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Coverage Explanation

Provider Type

  • Physicians
  • Participating Physician Groups (PPG)
  • Hospitals
  • Ancillary

Emergency services are covered under this plan when they are provided in the United States, Canada or Mexico. Members can reach Health Net 24 hours a day to speak with a nurse, through the McKesson nurse advice line. Providers may contact the Medi-Cal Provider Services Department, Community Health Plan of Imperial Valley Provider Services Center or CalViva Health Medi-Cal Provider Services Center (for Fresno, Kings and Madera counties) with questions.

If a medical emergency occurs, members should be directed to the nearest emergency room for care or call 911. Members are encouraged to use the 911 emergency response system as appropriate. Members should notify their primary care physician (PCP) as soon as possible. Emergency services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

If a member goes to the emergency room and the doctor or nurse tells the member to contact his or her PCP because the members does not need emergency care, he or she should call his or her doctor immediately for direction.

Emergency Department Medical Screening Exam

A medical screening exam (MSE) is an initial assessment of a member to determine whether an emergency condition exists and whether the member should be treated in the emergency department or may be safely treated at another level of care. Hospital emergency departments are required to evaluate all members seeking care. An MSE performed by a physician, nurse practitioner (NP), registered nurse (RN), or physician assistant (PA) in an emergency department does not require prior authorization regardless of the outcome.

Physicians Authority for Discharge

All members are discharged from an emergency facility only on the order of a treating physician.

Timely Follow-Up Care

If the medical staff at the hospital emergency department determines that an emergency exists, they must render medical treatment until the condition is stabilized. Then, the hospital must receive authorization for further care through the PCP or on-call designee.

If the medical staff at the hospital emergency department determines that the condition is not an emergency, the member is responsible for arranging follow-up care with the PCP. Members are ordinarily given written instructions in the emergency department that state whether follow-up care is needed and, if so, how soon they need to be seen by their PCP. A sample instruction letter, Medi-Cal Member Instructions for Post-Emergency Care (PDF), is available for use. Emergency departments should also contact the member's PCP to arrange for follow-up care; particularly in circumstances where there are active or ongoing care needs or care coordination issues. PCPs must provide timely follow-up care to members when emergency care is deemed not necessary in an emergency department after an MSE or if follow-up care is indicated after treatment in the emergency department. PCPs should see members within the time frame suggested by the hospital emergency department instructions.

After-Care Instructions

Emergency departments are responsible for providing written post-emergency care instructions to all members seen in an emergency room. Refer to the Emergency Department MSE discussion above for the most current information about post-emergency care instructions and timely follow-up care.

Refer to definition of an emergency for more information.

Medical Emergency in Primary Care Facility

If a medical emergency occurs anywhere in the primary care facility, a physician should be summoned immediately by calling "code blue in room X." ( or other designated terminology)

The physician who arrives first determines the need for basic life support or emergency medical services (EMS). Dial 911 if EMS is required. If a physician is not readily available, the highest-ranking medical staff should determine the need for cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and EMS.

Mid-level practitioners (physician assistants (PAs) and nurse practitioners (NPs)) are not permitted to administer advanced cardiac life support techniques, whether alone or under the supervision of a physician. They may, however, administer basic life-support (BLS) and perform the following:

  • Start IV with solution of normal saline
  • Administer oxygen
  • Insert airway

The following basic emergency medical supplies and equipment must be available in all facilities:

  • Benadryl 50 mg/ml
  • Adrenaline 1:1,000/cc
  • Nitrostat 1/150 gr. (0.4 mg)
  • Solu-Medrol 40 mg/1 cc Mix-o-Vial
  • Airways - three sizes (small, medium and large)
  • Pediatric and adult ambu bag

Emergency Transportation

If a member in a facility has a medical emergency requiring hospitalization, the attending physician must arrange ambulance transportation by a licensed ambulance company to the nearest emergency room.

If there is no contracting emergency transportation service and emergency transportation is needed, dial 911 or other local emergency number to obtain ambulance service. The receiving hospital calls for authorization when the member arrives.

Notification Requirements

Emergency departments must notify the member's primary care physician (PCP) whenever a member requires an emergency room visit. If an emergency care visit results in the member being admitted to the facility, the emergency department is required to notify Health Net's hospital notification department within 24 hours or the next business day.

For Los Angeles County only: Molina Healthcare is Health Net's subcontracting health plan for the Medi-Cal managed care program in Los Angeles County. Notification may be given by telephone or by faxing a copy of the face sheet to Molina Healthcare for members assigned to Molina.Notification to Health Net is not required.

Last Updated: 07/04/2024