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      RS 40:2203.1     


§2203.1.  Prohibition of certain practices by preferred provider organizations

A.  Except as otherwise provided in this Subsection, the requirements of this Section shall apply to all preferred provider organization agreements that are applicable to medical services rendered in this state and to group purchasers as defined in this Part.  The provisions of this Section shall not apply to a group purchaser when providing health benefits through its own network or direct provider agreements or to such agreements of a group purchaser.

B.  A preferred provider organization's alternative rates of payment shall not be enforceable or binding upon any provider unless such organization is clearly identified on the benefit card issued by the group purchaser or other entity accessing a group purchaser's contractual agreement or agreements and presented to the participating provider when medical care is provided.  When more than one preferred provider organization is shown on the benefit card of  a group purchaser or other entity, the applicable contractual agreement that shall be binding on a provider shall be determined as follows:

(1)  The first preferred provider organization domiciled in this state, listed on the benefit card, beginning on the front of the card, reading from left to right, line by line, from top to bottom, that is applicable to a provider on the date medical care is rendered, shall establish the contractual agreement for payment that shall apply.

(2)  If there is no preferred provider organization domiciled in this state listed on the benefit  card, the first preferred provider organization domiciled outside this state listed on the benefit card, following the same process outlined in Paragraph (1) of this Subsection shall establish the contractual agreement for payment that shall apply.

(3)  The side of the benefit  card that prominently identifies the name of the insurer, or plan sponsor and beneficiary shall be deemed to be the front of the card.

(4)  When no preferred provider organization is listed, the plan sponsor or insurer identified by the card shall be deemed to be the group purchaser for purposes of this Section.

(5)  When no benefit card is issued or utilized by a group purchaser or other entity, written notification shall be required of any entity accessing an existing group purchaser's contractual agreement or agreements at least thirty days prior to accessing services through a participating provider under such agreement or agreements.

C.  A preferred provider organization agreement shall not be applied or used on a retroactive basis unless all providers of medical services that are affected by the application of alternative rates of payment receive written notification from the entity that seeks such an arrangement and agree in writing to be reimbursed at the alternative rates of payment.

D.  In no instance shall any provider be bound by the terms of a preferred provider organization agreement that is in violation of this Part.

E.  Any claim submitted by a provider for services provided to a person identified by the provider and a group purchaser as eligible for alternative rates of payment in a preferred provider agreement shall be subject to the standards for claims submission and timely payment according to the provisions of Subpart B of Part II of Chapter 6 of Title 22 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950.

F.  A group purchaser establishing a preferred provider organization shall be prohibited from charging a credentialing fee or any other type of monetary fee, when no access to a group purchaser is provided.  Any provider who participates in a preferred provider organization may be charged a reasonable fee either on a periodic basis or based on the tangible benefits received from continued participation in a preferred provider organization.  Such fees may be based on actual utilization of alternative rates of payment by group purchasers or other authorized entities or other reasonable basis other than membership.

G.  Failure to comply with the provisions of Subsection A, B, C, D, or F of this Section shall subject a group purchaser to damages payable to the provider of double the fair market value of the medical services provided, but in no event less than the greater of fifty dollars per day of noncompliance or  two thousand dollars, together with attorney fees to be determined by the court.  A provider may institute this action in any court of competent jurisdiction.

Acts 1999, No. 1274, §1, eff. July 12, 1999; Acts 2008, No. 415, §2, eff. Jan. 1, 2009.

NOTE:  See Acts 1999, No. 1274, §2.

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