Section 3922.14 | Additional actions for accreditation.
(A) To be accredited by the superintendent of insurance to conduct external reviews under section 3922.13 of the Revised Code, in addition to the requirements provided in section 3922.13 of the Revised Code and any associated rules adopted by the superintendent, an independent review organization shall do all of the following:
(1) Develop and maintain written policies and procedures that govern all aspects of both the standard external review process and the expedited external review process set forth in this chapter, including a quality assurance mechanism that does all of the following:
(a) Ensures that external reviews are conducted within the time frames prescribed under this chapter and that the required notices are provided in a timely manner;
(b) Ensures the selection of qualified and impartial clinical reviewers to conduct external reviews on behalf of the independent review organization;
(c) Ensures that chosen clinical reviewers are suitably matched according to their area of expertise to specific cases and that the independent review organization employs or contracts with an adequate number of clinical reviewers to meet this requirement;
(d) Ensures the confidentiality of medical and treatment records and clinical review criteria;
(e) Ensures that any person employed by, or who is under contract with, the independent review organization adheres to the requirements of this chapter.
(2) Maintain a toll-free telephone service to receive information on a twenty-four-hour-a-day, seven-days-a-week basis related to external reviews that is capable of accepting, recording, and providing appropriate instruction to incoming telephone callers during other than normal business hours;
(3) Agree to maintain and provide to the superintendent, upon request and in accordance with any associated rules, policies, or procedures adopted by the superintendent of insurance, the information prescribed in section 3922.17 of the Revised Code.
(B) An independent review organization may not own or control, be a subsidiary of or in any way be owned or controlled by, or exercise control with a health plan issuer, a national, state or local trade association of health plan issuers, or a national, state, or local trade association of health care providers.
(C)(1) Neither the independent review organization selected to conduct the external review nor any clinical reviewer assigned by the independent organization to conduct the external review may have a material, professional, familial, or financial affiliation with any of the following:
(a) The health plan issuer that is the subject of the external review, or any officer, director, or management employee of the health plan issuer;
(b) The covered person whose treatment is the subject of the external review;
(c) The health care provider, or the health care provider's medical group or independent practice association, recommending the health care service or treatment that is the subject of the external review;
(d) The facility at which the recommended health care service would be provided;
(e) The developer or manufacturer of the principal drug, device, procedure, or other therapy being recommended for the covered person whose treatment is the subject of the external review.
(2) The superintendent may make a determination as to whether an independent review organization or a clinical reviewer of the independent review organization has a material professional, familial, or financial conflict of interest for purposes of division (C)(1) of this section. In making this determination, the superintendent may take into consideration situations where an independent review organization, or a clinical reviewer, may have an apparent conflict of interest, but that the characteristics of the relationship or connection in question are such that they do not fall under the definition of conflict of interest provided under division (D)(1) of this section. If the superintendent determines that a conflict of interest exists, the superintendent shall disallow an independent review organization or a clinical reviewer from conducting the external review in question. Such determinations related to conflicts of interest are the sole discretion of the superintendent of insurance.
(D)(1) An independent review organization that is accredited by a nationally recognized private accrediting entity that has independent review accreditation standards that the superintendent has determined are equivalent to or exceed the minimum qualifications of this section shall be presumed in compliance with this section to be eligible for accreditation by the superintendent under section 3922.14 of the Revised Code.
(2) The superintendent shall initially review and periodically review the independent review organization accreditation standards of a nationally recognized private accrediting entity to determine whether the entity's standards are, and continue to be, equivalent to or exceed the minimum qualifications established under this section. The superintendent may accept a review conducted by the national association of insurance commissioners for the purpose of the determination under this division.
(3) Upon request, a nationally recognized, private accrediting entity shall make its current independent review organization accreditation standards available to the superintendent or the national association of insurance commissioners in order for the superintendent to determine if the entity's standards are equivalent to or exceed the minimum qualifications established under this section. The superintendent may exclude any private accrediting entity that is not reviewed by the national association of insurance commissioners.
(E) An independent review organization shall be unbiased in its review of adverse benefit determinations and shall establish and maintain written procedures to ensure that it is unbiased.