected, the Board shall revise the fees levied by it for certification so that the fees are sufficient, but not excessive, to cover expenses; provided that such fees shall not exceed the limits set forth in this section. Until July 1, 2014, the Department may utilize such certification funds as are needed in fulfilling its responsibilities pursuant to subsection B of § 32.1-16.

All applications, including those for renewal, shall require (i) a description of the geographic area to be served, with a map clearly delineating the boundaries of the service area or areas, (ii) a description of the complaint system required under § 32.1-137.6, (iii) a description of the procedures and programs established by the licensee to assure both availability and accessibility of adequate personnel and facilities and to assess the quality of health care services provided, and (iv) a list of the licensee's managed care health insurance plans.

B. Every managed care health insurance plan licensee certified under this article shall renew its certificate of quality assurance with the Commissioner biennially by July 1, subject to payment of the fee.

C. The Commissioner shall periodically examine or review each applicant for certificate of quality assurance or for renewal thereof.

No certificate of quality assurance may be issued or renewed unless a managed care health insurance plan licensee has filed a completed application and made payment of a fee pursuant to subsection A of this section and the Commissioner is satisfied, based upon his examination, that, to the extent appropriate for the type of managed care health insurance plan under examination, the managed care health insurance plan licensee has in place and complies with: (i) a complaint system for reasonable and adequate procedures for the timely resolution of written complaints pursuant to § 32.1-137.6; (ii) a reasonable and adequate system for assessing the satisfaction of its covered persons; (iii) a system to provide for reasonable and adequate availability of and accessibility to health care services for its covered persons; (iv) reasonable and adequate policies and procedures to encourage the appropriate provision and use of preventive services for its covered persons; (v) reasonable and adequate standards and procedures for credentialing and recredentialing the providers with whom it contracts; (vi) reasonable and adequate procedures to inform its covered persons and providers of the managed care health insurance plan licensee's policies and procedures; (vii) reasonable and adequate systems to assess, measure, and improve the health status of covered persons, including outcome measures, (viii) reasonable and adequate policies and procedures to ensure confidentiality of medical records and patient information to permit effective and confidential patient care and quality review; (ix) reasonable, timely and adequate requirements and standards pursuant to § 32.1-137.9; and (x) such other requirements as the Board may establish by regulation consistent with this article.

Upon the issuance or reissuance of a certificate, the Commissioner shall provide a copy of such certificate to the Bureau of Insurance.

D. Upon determining to deny a certificate, the Commissioner shall notify such applicant in writing stating the reasons for the denial of a certificate. A copy of such notification of denial shall be provided to the Bureau of Insurance. Appeals from a notification of denial shall be brought by a certificate applicant pursuant to the process set forth in § 32.1-137.5.

E. The State Corporation Commission shall give notice to the Commissioner of its intention to issue an order based upon a finding of insolvency, hazardous financial condition, or impairment of net worth or surplus to policyholders or an order suspending or revoking the license of a managed care health insurance plan licensee; and the Commissioner shall notify the Bureau of Insurance when he has reasonable cause to believe that a recommendation for the suspension or revocation of a certificate of quality assurance or the denial or nonrenewal of such a certificate may be made pursuant to this article. Such notifications shall be privileged and confidential and shall not be subject to subpoena.

F. No certificate of quality assurance issued pursuant to this article may be transferred or assigned without approval of the Commissioner.

1998, c. 891; 2013, cc. 670, 679.

§ 32.1-137.3. Regulations.

Consistent with its duties to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public, the Board shall promulgate regulations, consistent with this article, governing the quality of care provided to covered persons by a managed care health insurance plan licensee through its managed care health insurance plans on or before December 1, 1999. The regulations may incorporate or apply nationally recognized, generally accepted, quality standards developed by private accreditation entities, if such standards exist and as appropriate for the type of managed care health insurance plan. The regulations shall also include guidelines for the Commissioner to determine, in consultation with the Bureau of Insurance, when the imposition of administrative sanctions as set forth in § 32.1-137.5 or initiation of court proceedings or both are appropriate in order to ensure prompt correction of violations discovered on any examination, review, or investigation conducted by the Department pursuant to provisions of this article.

