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PAYMENTS TO HEALTH MAINTENANCE ORGANIZATIONS AND COMPETITIVE MEDICAL PLANS[321]

Sec1876[42 U.S.C. 1395mm] (a)(1)(A) The Secretary shall annually determine, and shall announce (in a manner intended to provide notice to interested parties) not later than September 7 before the calendar year concerned—

(i) a per capita rate of payment for each class of individuals who are enrolled under this section with an eligible organization which has entered into a risk-sharing contract and who are entitled to benefits under part A and enrolled under part B, and

(ii) a per capita rate of payment for each class of individuals who are so enrolled with such an organization and who are enrolled under part B only.

For purposes of this section, the term “risk-sharing contract” means a contract entered into under subsection (g) and the term “reasonable cost reimbursement contract” means a contract entered into under subsection (h).

(B) The Secretary shall define appropriate classes of members, based on age, disability status, and such other factors as the Secretary determines to be appropriate, so as to ensure actuarial equivalence. The Secretary may add to, modify, or substitute for such classes, if such changes will improve the determination of actuarial equivalence.

(C) The annual per capita rate of payment for each such class shall be equal to 95 percent of the adjusted average per capita cost (as defined in paragraph (4)) for that class.

(D) In the case of an eligible organization with a risk-sharing contract, the Secretary shall make monthly payments in advance and in accordance with the rate determined under subparagraph (C) and except as provided in subsection (g)(2), to the organization for each individual enrolled with the organization under this section.

(E)(i) The amount of payment under this paragraph may be retroactively adjusted to take into account any difference between the actual number of individuals enrolled in the plan under this section and the number of such individuals estimated to be so enrolled in determining the amount of the advance payment.

(ii)(I) Subject to subclause (II), the Secretary may make retroactive adjustments under clause (i) to take into account individuals enrolled during the period beginning on the date on which the individual enrolls with an eligible organization (which has a risk-sharing contract under this section) under a health benefit plan operated, sponsored, or contributed to by the individual’s employer or former employer (or the employer or former employer of the individual’s spouse) and ending on the date on which the individual is enrolled in the plan under this section, except that for purposes of making such retroactive adjustments under this clause, such period may not exceed 90 days.

(II) No adjustment may be made under subclause (I) with respect to any individual who does not certify that the organization provided the individual with the explanation described in subsection (c)(3)(E) at the time the individual enrolled with the organization.

(F)(i) At least 45 days before making the announcement under subparagraph (A) for a year (beginning with the announcement for 1991), the Secretary shall provide for notice to eligible organizations of proposed changes to be made in the methodology or benefit coverage assumptions from the methodology and assumptions used in the previous announcement and shall provide such organizations an opportunity to comment on such proposed changes.

(ii) In each announcement made under subparagraph (A) for a year (beginning with the announcement for 1991), the Secretary shall include an explanation of the assumptions (including any benefit coverage assumptions) and changes in methodology used in the announcement in sufficient detail so that eligible organizations can compute per capita rates of payment for classes of individuals located in each county (or equivalent area) which is in whole or in part within the service area of such an organization.

(2) With respect to any eligible organization which has entered into a reasonable cost reimbursement contract, payments shall be made to such plan in accordance with subsection (h)(2) rather than paragraph (1).

(3) Subject to subsections (c)(2)(B)(ii) and (c)(7) payments under a contract to an eligible organization under paragraph (1) or (2) shall be instead of the amounts which (in the absence of the contract) would be otherwise payable, pursuant to sections 1814(b) and 1833(a), for services furnished by or through the organization to individuals enrolled with the organization under this section.

(4) For purposes of this section, the term “adjusted average per capita cost” means the average per capita amount that the Secretary estimates in advance (on the basis of actual experience, or retrospective actuarial equivalent based upon an adequate sample and other information and data, in a geographic area served by an eligible organization or in a similar area, with appropriate adjustments to assure actuarial equivalence) would be payable in any contract year for services covered under parts A and B, or part B only, and types of expenses otherwise reimbursable under parts A and B, or part B only (including administrative costs incurred by organizations described in sections 1816 and 1842), if the services were to be furnished by other than an eligible organization or, in the case of services covered only under section 1861(s)(2)(H), if the services were to be furnished by a physician or as an incident to a physician’s service.

(5) The payment to an eligible organization under this section for individuals enrolled under this section with the organization and entitled to benefits under part A and enrolled under part B shall be made from the Federal Hospital Insurance Trust Fund and the Federal Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Fund The portion of that payment to the organization for a month to be paid by each trust fund shall be determined as follows:

(A) In regard to expenditures by eligible organizations having risk-sharing contracts, the allocation shall be determined each year by the Secretary based on the relative weight that benefits from each fund contribute to the adjusted average per capita cost.

(B) In regard to expenditures by eligible organizations operating under a reasonable cost reimbursement contract, the initial allocation shall be based on the plan’s most recent budget, such allocation to be adjusted, as needed, after cost settlement to reflect the distribution of actual expenditures.

The remainder of that payment shall be paid by the former trust fund.

