(a) An insurance carrier shall take final action after conducting bill review on a complete medical bill, or determine to audit the medical bill in accordance with § 133.230 of this chapter (relating to Insurance Carrier Audit of a Medical Bill), not later than the 45th day after the date the insurance carrier received a complete medical bill. An insurance carrier’s deadline to make or deny payment on a bill is not extended as a result of a pending request for additional documentation.
(b) For health care provided to injured employees not subject to a workers’ compensation health care network established under Insurance Code Chapter 1305, the insurance carrier shall not deny reimbursement based on medical necessity for health care preauthorized or voluntarily certified under Chapter 134 of this title (relating to Benefits–Guidelines for Medical Services, Charges, and Payments). For pharmaceutical services provided to any injured employee, the insurance carrier shall not deny reimbursement based on medical necessity for pharmaceutical services preauthorized or agreed to under Chapter 134, Subchapter F of this title (relating to Pharmaceutical Benefits).
(c) The insurance carrier shall not change a billing code on a medical bill or reimburse health care at another billing code’s value.
(d) The insurance carrier may request additional documentation, in accordance with § 133.210 of this title (relating to Medical Documentation), not later than the 45th day after receipt of the medical bill to clarify the health care provider’s charges.
(e) The insurance carrier shall send the explanation of benefits in accordance with the elements required by § 133.500 and § 133.501 of this title (relating to Electronic Formats for Electronic Medical Bill Processing and Electronic Medical Bill Processing, respectively) if the insurance carrier submits the explanation of benefits in the form of an electronic remittance. The insurance carrier shall send an explanation of benefits in accordance with subsection (f) of this section if the insurance carrier submits the explanation of benefits in paper form. The explanation of benefits shall be sent to:
(1) the health care provider when the insurance carrier makes payment or denies payment on a medical bill; and
(2) the injured employee when payment is denied because:
(A) of an adverse determination;
(B) the health care was provided by a health care provider other than:
(i) the treating doctor selected in accordance with Labor Code § 408.022;
(ii) a health care provider that the treating doctor has chosen as a consulting or referral health care provider;
(iii) a doctor performing a required medical examination in accordance with § 126.5 of this title (relating to Entitlement and Procedure for Requesting Required Medical Examinations) and § 126.6 of this title (relating to Required Medical Examination);
(iv) a doctor performing a designated doctor examination in accordance with Labor Code § 408.0041; or
(C) the health care was unrelated to the compensable injury, in accordance with § 124.2 of this title (relating to Carrier Reporting and Notification Requirements).
(3) the prescribing doctor, if different from the health care provider identified in paragraph (1) of this subsection, when payment is denied for pharmaceutical services because of any reason relating to the compensability of, liability for, extent of, or relatedness to the compensable injury, or for reasons relating to the reasonableness or medical necessity of the pharmaceutical services.
(f) The paper form of an explanation of benefits under subsection (e) of this section, § 133.250 of this title (relating to Reconsideration for Payment of Medical Bills), or § 133.260 of this title (relating to Refunds) shall include the following elements:
(1) division claim number, if known;
(2) insurance carrier claim number;
(3) injured employee’s name;
(4) last four digits of injured employee’s social security number;
(5) date of injury;
(6) health care provider’s name and address;
(7) health care provider’s federal tax ID or national provider identifier if the health care provider’s federal tax ID is the same as the health care provider’s social security number;
(8) patient control number if included on the submitted medical bill;
(9) insurance carrier’s name and address;
(10) insurance carrier control number;
(11) date of bill review/refund request;
(12) diagnosis code(s);
(13) name and address of company performing bill review;
(14) name and telephone number of bill review contact;
(15) workers’ compensation health care network name (if applicable);
(17) health care service information for each billed health care service, to include:
(A) date of service;
(B) the CPT, HCPCS, NDC, or other applicable product or service code;
(C) CPT, HCPCS, NDC, or other applicable product or service code description;
(D) amount charged;
(E) unit(s) of service;
(F) amount paid;
(H) explanation of the reason for reduction/denial if the adjustment reason code was included under subparagraph (G) of this paragraph and if applicable;
(18) a statement that contains the following text: “Health care providers shall not bill any unpaid amounts to the injured employee or the employer, or make any attempt to collect the unpaid amount from the injured employee or the employer unless the injury is finally adjudicated not to be compensable, or the insurance carrier is relieved of the liability under Labor Code § 408.024. However, pursuant to § 133.250 of this title, the health care provider may file an appeal with the insurance carrier if the health care provider disagrees with the insurance carrier’s determination”;
(19) if the insurance carrier is requesting a refund, the refund amount being requested and an explanation of why the refund is being requested; and
(20) if the insurance carrier is paying interest in accordance with § 134.130 of this title (relating to Interest for Late Payment on Medical Bills and Refunds), the interest amount paid through use of an unspecified product or service code and the number of days on which interest was calculated by using a unit per day.