1998, c. 891.

§ 32.1-137.4. Examination, review or investigation.

A. The Commissioner shall cause each managed care health insurance plan licensee subject to certification under this article to be examined or reviewed for each new application and to be periodically examined or reviewed at reasonable times thereafter, including both for complaint investigation and for renewal compliance. Such examinations or reviews shall consider the compliance of the managed care health insurance plan licensee with the regulations promulgated under § 32.1-137.3.

In lieu of or in addition to making his own examination of the managed care health insurance plan licensee, the Commissioner may accept the report of an examination of the licensee under similar laws of another state, similar regulatory agency, state health commissioner, or accreditation entity.

B. Any examiner authorized by the Commissioner shall, so far as necessary for the purposes of the examination or review, have access during regular business hours to the premises and to any books, records, files, or property of the licensee as far as they directly relate to the quality of care provided by the licensee. All material copied or recorded or received shall be privileged and confidential and shall not be subject to subpoena.

C. Every person from whom information is sought, in an investigation of a complaint pursuant to this article against a managed care health insurance plan licensee, shall cooperate in producing or allowing reasonable access during regular business hours to the books, records, files, accounts, papers, documents, and any or all computer or other recordings of the licensee being examined or those of any person delivering health care services under contract, affiliation, delegation or other arrangement directly relevant to the investigation. Such information shall be limited to that which is relevant to the investigation in question, as specified in regulations promulgated pursuant to this article. All material copied or recorded or received shall be privileged and confidential, and shall not be subject to subpoena.

D. The refusal of any licensee, by its officers, directors, employees or agents, to submit to examination or review or to comply with any reasonable written request of the examiners shall be grounds for suspension, revocation, denial, or nonrenewal of any certificate of quality assurance held by the licensee. Any such proceedings for suspension, revocation, denial or nonrenewal of any certificate shall be conducted pursuant to § 32.1-137.5.

1998, c. 891.

§ 32.1-137.5. Civil penalties; probation; suspension; restriction or prohibition of new enrollments to managed care health insurance plan licensee; revocation or nonrenewal of certificate of quality assurance; appeal process; correction.

A. In accordance with applicable regulations of the Board and in consultation with the Bureau of Insurance, the Commissioner (i) may impose civil penalties, which shall not exceed $1,000 per incident of noncompliance, to a maximum of $10,000 for a series of related incidents of noncompliance, (ii) may place a certificate holder on probation, (iii) may temporarily suspend a certificate of quality assurance of a managed care health insurance plan licensee, (iv) may, with the concurrence of the Bureau of Insurance, temporarily restrict or prohibit new enrollments into a managed care health insurance plan, or (v) may revoke or not renew a certificate of quality assurance and certify to the State Corporation Commission that a managed care health insurance plan licensee or its managed care health insurance plan is unable to fulfill its obligations to furnish quality health care services as set forth in this article. Fines payable under this section shall be paid into the Literary Fund.

B. When examination or review or complaint investigation by the Department results in a finding of noncompliance with the provisions of this article or the regulations of the Board, the managed care health insurance plan licensee or applicant shall be provided written notice and a report specifying the findings of noncompliance and providing an opportunity to be heard in no fewer than thirty days by the Commissioner's adjudication officer in a proceeding under § 2.2-4019. A copy of the notice and report shall be provided to the Bureau of Insurance. Such proceeding shall be separate from the regulatory office of the Department that conducted the examination, review, or investigation and shall be closed and confidential. The records of the proceedings shall be privileged and confidential and shall not be subject to subpoena.

