CA Welf & Inst Code Section 14182.17


(a)

For the purposes of this section, the definitions in subdivision (b) of Section 14182.16 shall apply.

(b)

The department shall ensure and improve the care coordination and integration of health care services for Medi-Cal beneficiaries residing in Coordinated Care Initiative counties who are either of the following:

(1)

Dual eligible beneficiaries, as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 14182.16, who receive Medi-Cal benefits and services through the demonstration project established pursuant to Section 14132.275 or through mandatory enrollment in managed care health plans pursuant to Section 14182.16.

(2)

Medi-Cal beneficiaries who receive long-term services and supports pursuant to Article 5.7 (commencing with Section 14186).

(c)

The department shall develop an enrollment process to be used in Coordinated Care Initiative counties to do the following:

(1)

Except in a county that provides Medi-Cal services under a county organized health system pursuant to Article 2.8 (commencing with Section 14087.5), provide a choice of Medi-Cal managed care plans to a dual eligible beneficiary who has opted for Medicare fee-for-service, and establish an algorithm to assign beneficiaries who do not make a choice.

(2)

Ensure that only beneficiaries required to make a choice or affirmatively opt out are sent enrollment materials.

(3)

Establish enrollment timelines, developed in consultation with health plans and stakeholders, and approved by CMS, for each demonstration site. The timeline may provide for combining or phasing in enrollment for Medicare and Medi-Cal benefits.

(d)

Before the department contracts with managed care health plans or Medi-Cal providers to furnish Medi-Cal benefits and services pursuant to subdivision (b), the department shall do all of the following:

(1)

Ensure timely and appropriate communications with beneficiaries as follows:

(A)

At least 90 days prior to enrollment, inform dual eligible beneficiaries through a notice written at not more than a sixth-grade reading level that includes, at a minimum, how the Medi-Cal system of care will change, when the changes will occur, and who they can contact for assistance with choosing a managed care health plan or with problems they encounter.

(B)

Develop and implement an outreach and education program for beneficiaries to inform them of their enrollment options and rights, including specific steps to work with consumer and beneficiary community groups.

(C)

Develop, in consultation with consumers, beneficiaries, and other stakeholders, an overall communications plan that includes all aspects of developing beneficiary notices.

(D)

Ensure that managed care health plans and their provider networks are able to provide communication and services to dual eligible beneficiaries in alternative formats that are culturally, linguistically, and physically appropriate through means, including, but not limited to, assistive listening systems, sign language interpreters, captioning, written communication, plain language, and written translations.

(E)

Ensure that managed care health plans have prepared materials to inform beneficiaries of procedures for obtaining Medi-Cal benefits, including grievance and appeals procedures, that are offered by the plan or are available through the Medi-Cal program.

(F)

Ensure that managed care health plans have policies and procedures in effect to address the effective transition of beneficiaries from Medicare Part D plans not participating in the demonstration project. These policies shall include, but not be limited to, the transition of care requirements for Medicare Part D benefits as described in Chapters 6 and 14 of the Medicare Managed Care Manual, published by CMS, including a determination of which beneficiaries require information about their transition supply, and, within the first 90 days of coverage under a new plan, provide for a temporary fill when the beneficiary requests a refill of a nonformulary drug.

(G)

Contingent upon available private or public funds other than moneys from the General Fund, contract with community-based, nonprofit consumer, or health insurance assistance organizations with expertise and experience in assisting dual eligible beneficiaries in understanding their health care coverage options.

(H)

Develop, with stakeholder input, informing and enrollment materials and an enrollment process in the demonstration site counties. The department shall ensure all of the following prior to implementing enrollment:

(i)

Enrollment materials shall be made public at least 60 days prior to the first mailing of notices to dual eligible beneficiaries, and the department shall work with stakeholders to incorporate public comment into the materials.

(ii)

The materials shall be in a not more than sixth grade reading level and shall be available in all the Medi-Cal threshold languages, as well as in alternative formats that are culturally, linguistically, and physically appropriate. For in-person enrollment assistance, disability accommodation shall be provided, when appropriate, through means including, but not limited to, assistive listening systems, sign language interpreters, captioning, and written communication.
(iii)The materials shall plainly state that the beneficiary may choose fee-for-service Medicare or Medicare Advantage, but must return the form to indicate this choice, and that if the beneficiary does not return the form, the state shall assign the beneficiary to a plan and all Medicare and Medi-Cal benefits shall only be available through that plan.

(iv)

The materials shall plainly state that the beneficiary shall be enrolled in a Medi-Cal managed care health plan even if he or she chooses to stay in fee-for-service Medicare.