(g) When the insurance carrier pays a health care provider for health care for which the division has not established a maximum allowable reimbursement, the insurance carrier shall explain and document the method it used to calculate the payment in accordance with § 134.1 of this title (relating to Medical Reimbursement) or § 134.503 of this title (relating to Pharmacy Fee Guideline).
(h) An insurance carrier shall have filed, or shall concurrently file, the applicable notice required by Labor Code § 409.021, and § 124.2 and § 124.3 of this title (relating to Investigation of an Injury and Notice of Denial/Dispute) if the insurance carrier reduces or denies payment for health care provided based solely on the insurance carrier’s belief that:
(1) the injury is not compensable;
(2) the insurance carrier is not liable for the injury due to lack of insurance coverage; or
(3) the condition for which the health care was provided was not related to the compensable injury.
(i) If dissatisfied with the insurance carrier’s final action, the health care provider may request reconsideration of the bill in accordance with § 133.250 of this title.
(j) If the health care provider is requesting reconsideration of an adverse determination, the request for reconsideration constitutes an appeal for the purposes of § 19.2011 of this title (relating to Written Procedures for Appeal of Adverse Determinations). If dissatisfied with the reconsideration outcome, the health care provider may request medical dispute resolution in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 133, Subchapter D of this title (relating to Dispute of Medical Bills).
(k) Health care providers, injured employees, employers, attorneys, and other participants in the system shall not resubmit medical bills to insurance carriers after the insurance carrier has taken final action on a complete medical bill and provided an explanation of benefits except as provided in § 133.250 and Chapter 133, Subchapter D of this title.
(l) All payments of medical bills that an insurance carrier makes on or after the 60th day after the date the insurance carrier originally received the complete medical bill shall include interest calculated in accordance with § 134.130 of this title without any action taken by the division. The interest payment shall be paid at the same time as the medical bill payment.
(m) Except as provided by Insurance Code § 1305.153, when an insurance carrier remits payment to a health care provider agent, the agent shall remit to the health care provider the full amount that the insurance carrier reimburses. If the insurance carrier remits payment under Insurance Code § 1305.153, then the payment must be made in accordance with that section.
(n) When an insurance carrier remits payment to a pharmacy processing agent, the pharmacy processing agent’s reimbursement from the insurance carrier shall be made in accordance with § 134.503 of this title. The pharmacy’s reimbursement shall be made in accordance with the terms of its contract with the pharmacy processing agent.
(o) An insurance carrier commits an administrative violation if the insurance carrier fails to pay, reduce, deny, or notify the health care provider of the intent to audit a medical bill in accordance with Labor Code § 408.027 and division rules.
(p) For the purposes of this section, all utilization review must be performed by an insurance carrier that is registered with or a utilization review agent that is certified by the Texas Department of Insurance to perform utilization review in accordance with Insurance Code, Chapter 4201 and Chapter 19 of this title. Additionally, all utilization review agents or registered insurance carriers who perform utilization review under this section must comply with Labor Code § 504.055 and any other provisions of Chapter 19, Subchapter U of this title (relating to Utilization Reviews for Health Care Provided under Workers’ Compensation Coverage) that relate to the expedited provision of medical benefits to first responders employed by political subdivisions who sustain a serious bodily injury in course and scope of employment.
(q) When denying payment due to an adverse determination under this section, the insurance carrier shall comply with the requirements of § 19.2009 of this title (relating to Notice of Determinations Made in Utilization Review). Additionally, in any instance where the insurance carrier is questioning the medical necessity or appropriateness of the health care services, the insurance carrier shall comply with the requirements of § 19.2010 of this title (relating to Requirements Prior to Issuing Adverse Determination), including the requirement that prior to issuance of an adverse determination the insurance carrier shall afford the health care provider a reasonable opportunity to discuss the billed health care with a doctor or, in cases of a dental plan or chiropractic services, with a dentist or chiropractor, respectively.
The provisions of this §133.240 adopted to be effective May 2, 2006, 31 TexReg 3544; amended to be effective July 1, 2012, 37 TexReg 2408; amended to be effective March 30, 2014, 39 TexReg 2095.