SB 576 - This act provides that a health carrier or utilization review entity shall not require health care providers to obtain prior authorization for health care services, except under certain circumstances.

Prior authorization shall not be required unless an individual licensed to practice medicine in this state makes a determination that less than 90% of prior authorization requests submitted by that health care provider in the previous evaluation period, as defined in the act, were or would have been approved. The act establishes separate 90% thresholds for requiring prior authorization for individual health care services or requiring prior authorization for all health care services. If the provider is a licensed physician, the determination shall be made by a licensed physician with the same or similar specialty.

The act specifies requirements for notifying the provider of determinations under the act, requires carriers and utilization review entities to maintain an online portal giving providers access to certain information, and provides that prior authorizations may be required beginning 15 business days after notice to the provider until the end of the evaluation period. Failure to notify providers of a determination as required in the act shall constitute prior authorization of the applicable health care services.

Lastly, no health carrier or utilization review entity shall deny or reduce payments to a health care provider who had a prior authorization, unless the provider made a knowing and material misrepresentation with the intent to deceive the carrier or utilization review entity, or unless the health care service was not substantially performed.

This act shall not apply to Medicaid, except with regard to a Medicaid managed care organization as defined by law. The act also does not apply to providers who have not participated in a health benefit plan offered by the carrier for at least one full evaluation period. This act shall not be construed to authorize providers to provide services outside the scope of their licenses, nor to require health carriers or utilization review entities to pay for care provided outside the scope of a provider's license.

This act is similar to HB 1045 (2023).


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