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CA SB 294

Title: Health care coverage: independent medical review.
Author: Scott D. Wiener

Summary
SB 294, as amended, Wiener. Health care coverage: independent medical review. Existing law, the Knox-Keene Health Care Service Plan Act of 1975, provides for the licensure and regulation of health care service plans by the Department of Managed Health Care, and makes a willful violation of the act a crime. Existing law provides for the regulation of disability insurers by the Department of Insurance. Existing law establishes the Independent Medical Review System within each department, under which an enrollee or insured may seek review if a health care service has been denied, modified, or delayed by a health care service plan or disability insurer and the enrollee or insured has previously filed a grievance that remains unresolved after 30 days.This bill, commencing January 1, 2026, would require a health care service plan or a disability insurer that upholds its decision to modify, delay, or deny a health care service in response to a grievance or has a grievance that is otherwise pending or unresolved upon expiration of the relevant timeframe to automatically submit within 24 hours a decision regarding a disputed health care service to the Independent Medical Review System, as well as the information that informed its decision, if the decision is to deny, modify, or delay specified services relating to mental health or substance use disorder conditions for an enrollee or insured up to 26 years of age. The bill would require a health care service plan or disability insurer, within 24 hours after submitting its decision to the Independent Medical Review System to provide notice to the appropriate department, the enrollee or insured or their representative, if any, and the enrollee’s or insured’s provider. The bill would require the notice to include notification to the enrollee or insured that they or their representative may cancel the independent medical review at any time before a determination, as specified.This bill, commencing January 1, 2026, would require a health care service plan or disability insurer that provides coverage for mental health or substance use disorders to treat a modification, delay, or denial issued in response to an authorization request for coverage of treatment for a mental health or substance use disorder for an insured up to 26 years of age as if the modification, delay, or denial is also a grievance submitted by the enrollee or insured. The bill would require a plan or insurer to provide a written acknowledgment of a grievance that is automatically generated and would specify the circumstances under which that grievance is required to be submitted automatically to independent medical review.The bill would apply specified existing provisions relating to mental health and substance use disorders for purposes of its provisions, and would be subject to relevant provisions relating to the Independent Medical Review System that do not otherwise conflict with the express requirements of the bill. With respect to health care service plans, the bill would specify that its provisions do not apply to Medi-Cal managed care plan contracts. The bill would authorize the Director of Managed Health Care and the Insurance Commissioner to promulgate regulations subject to the Administrative Procedure Act to implement and enforce the bill, and to issue interim guidance, as specified.Because a willful violation of this provision by a health care service plan would be a crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.

Status
From committee: Do pass and re-refer to Com. on APPR. (Ayes 12. Noes 3.) (June 4). Re-referred to Com. on APPR.

Bill Documents
CA SB 294 - 05/24/24 - Amended Assembly
05/24/24 - CA SB 294 (05/24/24 - Amended Assembly)


CA SB 294 - 01/11/24 - Amended Senate
01/11/24 - CA SB 294 (01/11/24 - Amended Senate)

CA SB 294 - 01/03/24 - Amended Senate
01/03/24 - CA SB 294 (01/03/24 - Amended Senate)

CA SB 294 - 09/13/23 - Amended Senate
09/13/23 - CA SB 294 (09/13/23 - Amended Senate)

CA SB 294 - 02/02/23 - Introduced
02/02/23 - CA SB 294 (02/02/23 - Introduced)

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Author Details


  • Scott Wiener - D
    Senator - State Senate - CA

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    Capital Address:
    1021 O Street, Suite 8620
    Sacramento, CA 95814-4900
    9166514011

    District Address:
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    San Francisco, CA 94102 7018
    Phone: 4155571300
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