(v)

The materials shall plainly explain all of the following:

(I)

The plan choices.

(II)

Continuity of care provisions.
(III)How to determine which providers are enrolled in each plan.

(IV)

How to obtain assistance with the choice forms.

(vi)

The enrollment contractor recognizes, in compliance with existing statutes and regulations, authorized representatives, including, but not limited to, a caregiver, family member, conservator, or a legal services advocate, who is recognized by any of the services or programs that the person is already receiving or participating in.

(I)

Make available to the public and to all Medi-Cal providers copies of all beneficiary notices in advance of the date the notices are sent to beneficiaries. These copies shall be available on the department’s Internet Web site.

(2)

Require that managed care health plans perform an assessment process that, at a minimum, does all of the following:

(A)

Assesses each new enrollee’s risk level and needs by performing a risk assessment process using means such as telephonic, Web-based, or in-person communication, or review of utilization and claims processing data, or by other means as determined by the department, with a particular focus on identifying those enrollees who may need long-term services and supports. The risk assessment process shall be performed in accordance with all applicable federal and state laws.

(B)

Assesses the care needs of dual eligible beneficiaries and coordinates their Medi-Cal benefits across all settings, including coordination of necessary services within, and, when necessary, outside of the managed care health plan’s provider network.

(C)

Uses a mechanism or algorithm developed by the managed care health plan pursuant to paragraph (7) of subdivision (b) of Section 14182 for risk stratification of members.

(D)

At the time of enrollment, applies the risk stratification mechanism or algorithm approved by the department to determine the health risk level of members.

(E)

Reviews historical Medi-Cal fee-for-service utilization data and Medicare data, to the extent either is accessible to and provided by the department, for dual eligible beneficiaries upon enrollment in a managed care health plan so that the managed care health plans are better able to assist dual eligible beneficiaries and prioritize assessment and care planning.

(F)

Analyzes Medicare claims data for dual eligible beneficiaries upon enrollment in a demonstration site pursuant to Section 14132.275 to provide an appropriate transition process for newly enrolled beneficiaries who are prescribed Medicare Part D drugs that are not on the demonstration site’s formulary, as required under the transition of care requirements for Medicare Part D benefits as described in Chapters 6 and 14 of the Medicare Managed Care Manual, published by CMS.

(G)

Assesses each new enrollee’s behavioral health needs and historical utilization, including mental health and substance use disorder treatment services.

(H)

Follows timeframes for reassessment and, if necessary, circumstances or conditions that require redetermination of risk level, which shall be set by the department.

(3)

Ensure that the managed care health plans arrange for primary care by doing all of the following:

(A)

Except for beneficiaries enrolled in the demonstration project pursuant to Section 14132.275, forgo interference with a beneficiary’s choice of primary care physician under Medicare, and not assign a full-benefit dual eligible beneficiary to a primary care physician unless it is determined through the risk stratification and assessment process that assignment is necessary, in order to properly coordinate the care of the beneficiary or upon the beneficiary’s request.

(B)

Assign a primary care physician to a partial-benefit dual eligible beneficiary receiving primary or specialty care through the Medi-Cal managed care plan.

(C)

Provide a mechanism for partial-benefit dual eligible enrollees to request a specialist or clinic as a primary care provider if these services are being provided through the Medi-Cal managed care health plan. A specialist or clinic may serve as a primary care provider if the specialist or clinic agrees to serve in a primary care provider role and is qualified to treat the required range of conditions of the enrollees.

(4)

Ensure that the managed care health plans perform, at a minimum, and in addition to, other statutory and contractual requirements, care coordination, and care management activities as follows:

(A)

Reflect a member-centered, outcome-based approach to care planning, consistent with the CMS model of care approach and with federal Medicare requirements and guidance.

(B)

Adhere to a beneficiary’s determination about the appropriate involvement of his or her medical providers and caregivers, according to the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-191).

(C)

Develop care management and care coordination for the beneficiary across the medical and long-term services and supports care system, including transitions among levels of care and between service locations.

(D)

Develop individual care plans for higher risk beneficiaries based on the results of the risk assessment process with a particular focus on long-term services and supports.

(E)

Use nurses, social workers, the beneficiary’s primary care physician, if appropriate, and other medical professionals to provide care management and enhanced care management, as applicable, particularly for beneficiaries in need of or receiving long-term services and supports.

(F)

Consider behavioral health needs of beneficiaries and coordinate those services with the county mental health department as part of the beneficiary’s care management plan when appropriate.