The adjudication officer shall provide a recommendation to the Commissioner, including findings of fact, conclusions, and appropriate disciplinary action or sanction. The Commissioner shall promptly notify the Bureau of Insurance if the recommended disciplinary action or sanction proposes probation, suspension, nonrenewal, or revocation of a certificate of quality assurance, or the temporary restriction or prohibition of new enrollments in a managed care health insurance plan. The Commissioner may affirm, modify, or reverse such recommendation and shall issue a final decision.

The Commissioner's decision may be appealed directly to a circuit court under Article 4 (§ 2.2-4025 et seq.) of the Administrative Process Act. The only parties to the case shall be the managed care health insurance plan licensee and the Department. The Commissioner shall promptly notify the Bureau of Insurance of the commencement and final determination of an appeals proceeding.

C. If a certificate of quality assurance has been revoked or suspended or a certificate holder has been placed on probation, a new certificate may be issued or the suspension may be terminated or the probation removed by the Commissioner after satisfactory evidence is submitted to him that the conditions upon which revocation, suspension, or probation was based have been corrected and after proper examination has been made and compliance with all provisions of this article and the regulations of the Board has been shown.

1998, c. 891.

§ 32.1-137.6. Complaint system.

A. Each managed care health insurance plan licensee subject to § 32.1-137.2 shall establish and maintain for each of its managed care health insurance plans a complaint system approved by the Commissioner and the Bureau of Insurance to provide reasonable procedures for the resolution of written complaints in accordance with the requirements established under this article and Title 38.2, and shall include the following:

1. A record of the complaints shall be maintained for the period set forth in § 32.1-137.16 for review by the Commissioner.

2. Each managed care health insurance plan licensee shall provide complaint forms and/or written procedures to be given to covered persons who wish to register written complaints. Such forms or procedures shall include the address and telephone number of the managed care licensee to which complaints shall be directed and the mailing address, telephone number, and the electronic mail address of the Office of the Managed Care Ombudsman established pursuant to § 38.2-5904 and shall also specify any required limits imposed by or on behalf of the managed care health insurance plan. Such forms and written procedures shall include a clear and understandable description of the covered person's right to appeal adverse determinations pursuant to § 32.1-137.15.

B. The Commissioner, in cooperation with the Bureau of Insurance, shall examine the complaint system. The effectiveness of the complaint system of the managed care health insurance plan licensee in allowing covered persons, or their duly authorized representatives, to have issues regarding quality of care appropriately resolved under this article shall be assessed by the State Health Commissioner under this article. Compliance by the health carrier and its managed care health insurance plans with the terms and procedures of the complaint system, as well as the provisions of Title 38.2, shall be assessed by the Bureau of Insurance.

C. As part of the renewal of a certificate, each managed care health insurance plan licensee shall submit to the Commissioner and to the Office of the Managed Care Ombudsman an annual complaint report in a form agreed and prescribed by the Board and the Bureau of Insurance. The complaint report shall include, but shall not be limited to (i) a description of the procedures of the complaint system, (ii) the total number of complaints handled through the complaint system, (iii) the disposition of the complaints, (iv) a compilation of the nature and causes underlying the complaints filed, (v) the time it took to process and resolve each complaint, and (vi) the number, amount, and disposition of malpractice claims adjudicated during the year with respect to any of the managed care health insurance plan's health care providers.

The Department of Human Resource Management and the Department of Medical Assistance Services shall file similar periodic reports with the Commissioner, in a form prescribed by the Board, providing appropriate information on all complaints received concerning quality of care and utilization review under their respective health benefits program and managed care health insurance plan licensee contractors.

D. The Commissioner shall examine the complaint system under subsection B for compliance of the complaint system with respect to quality of care and shall require corrections or modifications as deemed necessary.

E. The Commissioner shall have no jurisdiction to adjudicate individual controversies arising under this article.

F. The Commissioner of Health or the nonprofit organization pursuant to § 32.1-276.4 may prepare a summary of the information submitted pursuant to this provision and § 32.1-122.10:01 to be included in the patient level data base.

1998, cc. 744, 891; 1999, cc. 643, 649; 2000, cc. 66, 657, 922; 2011, c. 788.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of these sections may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.

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