2011 ORS § 743.856¹
Referrals to specialists
(1) If an insurer offers a health benefit plan that requires, as a condition of coverage for specialty care services, a referral by a physician who is authorized under the plan or under the medical services contract between the physician and the insurer to refer an enrollee to specialty care services, the insurer must include the requirements of this section in the plan. The requirements apply only to benefits for which the member is contractually eligible under the plan. The requirements are as follows:
(a) The plan must establish and implement a procedure for standing referrals, so that an enrollee is not required to obtain approval from the authorized physician for each appointment with a specialist after the initial appointment.
(b) The plan must allow a standing referral for an enrollee if the authorized physician determines that the enrollee needs continuing care from a specialist.
(c) The plan must allow an enrollee to request and obtain a second medical opinion or consultation from a second physician who is a network provider and who is authorized to make decisions regarding the need for a referral to a specialist. If the plan does not have a network provider available to give a second medical opinion or consultation, the plan must allow the enrollee to obtain the opinion or consultation from a similarly qualified physician who is not a network provider. The plan may not impose a charge for the second medical opinion or consultation that is greater than the cost that the enrollee would otherwise pay for an initial medical opinion or consultation from the second physician.
(2) A specialist to whom an enrollee is referred must make regular reports to the authorized physician under subsection (1) of this section in accordance with best practices for coordinated care as established by the insurer. [2001 c.266 §5]