A. After any applicable informal reconsideration pursuant to section 20-2535, if the utilization review agent denies the member’s request for a covered service, the member may appeal that adverse decision.  The member shall mail a written appeal to the utilization review agent within sixty days after receipt of the adverse decision.  In the event of a denial of a claim for a service that has already been provided, the member may appeal that denial by filing a written appeal with the utilization review agent within two years after receipt of the notice of the denial.

Terms Used In Arizona Laws 20-2536

  • Adverse decision: means a utilization review determination by the utilization review agent that a requested service or claim for service is not a covered service or is not medically necessary under the plan if that determination results in a documented denial or nonpayment of the service or claim. See Arizona Laws 20-2501
  • Appeal: A request made after a trial, asking another court (usually the court of appeals) to decide whether the trial was conducted properly. To make such a request is "to appeal" or "to take an appeal." One who appeals is called the appellant.
  • Claim: means a request for payment for a service already provided. See Arizona Laws 20-2501
  • Complaint: A written statement by the plaintiff stating the wrongs allegedly committed by the defendant.
  • Contract: A legal written agreement that becomes binding when signed.
  • Covered service: means a service that is included in a policy, evidence of coverage or similar document that specifies which services, insurance or other benefits are included or covered. See Arizona Laws 20-2501
  • Denial: means a direct or indirect determination regarding all or part of a request for any service or a direct determination regarding a claim that may trigger a request for review or reconsideration. See Arizona Laws 20-2501
  • Health care insurer: means a disability insurer, group disability insurer, blanket disability insurer, health care services organization, hospital service corporation, prepaid dental plan organization, medical service corporation, dental service corporation or optometric service corporation or a hospital, medical, dental and optometric service corporation. See Arizona Laws 20-2501
  • Process: means a citation, writ or summons issued in the course of judicial proceedings. See Arizona Laws 1-215
  • Provider: means the physician or other licensed practitioner identified to the utilization review agent as having primary responsibility for providing care, treatment and services rendered to a patient. See Arizona Laws 20-2501
  • Service: means a diagnostic or therapeutic medical or health care service, benefit or treatment. See Arizona Laws 20-2501
  • Utilization review: means a system for reviewing the appropriate and efficient allocation of inpatient hospital resources, inpatient medical services and outpatient surgery services that are being given or are proposed to be given to a patient, and of any medical, surgical and health care services or claims for services that may be covered by a health care insurer depending on determinable contingencies, including without limitation outpatient services, in-office consultations with medical specialists, specialized diagnostic testing, mental health services, emergency care and inpatient and outpatient hospital services. See Arizona Laws 20-2501
  • Utilization review agent: means a person or entity that performs utilization review. See Arizona Laws 20-2501
  • Utilization review plan: means a summary description of the utilization review guidelines, protocols, procedures and written standards and criteria of a utilization review agent. See Arizona Laws 20-2501
  • Writing: includes printing. See Arizona Laws 1-215

B. The utilization review agent shall mail a written acknowledgment to the member and the member’s treating provider within five business days after the agent receives the formal appeal.

C. The member or the member’s treating provider shall submit to the utilization review agent with the written formal appeal any material justification or documentation to support the member’s request for the service or claim for a service.

D. If the member’s complaint is an issue of medical necessity under the coverage document and not whether the service is covered, a provider, physician or other health care professional who is licensed pursuant to title 32, chapter 7, 8, 11, 13, 14, 16, 17, 19, 19.1 or 29 or an out of state provider physician or other health care professional who is licensed in another state and who is not licensed in this state, who is employed or under contract with the utilization review agent and who is qualified in a similar scope of practice as a provider, physician or other health care professional licensed pursuant to title 32, chapter 7, 8, 11, 13, 14, 16, 17, 19, 19.1 or 29 or an out of state provider, physician or other health care professional who is licensed in another state and who is not licensed in this state and who typically manages the medical condition under appeal shall review the appeal and render a decision based on the utilization review plan adopted by the utilization review agent.  Pursuant to the requirements of this subsection, the utilization review agent shall select the provider, physician or other health care professional who shall review the appeal and render the decision.

E. Except as provided in subsection F of this section, the utilization review agent has:

1. With respect to adverse decisions relating to services that have not been provided, up to thirty days after receipt of the written appeal to notify the member in writing of the utilization review agent’s decision and the criteria used and the clinical reasons for that decision.

2. With respect to denials relating to claims that have already been provided, up to sixty days after receipt of the written appeal to notify the member in writing of the utilization review agent’s decision and the criteria used and the clinical reasons for that decision.

F. At any time during the formal appeal process, the utilization review agent may request an external independent review process pursuant to section 20-2537.  If the utilization review agent initiates the external independent review process, the utilization review agent does not have to comply with subsection E of this section.

G. If at the conclusion of the formal appeal process the utilization review agent denies the appeal and the utilization review agent does not initiate the external independent review process, the utilization review agent shall provide the member with notice of the option to proceed to an external independent review pursuant to section 20-2537.

H. If the utilization review agent concludes that the covered service should be provided or the claim for a covered service should be paid, the health care insurer is bound by the utilization review agent’s decision.