(1) Where an issuer's network meets one or more of the criteria in WAC 284-43-200
(15)(a) through (d), the issuer may submit an alternate access delivery request for the commissioner's review and approval. The alternate access delivery request must be made using the Alternate Access Delivery Request Form C, as provided in WAC 284-43-220
(a) An alternate access delivery system must provide enrollees with access to medically necessary care on a reasonable basis without detriment to their health.
(b) The issuer must ensure that the enrollee obtains all covered services in the alternate access delivery system at no greater cost to the enrollee than if the service was obtained from network providers or facilities or must make other arrangements acceptable to the commissioner.
(i) Copayments and deductible requirements must apply to alternate access delivery systems at the same level they are applied to in-network services.
(ii) The alternate access delivery system may result in issuer payment of billed charges to ensure network access.
(c) An issuer must demonstrate in its alternate access delivery request a reasonable basis for not meeting a standard as part of its filing for approval of an alternate access delivery system, and include an explanation of why the alternate access delivery system provides a sufficient number or type of the provider or facility to which the standard applies to enrollees.
(d) An issuer must demonstrate a plan and practice to assist enrollees to locate providers and facilities in neighboring service areas in a manner that assures both availability and accessibility. Enrollees must be able to obtain health care services from a provider or facility within the closest reasonable proximity of the enrollee in a timely manner appropriate for the enrollee's health needs.
Alternate access delivery systems include, but are not limited to, such provider network strategies as use of out-of-state and out of county or service area providers, and exceptions to network standards based on rural locations in the service area.
(2) The commissioner will not approve an alternate access delivery system unless the issuer provides substantial evidence of good faith efforts on its part to contract with providers or facilities, and can demonstrate that there is not an available provider or facility with which the issuer can contract to meet provider network standards under WAC 284-43-200
(a) Such evidence of good faith efforts to contract, where required, will be submitted as part of the issuer's Alternate Access Delivery Request Form C submission, as described in WAC 284-43-220
(b) Evidence of good faith efforts to contract will include documentation about the efforts to contract but not the substantive contract terms offered by either the issuer or the provider.
(3) The practice of entering into a single case provider reimbursement agreement with a provider or facility in relation to a specific enrollee's condition or treatment requirements is not an alternate access delivery system for purposes of establishing an adequate provider network. A single case provider reimbursement agreement must be used only to address unique situations that typically occur out of network and out of service area, where an enrollee requires services that extend beyond stabilization or one time urgent care. Single case provider reimbursement agreements must not be used to fill holes or gaps in a network for the whole population of enrollees under a plan, and do not support a determination of network access.
(4) This section is effective for all plans, whether new or renewed, with effective dates on or after January 1, 2015.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 48.02.060
, 48.18.120, 48.20.460, 48.43.505, 48.43.510, 48.43.515, 48.43.530, 48.43.535, 48.44.050, 48.46.200, 48.20.450, 48.44.020, 48.44.080, 48.46.030, 45 C.F.R. §§ 156.230, 156.235, and 156.245. WSR 14-10-017 (Matter No. R 2013-22), § 284-43-201, filed 4/25/14, effective 5/26/14.]