(G)

Facilitate a beneficiary’s ability to access appropriate community resources and other agencies, including referrals as necessary and appropriate for behavioral services, such as mental health and substance use disorders treatment services.

(H)

Monitor skilled nursing facility utilization and develop care transition plans and programs that move beneficiaries back into the community to the extent possible. Plans shall monitor and support beneficiaries in the community to avoid further institutionalization.

(5)

Ensure that the managed care health plans comply with, at a minimum, and in addition to other statutory and contractual requirements, network adequacy requirements as follows:

(A)

Provide access to providers that comply with applicable state and federal law, including, but not limited to, physical accessibility and the provision of health plan information in alternative formats.

(B)

Meet provider network adequacy standards for long-term services and supports that the department shall develop.

(C)

Maintain an updated, accurate, and accessible listing of a provider’s ability to accept new patients, which shall be made available to beneficiaries, at a minimum, by phone, written material, and the Internet, and in accessible formats, upon request.

(D)

Monitor an appropriate provider network that includes an adequate number of accessible facilities within each service area.

(E)

Contract with and assign patients to safety net and traditional providers as defined in subdivisions (hh) and (jj), respectively, of Section 53810 of Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations, including small and private practice providers who have traditionally treated dual eligible patients, based on available medical history to ensure access to care and services. A managed care health plan shall establish participation standards to ensure participation and broad representation of traditional and safety net providers within a service area.

(F)

Maintain a liaison to coordinate with each regional center operating within the plan’s service area to assist dual eligible beneficiaries with developmental disabilities in understanding and accessing services and act as a central point of contact for questions, access and care concerns, and problem resolution.

(G)

Maintain a liaison and provide access to out-of-network providers, for up to 12 months, for new members enrolled under Sections 14132.275 and 14182.16 who have an ongoing relationship with a provider, if the provider will accept the health plan’s rate for the service offered, or for nursing facilities and Community-Based Adult Services, or the applicable Medi-Cal fee-for-service rate, whichever is higher, and the managed care health plan determines that the provider meets applicable professional standards and has no disqualifying quality of care issues in accordance with guidance from the department, including all-plan letters. A partial-benefit dual eligible beneficiary enrolled in Medicare Part A who only receives primary and specialty care services through a Medi-Cal managed care health plan shall be able to receive these Medi-Cal services from an out-of-network Medi-Cal provider for 12 months after enrollment. This subparagraph shall not apply to out-of-network providers that furnish ancillary services.

(H)

Assign a primary care physician who is the primary clinician for the beneficiary and who provides core clinical management functions for partial-benefit dual eligible beneficiaries who are receiving primary and specialty care through the Medi-Cal managed care health plan.

(I)

Employ care managers directly or contract with nonprofit or proprietary organizations in sufficient numbers to provide coordinated care services for long-term services and supports as needed for all members.

(6)

Ensure that the managed care health plans address medical and social needs as follows:

(A)

Offer services beyond those required by Medicare and Medi-Cal at the managed care health plan’s discretion.

(B)

Refer beneficiaries to community resources or other agencies for needed medical or social services or items outside the managed care health plan’s responsibilities.

(C)

Facilitate communication among a beneficiary’s health care and personal care providers, including long-term services and supports and behavioral health providers when appropriate.

(D)

Engage in other activities or services needed to assist beneficiaries in optimizing their health status, including assisting with self-management skills or techniques, health education, and other modalities to improve health status.

(E)

Facilitate timely access to primary care, specialty care, medications, and other health services needed by the beneficiary, including referrals to address any physical or cognitive barriers to access.

(F)

Utilize the most recent common procedure terminology (CPT) codes, modifiers, and correct coding initiative edits.

(7)

(A)Ensure that the managed care health plans provide, at a minimum, and in addition to other statutory and contractual requirements, a grievance and appeal process that does both of the following:

(i)

Provides a clear, timely, and fair process for accepting and acting upon complaints, grievances, and disenrollment requests, including procedures for appealing decisions regarding coverage or benefits, as specified by the department. Each managed care health plan shall have a grievance process that complies with Section 14450, and Sections 1368 and 1368.01 of the Health and Safety Code.

(ii)

Complies with a Medicare and Medi-Cal grievance and appeal process, as applicable. The appeals process shall not diminish the grievance and appeals rights of IHSS recipients pursuant to Section 10950.

(B)

In no circumstance shall the process for appeals be more restrictive than what is required under the Medi-Cal program.

