2017 ORS 743A.168¹
Treatment of chemical dependency, including alcoholism, and mental or nervous conditions
  • qualified providers
  • rules

(1) As used in this section:

(a) “Behavioral health assessment” means an evaluation by a provider, in person or using telemedicine, to determine a patient’s need for behavioral health treatment.

(b) “Behavioral health crisis” means a disruption in an individual’s mental or emotional stability or functioning resulting in an urgent need for immediate outpatient treatment in an emergency department or admission to a hospital to prevent a serious deterioration in the individual’s mental or physical health.

(c) “Chemical dependency” means the addictive relationship with any drug or alcohol characterized by a physical or psychological relationship, or both, that interferes on a recurring basis with the individual’s social, psychological or physical adjustment to common problems. For purposes of this section, “chemical dependency” does not include addiction to, or dependency on, tobacco, tobacco products or foods.

(d) “Facility” means a corporate or governmental entity or other provider of services for the treatment of chemical dependency or for the treatment of mental or nervous conditions.

(e) “Group health insurer” means an insurer, a health maintenance organization or a health care service contractor.

(f) “Program” means a particular type or level of service that is organizationally distinct within a facility.

(g) “Provider” means:

(A) An individual who has met the credentialing requirement of a group health insurer, is otherwise eligible to receive reimbursement for coverage under the policy and is a behavioral health professional or a medical professional licensed or certified in this state;

(B) A health care facility as defined in ORS 433.060 (Definitions for ORS 433.060 to 433.080);

(C) A residential facility as defined in ORS 430.010 (Definitions);

(D) A day or partial hospitalization program;

(E) An outpatient service as defined in ORS 430.010 (Definitions); or

(F) A provider organization certified by the Oregon Health Authority under subsection (7) of this section.

(2) A group health insurance policy providing coverage for hospital or medical expenses, other than limited benefit coverage, shall provide coverage for expenses arising from the diagnosis of and treatment for chemical dependency, including alcoholism, and for mental or nervous conditions at the same level as, and subject to limitations no more restrictive than, those imposed on coverage or reimbursement of expenses arising from treatment for other medical conditions. The following apply to coverage for chemical dependency and for mental or nervous conditions:

(a) The coverage may be made subject to provisions of the policy that apply to other benefits under the policy, including but not limited to provisions relating to deductibles and coinsurance. Deductibles and coinsurance for treatment in health care facilities or residential facilities may not be greater than those under the policy for expenses of hospitalization in the treatment of other medical conditions. Deductibles and coinsurance for outpatient treatment may not be greater than those under the policy for expenses of outpatient treatment of other medical conditions.

(b) The coverage may not be made subject to treatment limitations, limits on total payments for treatment, limits on duration of treatment or financial requirements unless similar limitations or requirements are imposed on coverage of other medical conditions. The coverage of eligible expenses may be limited to treatment that is medically necessary as determined under the policy for other medical conditions.

(c) The coverage must include:

(A) A behavioral health assessment;

(B) No less than the level of services determined to be medically necessary in a behavioral health assessment of a patient or in a patient’s care plan:

(i) To treat the patient’s behavioral health condition; and

(ii) For care following a behavioral health crisis, to transition the patient to a lower level of care; and

(C) Coordinated care and case management as defined by the Department of Consumer and Business Services by rule.

(d) A provider is eligible for reimbursement under this section if:

(A) The provider is approved or certified by the Oregon Health Authority;

(B) The provider is accredited for the particular level of care for which reimbursement is being requested by the Joint Commission or the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities;

(C) The patient is staying overnight at the facility and is involved in a structured program at least eight hours per day, five days per week; or

(D) The provider is providing a covered benefit under the policy.

(e) If specified in the policy, outpatient coverage may include follow-up in-home service or outpatient services. The policy may limit coverage for in-home service to persons who are homebound under the care of a physician.

(f)(A) Subject to the patient or client confidentiality provisions of ORS 40.235 (Rule 504-1. Physician-patient privilege) relating to physicians, ORS 40.240 (Rule 504-2. Nurse-patient privilege) relating to nurse practitioners, ORS 40.230 (Rule 504. Psychotherapist-patient privilege) relating to psychologists, ORS 40.250 (Rule 504-4. Regulated social worker-client privilege) and 675.580 (Confidentiality of communication by client) relating to licensed clinical social workers and ORS 40.262 (Rule 507. Counselor-client privilege) relating to licensed professional counselors and licensed marriage and family therapists, a group health insurer may provide for review for level of treatment of admissions and continued stays for treatment in health facilities, residential facilities, day or partial hospitalization programs and outpatient services by either group health insurer staff or personnel under contract to the group health insurer, or by a utilization review contractor, who shall have the authority to certify for or deny level of payment.

(B) Review shall be made according to criteria made available to providers in advance upon request.

(C) Review shall be performed by or under the direction of a physician licensed under ORS 677.100 (Qualifications of applicant for license) to 677.228 (Automatic lapse of license for failure to pay registration fee or report change of location), a psychologist licensed by the Oregon Board of Psychology, a clinical social worker licensed by the State Board of Licensed Social Workers or a professional counselor or marriage and family therapist licensed by the Oregon Board of Licensed Professional Counselors and Therapists, in accordance with standards of the National Committee for Quality Assurance or Medicare review standards of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

(D) Review may involve prior approval, concurrent review of the continuation of treatment, post-treatment review or any combination of these. However, if prior approval is required, provision shall be made to allow for payment of urgent or emergency admissions, subject to subsequent review. If prior approval is not required, group health insurers shall permit providers, policyholders or persons acting on their behalf to make advance inquiries regarding the appropriateness of a particular admission to a treatment program. Group health insurers shall provide a timely response to such inquiries. Noncontracting providers must cooperate with these procedures to the same extent as contracting providers to be eligible for reimbursement.

