Continuity of Care

Provider Type

  • Physicians
  • Participating Physician Groups (PPG)
    (does not apply to HSP)
  • Hospitals

Health Net provides for continuity of care (COC) for new and existing members due to termination of prior coverage and any health plan withdrawn from any portion of the market for a currently enrolled Health Net member. Health Net members who have been receiving care that meets certain criteria may continue with their existing out-of-network providers for up to 12 months.

A current member may also request COC to complete care with a departing Health Net provider after that provider leaves Health Net's network. Covered services are provided for the period of time necessary to complete a course of treatment and to arrange for safe transition of care to another provider. Health Net makes the decision in consultation with the member and the terminated provider or nonparticipating provider, and consistent with good professional practice.

Continuity of Care

Member requests for COC assistance must meet certain criteria:

  • There are no documented quality-of-care issues, or state or federal exclusion requirements where Health Net has determined the provider is ineligible to continue providing services to Health Net members.
  • Compensated rates and methods of payment are the same as those currently used by Health Net or the participating physician group (PPG) unless a letter of agreement or letter of understanding is executed.
  • Copayments, deductibles or other cost-sharing components during the period of completion of covered services with a terminated provider or a nonparticipating provider are the same the member would pay if receiving care from a provider currently contracting with Health Net.

Types of clinical criteria where a member may be eligible for COC

  • Acute condition – a sudden onset of symptoms due to an illness, injury, or other medical problem.
  • Serious chronic condition – a medical condition due to a disease, illness, or other medical problem or medical disorder, not to exceed 12 months from the member's effective date of coverage.
  • Pregnancy – for the duration of the pregnancy and the immediate postpartum period.
    • A maternal mental health condition is a mental health condition that can impact a woman during pregnancy, peri- or post-partum, or that arises during pregnancy, in the peri- or post-partum period, up to one year after delivery.
  • Terminal illness – an incurable or irreversible condition that has a high probability of causing death within one year or less. COC applies for the duration for the terminal illness.
  • Newborn care – birth to 36 months, not to exceed 12 months from the member's effective date of coverage under the plan.
  • Performance of a surgery or other procedure that has been recommended and documented by the provider to occur within 180 days of the contract's termination date or within 180 days of the effective date of coverage for a newly covered enrollee.
  • Behavioral health conditions – all acute, serious or chronic mental health conditions, including treatment for children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). These services include applied behavioral analysis (ABA) – for up to 12 months.


Some of the circumstances where COC is not available are:

  • Services that are not a covered benefit of the plan.
  • Out-of-network provider does not agree to Health Net's utilization management (UM) policies and payment rates.
  • Provider type or service is for durable medical equipment (DME), transportation, other ancillary services, or carved-out services.

Requesting Continuity of Care

New and existing members, their authorized representatives on file with Health Net, or their providers may request COC directly from Health Net. Refer to the Health Net Member Services Department for assistance.

Health Net reviews and completes COC requests within five business days after receipt of the request. When additional clinical information is necessary to make a decision, the COC request can be pended for an additional 45 days. The pend letter for the required information is generated and faxed to the requested provider. A hard copy will follow by mail to the provider and the member.

If there is an imminent and serious threat to the member's health, requests are completed within three calendar days.

Upon completion of the COC review, the provider and the member will be notified of the decision within 24 hours of the decision.

Applies to EPO and PPO members only: Health Net accepts and approves retroactive requests for COC that meet all requirements. The services must have occurred after the member's enrollment in the plan and Health Net must have the ability to demonstrate that there was an existing relationship between the member and provider prior to the member's enrollment into the plan.

Out-of-network providers cannot refer the member to another out-of-network provider without authorization from Health Net or a delegated PPG.

PPG Process

Health Net forwards the COC request to the delegated PPG’s UM department if the PPG termed the requested provider. The delegated PPG:

  • Works with the out-of-network provider to secure a care plan for the member
  • Makes the decision whether to extend the COC services, or to redirect the services in-network.
  • Works with the out-of-network provider to make sure they are willing to work with the PPG and Health Net.