(6) Subject to subsections (c)(2)(B)(ii) and (c)(7), if an individual is enrolled under this section with an eligible organization having a risk-sharing contract, only the eligible organization shall be entitled to receive payments from the Secretary under this title for services furnished to the individual.[322]

(b) For purposes of this section, the term “eligible organization” means a public or private entity (which may be a health maintenance organization or a competitive medical plan), organized under the laws of any State, which—

(1) is a qualified health maintenance organization (as defined in section 1310(d) of the Public Health Service Act[323]), or

(2) meets the following requirements:

(A) The entity provides to enrolled members at least the following health care services:

(i) Physicians’ services performed by physicians (as defined in section 1861(r)(1)).

(ii) Inpatient hospital services.

(iii) Laboratory, X-ray, emergency, and preventive services.

(iv) Out-of-area coverage.

(B) The entity is compensated (except for deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments) for the provision of health care services to enrolled members by a payment which is paid on a periodic basis without regard to the date the health care services are provided and which is fixed without regard to the frequency, extent, or kind of health care service actually provided to a member.

(C) The entity provides physicians’ services primarily (i) directly through physicians who are either employees or partners of such organization, or (ii) through contracts with individual physicians or one or more groups of physicians (organized on a group practice or individual practice basis).

(D) The entity assumes full financial risk on a prospective basis for the provision of the health care services listed in subparagraph (A), except that such entity may—

(i) obtain insurance or make other arrangements for the cost of providing to any enrolled member health care services listed in subparagraph (A) the aggregate value of which exceeds $5,000 in any year,

(ii) obtain insurance or make other arrangements for the cost of health care service listed in subparagraph (A) provided to its enrolled members other than through the entity because medical necessity required their provision before they could be secured through the entity,

(iii) obtain insurance or make other arrangements for not more than 90 percent of the amount by which its costs for any of its fiscal years exceed 115 percent of its income for such fiscal year, and

(iv) make arrangements with physicians or other health professionals, health care institutions, or any combination of such individuals or institutions to assume all or part of the financial risk on a prospective basis for the provision of basic health services by the physicians or other health professionals or through the institutions.

(E) The entity has made adequate provision against the risk of insolvency, which provision is satisfactory to the Secretary.

Paragraph (2)(A)(ii) shall not apply to an entity which had contracted with a single State agency administering a State plan approved under title XIX for the provision of services (other than inpatient hospital services) to individuals eligible for such services under such State plan on a prepaid risk basis prior to 1970.

(c)(1) The Secretary may not enter into a contract under this section with an eligible organization unless it meets the requirements of this subsection and subsection (e) with respect to members enrolled under this section.

(2)(A) The organization must provide to members enrolled under this section, through providers and other persons that meet the applicable requirements of this title and part A of title XI—

(i) only those services covered under parts A and B of this title, for those members entitled to benefits under part A and enrolled under part B, or

(ii) only those services covered under part B, for those members enrolled only under such part,

which are available to individuals residing in the geographic area served by the organization, except that (I) the organization may provide such members with such additional health care services as the members may elect, at their option, to have covered, and (II) in the case of an organization with a risk-sharing contract, the organization may provide such members with such additional health care services as the Secretary may approve. The Secretary shall approve any such additional health care services which the organization proposes to offer to such members, unless the Secretary determines that including such additional services will substantially discourage enrollment by covered individuals with the organization.

(B) If there is a national coverage determination made in the period beginning on the date of an announcement under subsection (a)(1)(A) and ending on the date of the next announcement under such subsection that the Secretary projects will result in a significant change in the costs to the organization of providing the benefits that are the subject of such national coverage determination and that was not incorporated in the determination of the per capita rate of payment included in the announcement made at the beginning of such period—

(i) such determination shall not apply to risk-sharing contracts under this section until the first contract year that begins after the end of such period; and

(ii) if such coverage determination provides for coverage of additional benefits or under additional circumstances, subsection (a)(3) shall not apply to payment for such additional benefits or benefits provided under such additional circumstances until the first contract year that begins after the end of such period,

unless otherwise required by law.

(3)(A)(i) Each eligible organization must have an open enrollment period, for the enrollment of individuals under this section, of at least 30 days duration every year and including the period or periods specified under clause (ii), and must provide that at any time during which enrollments are accepted, the organization will accept up to the limits of its capacity (as determined by the Secretary) and without restrictions, except as may be authorized in regulations, individuals who are eligible to enroll under subsection (d) in the order in which they apply for enrollment, unless to do so would result in failure to meet the requirements of subsection (f) or would result in the enrollment of enrollees substantially nonrepresentative, as determined in accordance with regulations of the Secretary, of the population in the geographic area served by the organization.

(ii)(I) If a risk-sharing contract under this section is not renewed or is otherwise terminated, eligible organizations with risk-sharing contracts under this section and serving a part of the same service area as under the terminated contract are required to have an open enrollment period for individuals who were enrolled under the terminated contract as of the date of notice of such termination. If a risk-sharing contract under this section is renewed in a manner that discontinues coverage for individuals residing in part of the service area, eligible organizations with risk-sharing contracts under this section and enrolling individuals residing in that part of the service area are required to have an open enrollment period for individuals residing in the part of the service area who were enrolled under the contract as of the date of notice of such discontinued coverage.

(II) The open enrollment periods required under subclause (I) shall be for 30 days and shall begin 30 days after the date that the Secretary provides notice of such requirement.

(III) Enrollment under this clause shall be effective 30 days after the end of the open enrollment period, or, if the Secretary determines that such date is not feasible, such other date as the Secretary specifies.

