Waiving the Internal Appeal Process
The member and EmblemHealth may jointly agree to waive the internal appeal process. If this occurs, EmblemHealth must provide a written letter with information regarding filing an external appeal to the member within 24 hours of the agreement to waive EmblemHealth's internal appeal process. For more information, please see the section on New York State External Appeals later in this chapter.
If we require information necessary to conduct a standard internal appeal, we will notify the member and the member's health care provider, in writing, within 15 days of receipt of the appeal (as noted in the tables below), to identify and request the necessary information. In the event that only a portion of such necessary information is received, we shall request the missing information, in writing, within five business days of receipt of the partial information.
Notice of Final Appeal Determination
We will notify the member, the member's designee and provider in writing of the appeal determination within two business days of when we make the decision.
We will make an appeal determination as fast as the member's condition requires, and no later than 30 days from receipt of the appeal. This time may be extended for up to 14 days upon the member or provider's request, or if we demonstrate that more information is needed and a delay is in the best interest of the member, and we provide the member with notice stating this.
Action appeals will be reviewed and EmblemHealth will notify the member, the member's designee, and provider in writing of the appeal determination within 2 business days of when EmblemHealth makes the decision. Failure by EmblemHealth to make a determination within the applicable time periods as stated in this section shall be deemed to be a reversal of the utilization review agent's adverse determination.
Procedures for initiating a standard action appeal are provided on the following page.
Table 22-1: Standard Action Appeals Procedures for Members and Practitioners
WHAT/HOW/WHERE TO FILE: INSTRUCTIONS
EmblemHealth Acknowledges Receipt
EmblemHealth Determination Notification
Grievance and Appeal Dept.
PO Box 2844
New York, NY 10116-2844
Submit in person at:
Customer Access Unit
55 Water Street
New York, NY 10041
Within 90 calendar days from receipt of written adverse determination
Within 15 calendar days
Within 30 calendar days from receipt of request
May be extended for up to 14 days for reasons noted in Extensions above
External appeal (if applicable)
Fair hearing (if applicable)
Additionally, a complaint may be filed with the NYSDOH at any time by calling 1-800-206-8125
* Includes retired Family Health Plus plan
Payments for Services in Dispute
EmblemHealth network practitioners may not seek payment from members for either covered services or services determined by EmblemHealth's Care Management program not to be medically necessary unless the member is told the cost of the service and agrees, in writing and in advance of the service, to such payment as a private patient and the written agreement is placed in the member's medical record. Any practitioner attempting to collect such payment from the member in the absence of such a written agreement does so in breach of the contractual provisions with EmblemHealth. Such breach may be grounds for termination of the practitioner's contract.
Glossary terms found on this page:
An activity of EmblemHealth or its subcontractor that results in:
- Denial or limited authorization of a service authorization request, including the type or level of service
- Reduction, suspension or termination of a previously authorized service
- Denial, in whole or in part, of payment for a service
- Failure to provide services in a timely manner
- Failure of EmblemHealth to act within the time frames for resolution and notification of determinations regarding complaints, action appeals and complaint appeals
Oral or written request for EmblemHealth to review or reconsider an action by EmblemHealth or its subcontractor.
A determination by EmblemHealth or its agents that an admission, extension of stay or other health care service has been reviewed and, based on the information provided, is not medically necessary.
Oral or written request from a member or their designee for EmblemHealth to review or reconsider a decision made by the plan.
A health insurance product offered by a health plan company that is defined by the benefit contract and represents a set of covered services. Also called a health benefit plan.
Initial oral or written communication from a member or their designee or provider that expresses discontent with any aspect of their care or coverage with EmblemHealth. Specifically, it is dissatisfaction with:
- A determination made by the plan, other than a determination of medical necessity or a determination that a service is considered experimental or investigational
- Treatment experienced through the plan, its providers or contractors
- Any concern with the plan, its benefits, employees or providers.
A legal agreement between an individual member or an employer group and a health plan that describes the benefits and limitations of the coverage.
