Nebraska Revised Statute 44-1309

Chapter 44 Section 1309

44-1309.

Request for expedited external review; director; duties; health carrier; duties; notice of initial determination; contents; expedited external review; independent review organization; powers; duties; decision; notice; contents.

(1) Except as provided in subsection (6) of this section, a covered person or the covered person's authorized representative may make a request for an expedited external review with the director at the time that the covered person receives:

(a) An adverse determination if:

(i) The adverse determination involves a medical condition of the covered person for which the timeframe for completion of an expedited internal review of a grievance involving an adverse determination set forth in section 44-7311 would seriously jeopardize the life or health of the covered person or would jeopardize the covered person's ability to regain maximum function; and

(ii) The covered person or the covered person's authorized representative has filed a request for an expedited review of a grievance involving an adverse determination as set forth in section 44-7311; or

(b) A final adverse determination:

(i) If the covered person has a medical condition in which the timeframe for completion of a standard external review pursuant to section 44-1308 would seriously jeopardize the life or health of the covered person or would jeopardize the covered person's ability to regain maximum function; or

(ii) If the final adverse determination concerns an admission, availability of care, continued stay, or health care service for which the covered person received emergency services, but has not been discharged from a facility.

(2)(a) Upon receipt of a request for an expedited external review, the director shall immediately send a copy of the request to the health carrier.

(b) Immediately upon receipt of the request pursuant to subdivision (2)(a) of this section, the health carrier shall determine whether the request meets the reviewability requirements set forth in subsection (2) of section 44-1308. The health carrier shall immediately notify the director and the covered person and, if applicable, the covered person's authorized representative of its eligibility determination.

(c)(i) The director may specify the form for the health carrier's notice of initial determination under this subsection and any supporting information to be included in the notice.

(ii) The notice of initial determination shall include a statement informing the covered person and, if applicable, the covered person's authorized representative that a health carrier's initial determination that an external review request is ineligible for review may be appealed to the director.

(d)(i) The director may determine that a request is eligible for external review under subsection (2) of section 44-1308 notwithstanding a health carrier's initial determination that the request is ineligible and require that it be referred for external review.

(ii) In making a determination under subdivision (2)(d)(i) of this section, the director's decision shall be made in accordance with the terms of the covered person's health benefit plan and shall be subject to all applicable provisions of the Health Carrier External Review Act.

(e) Upon receipt of the notice that the request meets the reviewability requirements, the director shall immediately assign an independent review organization to conduct the expedited external review from the list of approved independent review organizations compiled and maintained by the director pursuant to section 44-1312. The director shall immediately notify the health carrier of the name of the assigned independent review organization.

(f) In reaching a decision in accordance with subsection (5) of this section, the assigned independent review organization is not bound by any decisions or conclusions reached during the health carrier's utilization review process as set forth in the Health Carrier Grievance Procedure Act or the Utilization Review Act.

(3) Upon receipt of the notice from the director of the name of the independent review organization assigned to conduct the expedited external review pursuant to subdivision (2)(e) of this section, the health carrier or its designee utilization review organization shall provide or transmit all necessary documents and information considered in making the adverse determination or final adverse determination to the assigned independent review organization electronically or by telephone or facsimile or any other available expeditious method.

(4) In addition to the documents and information provided or transmitted pursuant to subsection (3) of this section, the assigned independent review organization, to the extent that the information or documents are available and the independent review organization considers them appropriate, shall consider the following in reaching a decision:

(a) The covered person's pertinent medical records;

(b) The attending health care professional's recommendation;

(c) Consulting reports from appropriate health care professionals and other documents submitted by the health carrier, covered person, the covered person's authorized representative, or the covered person's treating provider;

(d) The terms of coverage under the covered person's health benefit plan with the health carrier to ensure that the independent review organization's decision is not contrary to the terms of coverage under the covered person's health benefit plan with the health carrier;

(e) The most appropriate practice guidelines, which shall include evidence-based standards, and may include any other practice guidelines developed by the federal government, national or professional medical societies, boards, or associations;

(f) Any applicable clinical review criteria developed and used by the health carrier or its designee utilization review organization in making adverse determinations; and

(g) The opinion of the independent review organization's clinical reviewer or reviewers after considering subdivisions (4)(a) through (f) of this section to the extent that the information and documents are available and the clinical reviewer or reviewers consider it appropriate.

(5)(a) As expeditiously as the covered person's medical condition or circumstances requires, but in no event more than seventy-two hours after the date of receipt of the request for an expedited external review that meets the reviewability requirements set forth in subsection (2) of section 44-1308, the assigned independent review organization shall:

(i) Make a decision to uphold or reverse the adverse determination or final adverse determination; and

(ii) Notify the covered person and, if applicable, the covered person's authorized representative, the health carrier, and the director of the decision.

(b) If the notice provided pursuant to subdivision (5)(a) of this section was not in writing, within forty-eight hours after the date of providing that notice, the assigned independent review organization shall:

(i) Provide written confirmation of the decision to the covered person and, if applicable, the covered person's authorized representative, the health carrier, and the director; and

(ii) Include the information set forth in subdivision (9)(b) of section 44-1308.

(c) Upon receipt of the notice of a decision pursuant to subdivision (5)(a) of this section reversing the adverse determination or final adverse determination, the health carrier shall immediately approve the coverage that was the subject of the adverse determination or final adverse determination.

(6) An expedited external review may not be provided for retrospective adverse or final adverse determinations.

(7) The assignment by the director of an approved independent review organization to conduct an external review in accordance with this section shall be done on a random basis among those approved independent review organizations qualified to conduct the particular external review based on the nature of the health care service that is the subject of the adverse determination or final adverse determination and other circumstances, including conflict of interest concerns pursuant to subsection (4) of section 44-1313.

Cross References

  • Health Carrier Grievance Procedure Act, see section 44-7301.
  • Utilization Review Act, see section 44-5416.