(B) An individual may enroll under this section with an eligible organization in such manner as may be prescribed in regulations and may terminate his enrollment with the eligible organization as of the beginning of the first calendar month following the date on which the request is made for such termination (or, in the case of financial insolvency of the organization, as may be prescribed by regulations) or, in the case of such an organization with a reasonable cost reimbursement contract, as may be prescribed by regulations. In the case of an individual’s termination of enrollment, the organization shall provide the individual with a copy of the written request for termination of enrollment and a written explanation of the period (ending on the effective date of the termination) during which the individual continues to be enrolled with the organization and may not receive benefits under this title other than through the organization.

(C) The Secretary may prescribe the procedures and conditions under which an eligible organization that has entered into a contract with the Secretary under this subsection may inform individuals eligible to enroll under this section with the organization about the organization, or may enroll such individuals with the organization. No brochures, application forms, or other promotional or informational material may be distributed by an organization to (or for the use of) individuals eligible to enroll with the organization under this section unless (i) at least 45 days before its distribution, the organization has submitted the material to the Secretary for review and (ii) the Secretary has not disapproved the distribution of the material. The Secretary shall review all such material submitted and shall disapprove such material if the Secretary determines, in the Secretary’s discretion, that the material is materially inaccurate or misleading or otherwise makes a material misrepresentation.

(D) The organization must provide assurances to the Secretary that it will not expel or refuse to re-enroll any such individual because of the individual’s health status or requirements for health care services, and that it will notify each such individual of such fact at the time of the individual’s enrollment.

(E) Each eligible organization shall provide each enrollee, at the time of enrollment and not less frequently than annually thereafter, an explanation of the enrollee’s rights under this section, including an explanation of—

(i) the enrollee’s rights to benefits from the organization,

(ii) the restrictions on payments under this title for services furnished other than by or through the organization,

(iii) out-of-area coverage provided by the organization,

(iv) the organization’s coverage of emergency services and urgently needed care, and

(v) appeal rights of enrollees.

(F) Each eligible organization that provides items and services pursuant to a contract under this section shall provide assurances to the Secretary that in the event the organization ceases to provide such items and services, the organization shall provide or arrange for supplemental coverage of benefits under this title related to a pre-existing condition with respect to any exclusion period, to all individuals enrolled with the entity who receive benefits under this title, for the lesser of six months or the duration of such period.

(G)(i) Each eligible organization having a risk-sharing contract under this section shall notify individuals eligible to enroll with the organization under this section and individuals enrolled with the organization under this section that—

(I) the organization is authorized by law to terminate or refuse to renew the contract, and

(II) termination or nonrenewal of the contract may result in termination of the enrollments of individuals enrolled with the organization under this section.

(ii) The notice required by clause (i) shall be included in—

(I) any marketing materials described in subparagraph (C) that are distributed by an eligible organization to individuals eligible to enroll under this section with the organization, and

(II) any explanation provided to enrollees by the organization pursuant to subparagraph (E).

(4) The organization must—

(A) make the services described in paragraph (2) (and such other health care services as such individuals have contracted for) (i) available and accessible to each such individual, within the area served by the organization, with reasonable promptness and in a manner which assures continuity, and (ii) when medically necessary, available and accessible twenty-four hours a day and seven days a week, and

(B) provide for reimbursement with respect to services which are described in subparagraph (A) and which are provided to such an individual other than through the organization, if (i) the services were medically necessary and immediately required because of an unforeseen illness, injury, or condition and (ii) it was not reasonable given the circumstances to obtain the services through the organization.

(5)(A) The organization must provide meaningful procedures for hearing and resolving grievances between the organization (including any entity or individual through which the organization provides health care services) and members enrolled with the organization under this section.

(B) A member enrolled with an eligible organization under this section who is dissatisfied by reason of his failure to receive any health service to which he believes he is entitled and at no greater charge than he believes he is required to pay is entitled, if the amount in controversy is $100 or more, to a hearing before the Secretary to the same extent as is provided in section 205(b), and in any such hearing the Secretary shall make the eligible organization a party. If the amount in controversy is $1,000 or more, the individual or eligible organization shall, upon notifying the other party, be entitled to judicial review of the Secretary’s final decision as provided in section 205(g), and both the individual and the eligible organization shall be entitled to be parties to that judicial review. In applying sections 205(b) and 205(g) as provided in this subparagraph, and in applying section 205(l) thereto, any reference therein to the Commissioner of Social Security or the Social Security Administration shall be considered a reference to the Secretary or the Department of Health and Human Services, respectively. The provisions of section 1869(b)(1)(E)(iii) shall apply with respect to dollar amounts specified in the first 2 sentences of this subparagraph in the same manner as they apply to the dollar amounts specified in section 1869(b)(1)(E)(i).

(6) The organization must have arrangements, established in accordance with regulations of the Secretary, for an ongoing quality assurance program for health care services it provides to such individuals, which program (A) stresses health outcomes and (B) provides review by physicians and other health care professionals of the process followed in the provision of such health care services.

