(a) (1)Except as otherwise specified in this chapter, a contract entered into pursuant to this chapter shall include a provision that the mental health plan contractor shall bear the financial risk for the cost of providing
specialty mental health services to Medi-Cal beneficiaries.
(2) If the mental health plan is not administered by a county, the mental health plan
shall not transfer the obligation for any specialty mental health services to Medi-Cal beneficiaries to the county. The mental health plan may purchase services from the county. The mental health plan shall establish mutually agreed-upon protocols with the county that clearly establish conditions under which beneficiaries may obtain non-Medi-Cal reimbursable services from the county. Additionally, the plan shall establish mutually agreed-upon protocols with the county for the conditions of transfer of beneficiaries who have lost Medi-Cal eligibility to the county for care under Part 2 (commencing with Section 5600), Part 3 (commencing with Section 5800), and Part 4 (commencing with Section 5850) of Division 5.
(3) The mental health plan shall be financially responsible for ensuring access and a minimum required scope of benefits and services, consistent with state and federal requirements, to Medi-Cal beneficiaries
who are residents of that county regardless of where the beneficiary resides. The department shall require that the same definition of medical necessity be used, and the minimum scope of benefits offered by each mental health
plan be the same, except to the extent that prior federal approval is received and is consistent with state and federal laws.
(b) (1)Any contract entered into pursuant to this chapter may be renewed if the mental health plan continues to meet the requirements of this chapter, regulations promulgated pursuant thereto, and the terms and conditions of the contract. Failure to meet these requirements shall be cause for nonrenewal of the contract. The department may base the decision to renew on timely completion of a mutually agreed-upon plan of correction of any deficiencies, submissions of required
information in a timely manner, or other conditions of the contract.
(2) In the event the contract is not renewed based on the reasons specified in paragraph (1), the department shall notify the Department of Finance, the fiscal and policy committees of the Legislature, and the Controller of the amounts to be sequestered from the Mental Health Subaccount, the Mental Health Equity Account, and the Vehicle License Fee Collection Account of the Local Revenue Fund and the Mental Health Account and the Behavioral Health Subaccount of the Local Revenue Fund 2011, and the Controller shall sequester those funds in the Behavioral Health Subaccount pursuant to Section 30027.10 of the
Government Code. Upon this sequestration, the department shall use the funds in accordance with the provisions of Section 30027.10 of the Government Code.
(c) (1)The obligations of the mental health plan shall be changed only by contract or contract amendment.
(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), the mental health plan shall comply with federal and state requirements, including the applicable sections of the state plan and waiver.
(3) A change may be made during a contract term or at the time of contract renewal,
when there is a change in obligations required by federal or state law or when required by a change in the interpretation or implementation of any law or regulation.
(4) To the extent permitted by federal law, either the department or the mental health plan may request that contract negotiations be reopened during the course of a contract due to substantial changes in the cost of covered benefits that
result from an unanticipated event.
(d) The department shall immediately terminate a contract when the director finds that there is an immediate threat to the health and safety of Medi-Cal beneficiaries. Termination of the contract for other reasons shall be subject to reasonable notice of the department’s intent to take that action and notification to affected beneficiaries. The plan may request a hearing by the Office of Administrative Hearings
(e) A mental health plan may terminate its contract in accordance with the provisions in the contract. The mental health plan shall provide written notice to the department at least 180 days prior to the termination or nonrenewal of the contract.
(f) Upon the request of the director, the Director of the Department of
Managed Health Care may exempt a mental health plan
from the Knox-Keene Health Care Service Plan Act of 1975 (Chapter 2.2 (commencing with Section 1340) of Division 2 of the Health and Safety Code). These exemptions may be subject to conditions the director deems appropriate. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to impair or diminish the authority of the Director of the Department of Managed Health Care under the Knox-Keene Health Care Service Plan Act of 1975, nor shall anything in this chapter be construed to reduce or otherwise limit the
obligation of a mental health plan contractor licensed as a health care service plan to comply with the requirements of the Knox-Keene Health Care Service Plan Act of 1975, and the rules of the Director of the Department of Managed Health Care promulgated thereunder. The director, in consultation with the Director of the Department of Managed Health Care, shall analyze the appropriateness of licensure or application of applicable standards of the Knox-Keene Health Care Service Plan Act of 1975.
department shall provide oversight to the mental health plans to ensure quality, access, cost efficiency, and compliance with data and reporting requirements. At a minimum, the department shall, through a method independent of any agency of the mental health plan contractor, monitor the level and quality of services provided, expenditures pursuant to the contract, and conformity with federal and state law.
(h) County employees implementing or administering a mental health plan act in a discretionary capacity when they determine whether or not to admit a person for care or to provide any level of care pursuant to this chapter.
(i) If a county discontinues operations as the mental health plan, the
department shall approve any new mental health plan. The new mental health plan shall give reasonable consideration to affiliation with nonprofit community mental health agencies that were under contract with the county and that meet the mental health plan’s quality and cost efficiency standards.
(j) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to modify, alter, or increase the obligations of counties as otherwise limited and defined in Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 5700) of Part 2 of Division 5.
The county’s maximum obligation for services to persons not eligible for Medi-Cal shall be no more than the amount of funds remaining in the mental health subaccount pursuant to Sections 17600, 17601, 17604, 17605, and 17609 after fulfilling the Medi-Cal contract obligations.