(g) Health maintenance organizations may limit the receipt of covered services by enrollees to services provided by or upon referral by providers contracting with the health maintenance organization. Health maintenance organizations and health care service contractors may create substantive plan benefit and reimbursement differentials at the same level as, and subject to limitations no more restrictive than, those imposed on coverage or reimbursement of expenses arising out of other medical conditions and apply them to contracting and noncontracting providers.

(3) This section does not prohibit a group health insurer from managing the provision of benefits through common methods, including but not limited to selectively contracted panels, health plan benefit differential designs, preadmission screening, prior authorization of services, utilization review or other mechanisms designed to limit eligible expenses to those described in subsection (2)(b) of this section.

(4) The Legislative Assembly finds that health care cost containment is necessary and intends to encourage health insurance plans designed to achieve cost containment by ensuring that reimbursement is limited to appropriate utilization under criteria incorporated into the insurance, either directly or by reference.

(5) This section does not prevent a group health insurer from contracting with providers of health care services to furnish services to policyholders or certificate holders according to ORS 743B.460 (Conditions for restricting payments to only in-network providers) or 750.005 (Definitions), subject to the following conditions:

(a) A group health insurer is not required to contract with all providers that are eligible for reimbursement under this section.

(b) An insurer or health care service contractor shall, subject to subsection (2) of this section, pay benefits toward the covered charges of noncontracting providers of services for the treatment of chemical dependency or mental or nervous conditions. The insured shall, subject to subsection (2) of this section, have the right to use the services of a noncontracting provider of services for the treatment of chemical dependency or mental or nervous conditions, whether or not the services for chemical dependency or mental or nervous conditions are provided by contracting or noncontracting providers.

(6)(a) This section does not require coverage for:

(A) Educational or correctional services or sheltered living provided by a school or halfway house;

(B) A long-term residential mental health program that lasts longer than 45 days;

(C) Psychoanalysis or psychotherapy received as part of an educational or training program, regardless of diagnosis or symptoms that may be present;

(D) A court-ordered sex offender treatment program; or

(E) Support groups.

(b) Notwithstanding paragraph (a)(A) of this subsection, an insured may receive covered outpatient services under the terms of the insured’s policy while the insured is living temporarily in a sheltered living situation.

(7) The Oregon Health Authority shall establish a process for the certification of an organization described in subsection (1)(g)(F) of this section that:

(a) Is not otherwise subject to licensing or certification by the authority; and

(b) Does not contract with the authority, a subcontractor of the authority or a community mental health program.

(8) The Oregon Health Authority shall adopt by rule standards for the certification provided under subsection (7) of this section to ensure that a certified provider organization offers a distinct and specialized program for the treatment of mental or nervous conditions.

(9) The Oregon Health Authority may adopt by rule an application fee or a certification fee, or both, to be imposed on any provider organization that applies for certification under subsection (7) of this section. Any fees collected shall be paid into the Oregon Health Authority Fund established in ORS 413.101 (Oregon Health Authority Fund) and shall be used only for carrying out the provisions of subsection (7) of this section.

(10) The intent of the Legislative Assembly in adopting this section is to reserve benefits for different types of care to encourage cost effective care and to ensure continuing access to levels of care most appropriate for the insured’s condition and progress. This section does not prohibit an insurer from requiring a provider organization certified by the Oregon Health Authority under subsection (7) of this section to meet the insurer’s credentialing requirements as a condition of entering into a contract.

(11) The Director of the Department of Consumer and Business Services and the Oregon Health Authority, after notice and hearing, may adopt reasonable rules not inconsistent with this section that are considered necessary for the proper administration of this section. [Formerly 743.556; 2009 c.442 §47; 2009 c.549 §11; 2013 c.375 §1; 2013 c.581 §1; 2013 c.681 §62; 2016 c.11 §7; 2017 c.6 §29; 2017 c.17 §57; 2017 c.273 §5; 2017 c.409 §35]

Note: Section 7, chapter 411, Oregon Laws 1987, provides:

Sec. 7. Application of ORS 743A.001 (Automatic repeal of certain statutes on individual and group health insurance) to ORS 743A.168 (Treatment of chemical dependency, including alcoholism, and mental or nervous conditions) and 750.055 (Other provisions applicable to health care service contractors). ORS 743.145 [renumbered 743A.001 (Automatic repeal of certain statutes on individual and group health insurance)] does not apply to section 2 of this Act [743A.168 (Treatment of chemical dependency, including alcoholism, and mental or nervous conditions)] because section 2 of this Act constitutes a reenactment of ORS 743.557 and 743.558 [section 2, chapter 698, Oregon Laws 1977, and section 2, chapter 613, Oregon Laws 1973, both repealed in 1987] or to ORS 750.055 (Other provisions applicable to health care service contractors) because of its amendment by this Act. [1987 c.411 §7]

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 743A—Health Insurance: Reimbursement of Claims, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors743A.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
 
2 OregonLaws.org contains the con­tents of Volume 21 of the ORS, inserted along­side the per­tin­ent statutes. See the preface to the ORS An­no­ta­tions for more information.
 
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.