(7) A risk-sharing contract under this section shall provide that in the case of an individual who is receiving inpatient hospital services from a subsection (d) hospital (as defined in section 1886(d)(1)(B)) as of the effective date of the individual’s—

(A) enrollment with an eligible organization under this section—

(i) payment for such services until the date of the individual’s discharge shall be made under this title as if the individual were not enrolled with the organization,

(ii) the organization shall not be financially responsible for payment for such services until the date after the date of the individual’s discharge, and

(iii) the organization shall nonetheless be paid the full amount otherwise payable to the organization under this section; or

(B) termination of enrollment with an eligible organization under this section—

(i) the organization shall be financially responsible for payment for such services after such date and until the date of the individual’s discharge,

(ii) payment for such services during the stay shall not be made under section 1886(d), and

(iii) the organization shall not receive any payment with respect to the individual under this section during the period the individual is not enrolled.

(8)[324] A contract under this section shall provide that the eligible organization shall meet the requirement of section 1866(f) (relating to maintaining written policies and procedures respecting advance directives).

(d) Subject to the provisions of subsection (c)(3), every individual entitled to benefits under part A and enrolled under part B or enrolled under part B only (other than an individual medically determined to have end-stage renal disease) shall be eligible to enroll under this section with any eligible organization with which the Secretary has entered into a contract under this section and which serves the geographic area in which the individual resides.

(e)(1) In no case may—

(A) the portion of an eligible organization’s premium rate and the actuarial value of its deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments charged (with respect to services covered under parts A and B) to individuals who are enrolled under this section with the organization and who are entitled to benefits under part A and enrolled under part B, or

(B) the portion of its premium rate and the actuarial value of its deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments charged (with respect to services covered under part B) to individuals who are enrolled under this section with the organization and enrolled under part B only

exceed the actuarial value of the coinsurance and deductibles that would be applicable on the average to individuals enrolled under this section with the organization (or, if the Secretary finds that adequate data are not available to determine that actuarial value, the actuarial value of the coinsurance and deductibles applicable on the average to individuals in the area, in the State, or in the United States, eligible to enroll under this section with the organization, or other appropriate data) and entitled to benefits under part A and enrolled under part B, or enrolled under part B only, respectively, if they were not members of an eligible organization.

(2) If the eligible organization provides to its members enrolled under this section services in addition to services covered under parts A and B of this title, election of coverage for such additional services (unless such services have been approved by the Secretary under subsection (c)(2)) shall be optional for such members and such organization shall furnish such members with information on the portion of its premium rate or other charges applicable to such additional services. In no case may the sum of—

(A) the portion of such organization’s premium rate charged, with respect to such additional services, to members enrolled under this section, and

(B) the actuarial value of its deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments charged, with respect to such services to such members

exceed the adjusted community rate for such services.

(3) For purposes of this section, the term “adjusted community rate” for a service or services means, at the election of an eligible organization, either—

(A) the rate of payment for that service or services which the Secretary annually determines would apply to a member enrolled under this section with an eligible organization if the rate of payment were determined under a “community rating system” (as defined in section 1302(8) of the Public Health Service Act[325], other than subparagraph (C)), or

(B) such portion of the weighted aggregate premium, which the Secretary annually estimates would apply to a member enrolled under this section with the eligible organization, as the Secretary annually estimates is attributable to that service or services,

but adjusted for differences between the utilization characteristics of the members enrolled with the eligible organization under this section and the utilization characteristics of the other members of the organization (or, if the Secretary finds that adequate data are not available to adjust for those differences, the differences between the utilization characteristics of members in other eligible organizations, or individuals in the area, in the State, or in the United States, eligible to enroll under this section with an eligible organization and the utilization characteristics of the rest of the population in the area, in the State, or in the United States, respectively).

(4) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the eligible organization may (in the case of the provision of services to a member enrolled under this section for an illness or injury for which the member is entitled to benefits under a workmen’s compensation law or plan of the United States or a State, under an automobile or liability insurance policy or plan, including a self-insured plan, or under no fault insurance) charge or authorize the provider of such services to charge, in accordance with the charges allowed under such law or policy—

(A) the insurance carrier, employer, or other entity which under such law, plan, or policy is to pay for the provision of such services, or

(B) such member to the extent that the member has been paid under such law, plan, or policy for such services.

(f)(1) For contract periods beginning before January 1, 1999, each eligible organization with which the Secretary enters into a contract under this section shall have, for the duration of such contract, an enrolled membership at least one-half of which consists of individuals who are not entitled to benefits under this title.

(2) Subject to paragraph (4), the Secretary may modify or waive the requirement imposed by paragraph (1) only—

(A) to the extent that more than 50 percent of the population of the area served by the organization consists of individuals who are entitled to benefits under this title or under a State plan approved under title XIX, or

(B) in the case of an eligible organization that is owned and operated by a governmental entity, only with respect to a period of three years beginning on the date the organization first enters into a contract under this section, and only if the organization has taken and is making reasonable efforts to enroll individuals who are not entitled to benefits under this title or under a State plan approved under title XIX.

(3) If the Secretary determines that an eligible organization has failed to comply with the requirements of this subsection, the Secretary may provide for the suspension of enrollment of individuals under this section or of payment to the organization under this section for individuals newly enrolled with the organization, after the date the Secretary notifies the organization of such noncompliance.[326]

(4) Effective for contract periods beginning after December 31, 1996, the Secretary may waive or modify the requirement imposed by paragraph (1) to the extent the Secretary finds that it is in the public interest.

(g)(1) The Secretary may enter a risk-sharing contract with any eligible organization, as defined in subsection (b), which has at least 5,000 members, except that the Secretary may enter into such a contract with an eligible organization that has fewer members if the organization primarily serves members residing outside of urbanized areas.