(e)

The department shall do all of the following:

(1)

Monitor the managed care health plans’ performance and accountability for provision of services, in addition to all other statutory and contractual monitoring and oversight requirements, by doing all of the following:

(A)

Develop performance measures that are required as part of the contract to provide quality indicators for the Medi-Cal population enrolled in a managed care health plan and for the dual eligible subset of enrollees. These performance measures may include measures from the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set or measures indicative of performance in serving special needs populations, such as the National Committee for Quality Assurance structure and process measures, or other performance measures identified or developed by the department.

(B)

Implement performance measures that are required as part of the contract to provide quality assurance indicators for long-term services and supports in quality assurance plans required under the plans’ contracts. These indicators shall include factors such as affirmative member choice, increased independence, avoidance of institutional care, and positive health outcomes. The department shall develop these quality assurance indicators in consultation with stakeholder groups.

(C)

Effective January 10, 2014, and for each subsequent year of the demonstration project authorized under Section 14132.275, provide a report to the Legislature describing the degree to which Medi-Cal managed care health plans in counties participating in the demonstration project have fulfilled the quality requirements, as set forth in the health plan contracts.

(D)

Effective June 1, 2014, and for each subsequent year of the demonstration project authorized by Section 14132.275, provide a joint report, from the department and from the Department of Managed Health Care, to the Legislature summarizing information from both of the following:

(i)

The independent audit report required to be submitted annually to the Department of Managed Health Care by managed care health plans participating in the demonstration project authorized by Section 14132.275.

(ii)

Any routine financial examinations of managed care health plans operating in the demonstration project authorized by Section 14132.275 that have been conducted and completed for the previous calendar year by the Department of Managed Health Care and the department.

(2)

Monitor on a quarterly basis the utilization of covered services of beneficiaries enrolled in the demonstration project pursuant to Section 14132.275 or receiving long-term services and supports pursuant to Article 5.7 (commencing with Section 14186).

(3)

Develop requirements for managed care health plans to solicit stakeholder and member participation in advisory groups for the planning and development activities relating to the provision of services for dual eligible beneficiaries.

(4)

Submit to the Legislature the following information:

(A)

Provide, to the fiscal and appropriate policy committees of the Legislature, a copy of any report submitted to CMS pursuant to the approved federal waiver described in Section 14180.

(B)

Together with the State Department of Social Services, the California Department of Aging, and the Department of Managed Health Care, in consultation with stakeholders, develop a programmatic transition plan, and submit that plan to the Legislature within 90 days of the effective date of this section. The plan shall include, but is not limited to, the following components:

(i)

A description of how access and quality of service shall be maintained during and immediately after implementation of these provisions, in order to prevent unnecessary disruption of services to beneficiaries.

(ii)

Explanations of the operational steps, timelines, and key milestones for determining when and how the components of paragraphs (1) to (9), inclusive, shall be implemented.
(iii)The process for addressing consumer complaints, including the roles and responsibilities of the departments and health plans and how those roles and responsibilities shall be coordinated. The process shall outline required response times and the method for tracking the disposition of complaint cases. The process shall include the use of an ombudsman, liaison, and 24-hour hotline dedicated to assisting Medi-Cal beneficiaries navigate among the departments and health plans to help ensure timely resolution of complaints.

(iv)

A description of how stakeholders were included in the various phases of the planning process to formulate the transition plan, and how their feedback shall be taken into consideration after transition activities begin.

(C)

The department, together with the State Department of Social Services, the California Department of Aging, and the Department of Managed Health Care, convene and consult with stakeholders at least twice during the period following production of a draft of the implementation plan and before submission of the plan to the Legislature. Continued consultation with stakeholders shall occur on an ongoing basis for the implementation of the provisions of this section.

(D)

No later than 90 days prior to the initial plan enrollment date of the demonstration project pursuant to the provisions of Sections 14132.275, 14182.16, and of Article 5.7 (commencing with Section 14186), assess and report to the fiscal and appropriate policy committees of the Legislature on the readiness of the managed care health plans to address the unique needs of dual eligible beneficiaries and Medi-Cal only seniors and persons with disabilities pursuant to the applicable readiness evaluation criteria and requirements set forth in paragraphs (1) to (8), inclusive, of subdivision (b) of Section 14087.48. The report shall also include an assessment of the readiness of the managed care health plans in each county participating in the demonstration project to have met the requirements set forth in paragraphs (1) to (9), inclusive.