A medically necessary service for which a member is entitled to receive partial or complete coverage under the terms and conditions of the benefit program, is within the scope of the practitioner's practice and the practitioner is authorized to render pursuant to the terms of the agreement.
A person authorized by the insured to assist in obtaining access to, or payment to, the insured for health care services. If the insured has already received health care services and has no liability for payment of services, a designee will not be authorized for the purpose of requesting an external appeal.
Written request for an independent entity that has been certified by the State to conduct a review of a denial of coverage, based on lack of medical necessity or that the service requested is experimental and investigational.
Final determination made on a first level utilization review appeal, where an initial adverse determination has been upheld.
A request to change an adverse determination that was based on administrative policies, procedures or guidelines.
A professionally licensed individual, facility or entity giving health-related care to patients. Physicians, hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, pharmacies, chiropractors, nurses, nurse-midwives, physical therapists, speech pathologist and laboratories are providers. All network providers are health care providers, but not all providers are network providers.
Acronym for Medicare Advantage. An alternative to the traditional Medicare program in which private plans run by health insurance companies provide health care benefits that eligible beneficiaries would otherwise receive directly from the Medicare program.
Any form of health plan that uses selective provider contracting to have patients seen by a network of contracted providers and that requires prior approval of certain services.
A jointly funded federal and state program that provides hospital and medical coverage to the low-income population and certain aged and disabled individuals.
Health care that is rendered by a hospital or a licensed or certified provider and is determined by EmblemHealth to meet all of the criteria listed below:
- It is provided for the diagnosis or direct care or treatment of the condition, illness, disease, injury or ailment.
- It is consistent with the symptoms or proper diagnosis and treatment of the medical condition, disease, injury or ailment.
- It is in accordance with accepted standards of good medical practice in the community.
- It is furnished in a setting commensurate with the member's medical needs and condition.
- It cannot be omitted under the standards referenced above.
- It is not in excess of the care indicated by generally accepted standards of good medical practice in the community.
- It is not furnished primarily for the convenience of the member, the member's family or the provider.
- In the case of a hospitalization, the care cannot be rendered safely or adequately on an outpatient basis or in a less intensive treatment setting and, therefore, requires the member receive acute care as a bed patient.
The fact that a provider has prescribed a service or supplies care does not automatically mean the service or supply will qualify for reimbursement under the EmblemHealth plan. To be eligible for reimbursement by EmblemHealth, all covered services must meet EmblemHealth's medical necessity criteria, described above.
Medically necessary with respect to Medicaid and Family Health Plus members means health care and services that are necessary to prevent, diagnose, manage or treat conditions that cause acute suffering, endanger life, result in illness or infirmity, interfere with a person's capacity for normal activity or threaten some significant handicap.
An individual and each of his or her eligible dependents, including Medicare beneficiaries who are enrolled or participate in a benefit program and who are entitled to receive covered services from the practitioner pursuant to such benefit program and the terms of the practitioner's agreement.
The group of physicians, hospital, and other medical care providers that a specific plan has contracted with to deliver medical services to its members.
The state regulatory agency that certifies reimbursement methods and rates to hospitals and reviews HMO activities in the state of New York. Also called the New York State Department of Health.
A medical practitioner or covered facility recognized by EmblemHealth for reimbursement purposes. A provider may be any of the following, subject to the conditions listed in this paragraph:
- Doctor of medicine
- Doctor of osteopathy
- Doctor of podiatric medicine
- Physical therapist
- Nurse midwife
- Certified and registered psychologist
- Certified and qualified social worker
- Nurse anesthetist
- Speech-language pathologist
- Clinical laboratory
- Screening center
- General hospital
- Any other type of practitioner or facility specifically listed in the member's Certificate of Insurance as a practitioner or facility recognized by EmblemHealth for reimbursement purposes
A provider must be licensed or certified to render the covered service. The covered service must be within the scope of the Provider's license or certification.
New York State Department of Health. This agency provides information for consumers, doctors, researchers and health care providers.
A formal evaluation (prospective, concurrent or retrospective) of the coverage, medical necessity, efficiency or appropriateness of health services and treatment plans. Also called Coordinated Care.