(2) Each risk-sharing contract shall provide that—

(A) if the adjusted community rate, as defined in subsection (e)(3), for services under parts A and B (as reduced for the actuarial value of the coinsurance and deductibles under those parts) for members enrolled under this section with the organization and entitled to benefits under part A and enrolled in part B, or

(B) if the adjusted community rate for services under part B (as reduced for the actuarial value of the coinsurance and deductibles under that part) for members enrolled under this section with the organization and entitled to benefits under part B only

is less than the average of the per capita rates of payment to be made under subsection (a)(1) at the beginning of an annual contract period for members enrolled under this section with the organization and entitled to benefits under part A and enrolled in part B, or enrolled in part B only, respectively, the eligible organization shall provide to members enrolled under a risk-sharing contract under this section with the organization and entitled to benefits under part A and enrolled in part B, or enrolled in part B only, respectively, the additional benefits described in paragraph (3) which are selected by the eligible organization and which the Secretary finds are at least equal in value to the difference between that average per capita payment and the adjusted community rate (as so reduced); except that this paragraph shall not apply with respect to any organization which elects to receive a lesser payment to the extent that there is no longer a difference between the average per capita payment and adjusted community rate (as so reduced) and except that an organization (with the approval of the Secretary) may provide that a part of the value of such additional benefits be withheld and reserved by the Secretary as provided in paragraph (5). If the Secretary finds that there is insufficient enrollment experience to determine an average of the per capita rates of payment to be made under subsection (a)(1) at the beginning of a contract period, the Secretary may determine such an average based on the enrollment experience of other contracts entered into under this section.

(3) The additional benefits referred to in paragraph (2) are—

(A) the reduction of the premium rate or other charges made with respect to services furnished by the organization to members enrolled under this section, or

(B) the provision of additional health benefits,

or both.

(4) [Repealed.[327]]

(5) An organization having a risk-sharing contract under this section may (with the approval of the Secretary) provide that a part of the value of additional benefits otherwise required to be provided by reason of paragraph (2) be withheld and reserved in the Federal Hospital Insurance Trust Fund and in the Federal Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Fund (in such proportions as the Secretary determines to be appropriate) by the Secretary for subsequent annual contract periods, to the extent required to stabilize and prevent undue fluctuations in the additional benefits offered in those subsequent periods by the organization in accordance with paragraph (3). Any of such value of additional benefits which is not provided to members of the organization in accordance with paragraph (3) prior to the end of such period, shall revert for the use of such trust funds.

(6)(A) A risk-sharing contract under this section shall require the eligible organization to provide prompt payment (consistent with the provisions of sections 1816(c)(2) and 1842(c)(2)) of claims submitted for services and supplies furnished to individuals pursuant to such contract, if the services or supplies are not furnished under a contract between the organization and the provider or supplier.

(B) In the case of an eligible organization which the Secretary determines, after notice and opportunity for a hearing, has failed to make payments of amounts in compliance with subparagraph (A), the Secretary may provide for direct payment of the amounts owed to providers and suppliers for such covered services furnished to individuals enrolled under this section under the contract. If the Secretary provides for such direct payments, the Secretary shall provide for an appropriate reduction in the amount of payments otherwise made to the organization under this section to reflect the amount of the Secretary’s payments (and costs incurred by the Secretary in making such payments).

(h)[328](1) If—

(A) the Secretary is not satisfied that an eligible organization has the capacity to bear the risk of potential losses under a risk-sharing contract under this section, or

(B) the eligible organization so elects or has an insufficient number of members to be eligible to enter into a risk-sharing contract under subsection (g)(1),

the Secretary may, if he is otherwise satisfied that the eligible organization is able to perform its contractual obligations effectively and efficiently, enter into a contract with such organization pursuant to which such organization is reimbursed on the basis of its reasonable cost (as defined in section 1861(v)) in the manner prescribed in paragraph (3).

(2) A reasonable cost reimbursement contract under this subsection may, at the option of such organization, provide that the Secretary—

(A) will reimburse hospitals and skilled nursing facilities either for the reasonable cost (as determined under section 1861(v)) or for payment amounts determined in accordance with section 1886, as applicable, of services furnished to individuals enrolled with such organization pursuant to subsection (d), and

(B) will deduct the amount of such reimbursement from payment which would otherwise be made to such organization.

If such an eligible organization pays a hospital or skilled nursing facility directly, the amount paid shall not exceed the reasonable cost of the services (as determined under section 1861(v)) or the amount determined under section 1886, as applicable, unless such organization demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Secretary that such excess payments are justified on the basis of advantages gained by the organization.

(3) Payments made to an organization with a reasonable cost reimbursement contract shall be subject to appropriate retroactive corrective adjustment at the end of each contract year so as to assure that such organization is paid for the reasonable cost actually incurred (excluding any part of incurred cost found to be unnecessary in the efficient delivery of health services) or the amounts otherwise determined under section 1886 for the types of expenses otherwise reimbursable under this title for providing services covered under this title to individuals described in subsection (a)(1).