(E)

The department shall submit two reports to the Legislature, with the first report submitted five months prior to the commencement date of enrollment and the second report submitted three months prior to the commencement date of enrollment, that describe the status of all of the following readiness criteria and activities that the department shall complete:

(i)

Enter into contracts, either directly or by funding other agencies or community-based, nonprofit, consumer, or health insurance assistance organizations with expertise and experience in providing health plan counseling or other direct health consumer assistance to dual eligible beneficiaries, in order to assist these beneficiaries in understanding their options to participate in the demonstration project specified in Section 14132.275 and to exercise their rights and address barriers regarding access to benefits and services.

(ii)

Develop a plan to ensure timely and appropriate communications with beneficiaries as follows:

(I)

Develop a plan to inform beneficiaries of their enrollment options and rights, including specific steps to work with consumer and beneficiary community groups described in clause (i), consistent with the provisions of paragraph (1).

(II)

Design, in consultation with consumers, beneficiaries, and stakeholders, all enrollment-related notices, including, but not limited to, summary of benefits, evidence of coverage, prescription formulary, and provider directory notices, as well as all appeals and grievance-related procedures and notices produced in coordination with existing federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) guidelines.
(III)Design a comprehensive plan for beneficiary and provider outreach, including specific materials for persons in nursing and group homes, family members, conservators, and authorized representatives of beneficiaries, as appropriate, and providers of services and supports.

(IV)

Develop a description of the benefits package available to beneficiaries in order to assist them in plan selection and how they may select and access services in the demonstration project’s assessment and care planning process.

(V)

Design uniform and plain language materials and a process to inform seniors and persons with disabilities of copays and covered services so that beneficiaries can make informed choices.

(VI)

Develop a description of the process, except in those demonstration counties that have a county operated health system, of automatically assigning beneficiaries into managed care health plans that shall include a requirement to consider Medicare service utilization, provider data, and consideration of plan quality.
(iii)Finalize rates and comprehensive contracts between the department and participating health plans to facilitate effective outreach, enroll network providers, and establish benefit packages. To the extent permitted by CMS, the plan rates and contract structure shall be provided to the appropriate fiscal and policy committees of the Legislature and posted on the department’s Internet Web site so that they are readily available to the public.

(iv)

Ensure that contracts have been entered into between plans and providers including, but not limited to, agreements with county agencies as necessary.

(v)

Develop network adequacy standards for medical care and long-term supports and services that reflect the provisions of paragraph (5).

(vi)

Identify dedicated department or contractor staff with adequate training and availability during business hours to address and resolve issues between health plans and beneficiaries, and establish a requirement that health plans have similar points of contact and are required to respond to state inquiries when continuity of care issues arise.
(vii)Develop a tracking mechanism for inquiries and complaints for quality assessment purposes, and post publicly on the department’s Internet Web site information on the types of issues that arise and data on the resolution of complaints.
(viii)Prepare scripts and training for the department and plan customer service representatives on all aspects of the program, including training for enrollment brokers and community-based organizations on rules of enrollment and counseling of beneficiaries.

(ix)

Develop continuity of care procedures.

(x)

Adopt quality measures to be used to evaluate the demonstration projects. Quality measures shall be detailed enough to enable measurement of the impact of automatic plan assignment on quality of care.

(xi)

Develop reporting requirements for the plans to report to the department, including data on enrollments and disenrollments, appeals and grievances, and information necessary to evaluate quality measures and care coordination models. The department shall report this information to the appropriate fiscal and policy committees of the Legislature, and this information shall be posted on the department’s Internet Web site.

(f)

This section shall be implemented only to the extent that all federal approvals and waivers are obtained and only if and to the extent that federal financial participation is available.

(g)

To implement this section, the department may contract with public or private entities. Contracts or amendments entered into under this section may be on an exclusive or nonexclusive basis and a noncompetitive bid basis and shall be exempt from the following:

(1)

Part 2 (commencing with Section 10100) of Division 2 of the Public Contract Code and any policies, procedures, or regulations authorized by that part.

(2)

Article 4 (commencing with Section 19130) of Chapter 5 of Part 2 of Division 5 of Title 2 of the Government Code.

(3)

Review or approval of contracts by the Department of General Services.

(h)

Notwithstanding Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code, the department may implement, interpret, or make specific this section and any applicable federal waivers and state plan amendments by means of all-county letters, plan letters, plan or provider bulletins, or similar instructions, without taking regulatory action. Prior to issuing any letter or similar instrument authorized pursuant to this section, the department shall notify and consult with stakeholders, including advocates, providers, and beneficiaries. The department shall notify the appropriate policy and fiscal committees of the Legislature of its intent to issue instructions under this section at least five days in advance of the issuance.
Last Updated

Aug. 19, 2023

§ 14182.17’s source at ca​.gov