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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of February 20, 2020

Title 42Chapter IVSubchapter BPart 422Subpart M → §422.590


Title 42: Public Health
PART 422—MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PROGRAM
Subpart M—Grievances, Organization Determinations and Appeals


§422.590   Timeframes and responsibility for reconsiderations.

(a) Standard reconsideration: Requests for service or item. (1) Except as provided in paragraph (f) of this section, if the MA organization makes a reconsidered determination that is completely favorable to the enrollee, the MA organization must issue the determination (and effectuate it in accordance with §422.618(a)) as expeditiously as the enrollee's health condition requires, but no later than 30 calendar days from the date it receives the request for a standard reconsideration.

(2) If the MA organization makes a reconsidered determination that affirms, in whole or in part, its adverse organization determination, it must prepare a written explanation and send the case file to the independent entity contracted by CMS as expeditiously as the enrollee's health condition requires, but no later than 30 calendar days from the date it receives the request for a standard reconsideration (or no later than the expiration of an extension described in paragraph (a)(1) of this section). The organization must make reasonable and diligent efforts to assist in gathering and forwarding information to the independent entity.

(b) Standard reconsideration: Requests for payment. (1) If the MA organization makes a reconsidered determination that is completely favorable to the enrollee, the MA organization must issue its reconsidered determination to the enrollee (and effectuate it in accordance with §422.618(a)(1)) no later than 60 calendar days from the date it receives the request for a standard reconsideration.

(2) If the MA organization affirms, in whole or in part, its adverse organization determination, it must prepare a written explanation and send the case file to the independent entity contracted by CMS no later than 60 calendar days from the date it receives the request for a standard reconsideration. The organization must make reasonable and diligent efforts to assist in gathering and forwarding information to the independent entity.

(c) Standard reconsideration: Requests for a Part B drug. (1) If the MA organization makes a reconsidered determination that is completely favorable to the enrollee, the MA organization must issue the determination (and effectuate it in accordance with §422.618(a)(3)) as expeditiously as the enrollee's health condition requires, but no later than 7 calendar days from the date it receives the request for a standard reconsideration. This 7 calendar-day period may not be extended under the provisions in paragraph (f) of this section.

(2) If the MA organization makes a reconsidered determination that affirms, in whole or in part, its adverse organization determination, it must prepare a written explanation and send the case file to the independent entity contracted with CMS no later than 7 calendar days from the date it receives the request for a standard reconsideration. The organization must make reasonable and diligent efforts to assist in gathering and forwarding the information to the independent entity.

(d) Effect of failure to meet timeframe for standard reconsideration. If the MA organization fails to provide the enrollee with a reconsidered determination within the timeframes specified in paragraph (a), (b), or (c) of this section, this failure constitutes an affirmation of its adverse organization determination, and the MA organization must submit the file to the independent entity in the same manner as described under paragraphs (a)(2), (b)(2), and (c)(2) of this section.

(e) Expedited reconsideration—(1) Timeframe for services or items. Except as provided in paragraph (f) of this section, an MA organization that approves a request for expedited reconsideration must complete its reconsideration and give the enrollee (and the physician involved, as appropriate) notice of its decision as expeditiously as the enrollee's health condition requires but no later than 72 hours after receiving the request.

(2) Timeframe for Part B drugs. An MA organization that approves a request for expedited reconsideration must complete its reconsideration and give the enrollee (and the physician or other prescriber involved, as appropriate) notice of its decision as expeditiously as the enrollee's health condition requires but no later than 72 hours after receiving the request. This 72-hour period may not be extended under the provisions in paragraph (f) of this section.

(3) Confirmation of oral notice. If the MA organization first notifies an enrollee of a completely favorable expedited reconsideration orally, it must mail written confirmation to the enrollee within 3 calendar days.

(4) How the MA organization must request information from noncontract providers. If the MA organization must receive medical information from noncontract providers, the MA organization must request the necessary information from the noncontract provider within 24 hours of the initial request for an expedited reconsideration. Noncontract providers must make reasonable and diligent efforts to expeditiously gather and forward all necessary information to assist the MA organization in meeting the required timeframe. Regardless of whether the MA organization must request information from noncontract providers, the MA organization is responsible for meeting the timeframe and notice requirements.

(5) Affirmation of an adverse expedited organization determination. If, as a result of its reconsideration, the MA organization affirms, in whole or in part, its adverse expedited organization determination, the MA organization must submit a written explanation and the case file to the independent entity contracted by CMS as expeditiously as the enrollee's health condition requires, but not later than within 24 hours of its affirmation. The organization must make reasonable and diligent efforts to assist in gathering and forwarding information to the independent entity.

(f) Extensions; requests for service or item. (1) As described in paragraphs (f)(1)(i) through (iii) of this section, the MA organization may extend the standard or expedited reconsideration deadline for services by up to 14 calendar days if—

(i) The enrollee requests the extension; or

(ii) The extension is justified and in the enrollee's interest due to the need for additional medical evidence from a noncontract provider that may change an MA organization's decision to deny an item or service; or

(iii) The extension is justified due to extraordinary, exigent or other non-routine circumstances and is in the enrollee's interest.

(2) When the MA organization extends the deadline, it must notify the enrollee in writing of the reasons for the delay and inform the enrollee of the right to file an expedited grievance if he or she disagrees with the MA organization's decision to grant an extension. The MA organization must notify the enrollee of its determination as expeditiously as the enrollee's health condition requires, but no later than upon expiration of the extension.

(g) Failure to meet timeframe for expedited reconsideration. If the MA organization fails to provide the enrollee with the results of its reconsideration within the timeframe described in paragraph (e)(1) or (2) of this section, as applicable, this failure constitutes an adverse reconsidered determination, and the MA organization must submit the file to the independent entity within 24 hours of expiration of the timeframe set forth in paragraph (e)(1) or (2) of this section.

(h) Who must reconsider an adverse organization determination. (1) A person or persons who were not involved in making the organization determination must conduct the reconsideration.

(2) When the issue is the MA organization's denial of coverage based on a lack of medical necessity (or any substantively equivalent term used to describe the concept of medical necessity), the reconsidered determination must be made by a physician with expertise in the field of medicine that is appropriate for the services at issue. The physician making the reconsidered determination need not, in all cases, be of the same specialty or subspecialty as the treating physician.

[84 FR 23881, May 23, 2019]

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