(4) Any reasonable cost reimbursement contract with an eligible organization under this subsection shall provide that the Secretary shall require, at such time following the expiration of each accounting period of the eligible organization (and in such form and in such detail) as he may prescribe—

(A) that the organization report to him in an independently certified financial statement its per capita incurred cost based on the types of components of expenses otherwise reimbursable under this title for providing services described in subsection (a)(1), including therein, in accordance with accounting procedures prescribed by the Secretary, its methods of allocating costs between individuals enrolled under this section and other individuals enrolled with such organization;

(B) that failure to report such information as may be required may be deemed to constitute evidence of likely overpayment on the basis of which appropriate collection action may be taken;

(C) that in any case in which an eligible organization is related to another organization by common ownership or control, a consolidated financial statement shall be filed and that the allowable costs for such organization may not include costs for the types of expense otherwise reimbursable under this title, in excess of those which would be determined to be reasonable in accordance with regulations (providing for limiting reimbursement to costs rather than charges to the eligible organization by related organizations and owners) issued by the Secretary; and

(D) that in any case in which compensation is paid by an eligible organization substantially in excess of what is normally paid for similar services by similar practitioners (regardless of method of compensation), such compensation may as appropriate be considered to constitute a distribution of profits.

(5)(A) After the date of the enactment of this paragraph, the Secretary may not enter into a reasonable cost reimbursement contract under this subsection (if the contract is not in effect as of such date), except for a contract with an eligible organization which, immediately previous to entering into such contract, had an agreement in effect under section 1833(a)(1)(A).

(B) Subject to subparagraph (C), the Secretary shall approve an application for a modification to a reasonable cost contract under this section in order to expand the service area of such contract if—

(i) such application is submitted to the Secretary on or before September 1, 2003; and

(ii) the Secretary determines that the organization with the contract continues to meet the requirements applicable to such organizations and contracts under this section.

(C)(i) Subject to clause (ii), a reasonable cost reimbursement contract under this subsection may be extended or renewed indefinitely.

(ii) For any period beginning on or after January 1, 2014,[329] a reasonable cost reimbursement contract under this subsection may not be extended or renewed for a service area insofar as such area during the entire previous year was within the service area of—

(I) 2 or more MA regional plans described in clause (iii), provided that all such plans are not offered by the same Medicare Advantage organization; or

(II) 2 or more MA local plans described in clause (iii), provided that all such plans are not offered by the same Medicare Advantage organization.

(iii) A plan described in this clause for a year for a service area is a plan described in section 1851(a)(2)(A)(i) if the service area for the year meets the following minimum enrollment requirements:

(I) With respect to any portion of the area involved that is within a Metropolitan Statistical Area with a population of more than 250,000 and counties contiguous to such Metropolitan Statistical Areathat are not in another Metropolitan Statistical Area with a population of more than 250,000, 5,000 individuals. If the service area includes a portion in more than 1 Metropolitan Statistical Area with a population of more than 250,000, the minimum enrollment determination under the preceding sentence shall be made with respect to each such Metropolitan Statistical Area (and such applicable contiguous counties to such Metropolitan Statistical Area).

(II) With respect to any other portion of such area, 1,500 individuals.

(i)(1) Each contract under this section shall be for a term of at least one year, as determined by the Secretary, and may be made automatically renewable from term to term in the absence of notice by either party of intention to terminate at the end of the current term; except that in accordance with procedures established under paragraph (9), the Secretary may at any time terminate any such contract or may impose the intermediate sanctions described in paragraph (6)(B) or (6)(C) (whichever is applicable) on the eligible organization if the Secretary determines that the organization—

(A) has failed substantially carry out the contract;

(B) is carrying out the contract in a manner substantially inconsistent with the efficient and effective administration of this section; or

(C) no longer substantially meets the applicable conditions of subsections (b), (c), (e), and (f).

(2) The effective date of any contract executed pursuant to this section shall be specified in the contract.

(3) Each contract under this section—

(A) shall provide that the Secretary, or any person or organization designated by him—

(i) shall have the right to inspect or otherwise evaluate (I) the quality, appropriateness, and timeliness of services performed under the contract and (II) the facilities of the organization when there is reasonable evidence of some need for such inspection, and

(ii) shall have the right to audit and inspect any books and records of the eligible organization that pertain (I) to the ability of the organization to bear the risk of potential financial losses, or (II) to services performed or determinations of amounts payable under the contract;

(B) shall require the organization with a risk-sharing contract to provide (and pay for) written notice in advance of the contract’s termination, as well as a description of alternatives for obtaining benefits under this title, to each individual enrolled under this section with the organization; and

(C)(i) shall require the organization to comply with subsections (a) and (c) of section 1318 of the Public Health Service Act[330] (relating to disclosure of certain financial information) and with the requirement of section 1301(c)(8) of such Act (relating to liability arrangements to protect members);

(ii) shall require the organization to provide and supply information (described in section 1866(b)(2)(C)(ii)) in the manner such information is required to be provided or supplied under that section;

(iii) shall require the organization to notify the Secretary of loans and other special financial arrangements which are made between the organization and subcontractors, affiliates, and related parties; and

(D) shall contain such other terms and conditions not inconsistent with this section (including requiring the organization to provide the Secretary with such information) as the Secretary may find necessary and appropriate.

(4) The Secretary may not enter into a risk-sharing contract with an eligible organization if a previous risk-sharing contract with that organization under this section was terminated at the request of the organization within the preceding five-year period, except in circumstances which warrant special consideration, as determined by the Secretary.

