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     33-36-202. Provider responsibility for care -- contracts -- prohibited collection practices. (1) A contract between a health carrier and a participating provider must set forth a hold harmless provision specifying protection for covered persons. This requirement is met by including in a contract a provision substantially the same as the following:
      "The provider agrees that the provider may not for any reason, including but not limited to nonpayment by the health carrier or intermediary, insolvency of the health carrier or intermediary, or breach of this agreement, bill, charge, collect a deposit, seek compensation, remuneration, or reimbursement, or have any recourse from or against a covered person or a person other than the health carrier or intermediary acting on behalf of the covered person for services provided pursuant to this agreement. This agreement does not prohibit the provider from collecting coinsurance, copayments, or deductibles, as specifically provided in the evidence of coverage, or fees for uncovered services delivered on a fee-for-service basis to a covered person. This agreement does not prohibit a provider, except a health care professional who is employed full-time on the staff of a health carrier and who has agreed to provide services exclusively to that health carrier's covered persons and no others, and a covered person from agreeing to continue services solely at the expense of the covered person if the provider has clearly informed the covered person that the health carrier may not cover or continue to cover a specific service or services. Except as provided in this agreement, this agreement does not prohibit the provider from pursuing any legal remedy available for obtaining payment for services from the health carrier."
     (2) A contract between a health carrier and a participating provider must state that if a health carrier or intermediary becomes insolvent or otherwise ceases operations, covered benefits to covered persons will continue through the end of the period for which a premium has been paid to the health carrier on behalf of the covered person, but not to exceed 30 days, or until the covered person's discharge from an acute care inpatient facility, whichever occurs last. Covered benefits to a covered person confined in an acute care inpatient facility on the date of insolvency or other cessation of operations must be continued by a provider until the confinement in an inpatient facility is no longer medically necessary.
     (3) The contract provisions that satisfy the requirements of subsections (1) and (2) must be construed in favor of the covered person, survive the termination of the contract regardless of the reason for termination, including the insolvency of the health carrier, and supersede an oral or written contrary agreement between a participating provider and a covered person or the representative of a covered person if the contrary agreement is inconsistent with the hold harmless and continuation of covered benefits provisions required by subsections (1) and (2).
     (4) A participating provider may not collect or attempt to collect from a covered person money owed to the provider by the health carrier.

     History: En. Sec. 14, Ch. 413, L. 1997.

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