(5) The authority vested in the Secretary by this section may be performed without regard to such provisions of law or regulations relating to the making, performance, amendment, or modification of contracts of the United States as the Secretary may determine to be inconsistent with the furtherance of the purpose of this title.

(6)(A) If the Secretary determines that an eligible organization with a contract under this section—

(i) fails substantially to provide medically necessary items and services that are required (under law or under the contract) to be provided to an individual covered under the contract, if the failure has adversely affected (or has substantial likelihood of adversely affecting) the individual;

(ii) imposes premiums on individuals enrolled under this section in excess of the premiums permitted;

(iii) acts to expel or to refuse to re-enroll an individual in violation of the provisions of this section;

(iv) engages in any practice that would reasonably be expected to have the effect of denying or discouraging enrollment (except as permitted by this section) by eligible individuals with the organization whose medical condition or history indicates a need for substantial future medical services;

(v) misrepresents or falsifies information that is furnished—

(I) to the Secretary under this section, or

(II) to an individual or to any other entity under this section;

(vi) fails to comply with the requirements of subsection (g)(6)(A) or paragraph (8); or

(vii) in the case of a risk-sharing contract, employs or contracts with any individual or entity that is excluded from participation under this title under section 1128 or 1128A for the provision of health care, utilization review, medical social work, or administrative services or employs or contracts with any entity for the provision (directly or indirectly) through such an excluded individual or entity of such services;

the Secretary may provide, in addition to any other remedies authorized by law, for any of the remedies described in subparagraph (B).

(B) The remedies described in this subparagraph are—

(i) civil money penalties of not more than $25,000 for each determination under subparagraph (A) or, with respect to a determination under clause (iv) or (v)(I) of such subparagraph, of not more than $100,000 for each such determination, plus, with respect to a determination under subparagraph (A)(ii), double the excess amount charged in violation of such subparagraph (and the excess amount charged shall be deducted from the penalty and returned to the individual concerned), and plus, with respect to a determination under subparagraph (A)(iv), $15,000 for each individual not enrolled as a result of the practice involved,

(ii) suspension of enrollment of individuals under this section after the date the Secretary notifies the organization of a determination under subparagraph (A) and until the Secretary is satisfied that the basis for such determination has been corrected and is not likely to recur, or

(iii) suspension of payment to the organization under this section for individuals enrolled after the date the Secretary notifies the organization of a determination under subparagraph (A) and until the Secretary is satisfied that the basis for such determination has been corrected and is not likely to recur.

(C) In the case of an eligible organization for which the Secretary makes a determination under paragraph (1), the basis of which is not described in subparagraph (A), the Secretary may apply the following intermediate sanctions:

(i) Civil money penalties of not more than $25,000 for each determination under paragraph (1) if the deficiency that is the basis of the determination has directly adversely affected (or has the substantial likelihood of adversely affecting) an individual covered under the organization’s contract.

(ii) Civil money penalties of not more than $10,000 for each week beginning after the initiation of procedures by the Secretary under paragraph (9) during which the deficiency that is the basis of a determination under paragraph (1) exists.

(iii) Suspension of enrollment of individuals under this section after the date the Secretary notifies the organization of a determination under paragraph (1) and until the Secretary is satisfied that the deficiency that is the basis for the determination has been corrected and is not likely to recur.

(D) The provisions of section 1128A (other than subsections (a) and (b)) shall apply to a civil money penalty under subparagraph (B)(i) or (C)(i) in the same manner as such provisions apply to a civil money penalty or proceeding under section 1128A(a).

(7)(A) Each risk-sharing contract with an eligible organization under this section shall provide that the organization will maintain a written agreement with a quality improvement[331] organization (which has a contract with the Secretary under part B of title XI for the area in which the eligible organization is located) or with an entity selected by the Secretary under section 1154(a)(4)(C) under which the review organization will perform functions under section 1154(a)(4)(B) and section 1154(a)(14) (other than those performed under contracts described in section 1866(a)(1)(F)) with respect to services, furnished by the eligible organization, for which payment may be made under this title.

(B) For purposes of payment under this title, the cost of such agreement to the eligible organization shall be considered a cost incurred by a provider of services in providing covered services under this title and shall be paid directly by the Secretary to the review organization on behalf of such eligible organization in accordance with a schedule established by the Secretary.

(C) Such payments—

(i) shall be transferred in appropriate proportions from the Federal Hospital Insurance Trust Fund and from the Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Fund, without regard to amounts appropriated in advance in appropriation Acts, in the same manner as transfers are made for payment for services provided directly to beneficiaries, and

(ii) shall not be less in the aggregate for such organizations for a fiscal year than the amounts the Secretary determines to be sufficient to cover the costs of such organizations’ conducting activities described in subparagraph (A) with respect to such eligible organizations under part B of title XI.

(8)(A) Each contract with an eligible organization under this section shall provide that the organization may not operate any physician incentive plan (as defined in subparagraph (B)) unless the following requirements are met:

(i) No specific payment is made directly or indirectly under the plan to a physician or physician group as an inducement to reduce or limit medically necessary services provided with respect to a specific individual enrolled with the organization.

(ii) If the plan places a physician or physician group at substantial financial risk (as determined by the Secretary) for services not provided by the physician or physician group, the organization—

(I) provides stop-loss protection for the physician or group that is adequate and appropriate, based on standards developed by the Secretary that take into account the number of physicians placed at such substantial financial risk in the group or under the plan and the number of individuals enrolled with the organization who receive services from the physician or the physician group, and

(II) conducts periodic surveys of both individuals enrolled and individuals previously enrolled with the organization to determine the degree of access of such individuals to services provided by the organization and satisfaction with the quality of such services.

(iii) The organization provides the Secretary with descriptive information regarding the plan, sufficient to permit the Secretary to determine whether the plan is in compliance with the requirements of this subparagraph.

(B) In this paragraph, the term “physician incentive plan” means any compensation arrangement between an eligible organization and a physician or physician group that may directly or indirectly have the effect of reducing or limiting services provided with respect to individuals enrolled with the organization.

(9) The Secretary may terminate a contract with an eligible organization under this section or may impose the intermediate sanctions described in paragraph (6) on the organization in accordance with formal investigation and compliance procedures established by the Secretary under which—

(A) the Secretary first provides the organization with the reasonable opportunity to develop and implement a corrective action plan to correct the deficiencies that were the basis of the Secretary’s determination under paragraph (1) and the organization fails to develop or implement such a plan;

(B) in deciding whether to impose sanctions, the Secretary considers aggravating factors such as whether an organization has a history of deficiencies or has not taken action to correct deficiencies the Secretary has brought to the organization’s attention;

(C) there are no unreasonable or unnecessary delays between the finding of a deficiency and the imposition of sanctions; and

(D) the Secretary provides the organization with reasonable notice and opportunity for hearing (including the right to appeal an initial decision) before imposing any sanction or terminating the contract.

(j)(1)(A) In the case of physicians’ services or renal dialysis services described in paragraph (2) which are furnished by a participating physician or provider of services or renal dialysis facility to an individual enrolled with an eligible organization under this section and enrolled under part B, the applicable participation agreement is deemed to provide that the physician or provider of services or renal dialysis facility will accept as payment in full from the eligible organization the amount that would be payable to the physician or provider of services or renal dialysis facility under part B and from the individual under such part, if the individual were not enrolled with an eligible organization under this section.

(B) In the case of physicians’ services described in paragraph (2) which are furnished by a nonparticipating physician, the limitations on actual charges for such services otherwise applicable under part B (to services furnished by individuals not enrolled with an eligible organization under this section) shall apply in the same manner as such limitations apply to services furnished to individuals not enrolled with such an organization.

(2) The physicians’ services or renal dialysis services described in this paragraph are physicians’ services or renal dialysis services which are furnished to an enrollee of an eligible organization under this section by a physician, provider of services, or renal dialysis facility who is not under a contract with the organization.

(k)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2)—

(A) on or after the date standards for Medicare+Choice organizations and plans are first established under section 1856(b)(1), the Secretary shall not enter into any risk–sharing contract under this section with an eligible organization; and

(B) for any contract year beginning on or after January 1, 1999, the Secretary shall not renew any such contract.

(2) An individual who is enrolled in part B only and is enrolled in an eligible organization with a risk-sharing contract under this section on December 31, 1998, may continue enrollment in such organization in accordance with regulations described in section 1856(b)(1).

(3) Notwithstanding subsection (a), the Secretary shall provide that payment amounts under risk-sharing contracts under this section for months in a year (beginning with January 1998) shall be computed—

(A) with respect to individuals entitled to benefits under both parts A and B, by substituting payment rates under section 1853(a) for the payment rates otherwise established under section 1876(a), and

(B) with respect to individuals only entitled to benefits under part B, by substituting an appropriate proportion of such rates (reflecting the relative proportion of payments under this title attributable to such part) for the payment rates otherwise established under subsection (a).

(4) The following requirements shall apply to eligible organizations with risk–sharing contracts under this section in the same manner as they apply to Medicare+Choice organizations under part C:

(A) Data collection requirements under section 1853(a)(3)(B).

(B) Restrictions on imposition of premium taxes under section 1854(g) in relating to payments to such organizations under this section.

(C) The requirement to accept enrollment of new enrollees during November 1998 under section 1851(e)(6).

(D) Payments under section 1857(e)(2).


[321]  See Vol. II, P.L. 99-509, §9312(h), with respect to disenrollment.

See Vol. II, P.L. 100-203, §4012(c), with respect to data which the Secretary shall provide to eligible organizations.

[322]  See Vol. II, P.L. 99-177, §256, with respect to special rules applicable to the Medicare program.

[323]  See Vol. II, P.L. 78-410, §1310(d).

[324]  See Vol. II, P.L. 101-508, §4206(c), with respect to the effect on State law.

[325]  See Vol. II, P.L. 78-410, §1302(8).

[326]  See Vol. II, P.L. 99-509, §9312(c)(3)(C), with respect to treatment of waivers.

[327]  P.L. 100-203, §4012(b); 101 Stat. 1330-61.

[328]  See Vol. II, P.L. 110-275, §167(d), with respect to a GAO study and report regarding reasonable cost contracts.

[329]  P.L. 112-240, §608), struck out “January 1, 2013” and inserted “January 1, 2014” effective January 2, 2013.

[330]  See Vol. II, P.L. 78-410, §1318.

[331]  P.L. 112-40, §261(a)(3)(A), struck out “utilization and quality control peer review” and inserted “quality improvement”, applicable to contracts entered into or renewed on or after January 1, 2012.