Separation of Medical Decisions and Financial Concerns
- Participating Physician Groups (PPG)
Under California Health & Safety Code Section 1367(g), medical decisions regarding the nature and level of care to be provided to a member, including the decision of who renders the service (for example, primary care physician (PCP) instead of specialist or in-network provider instead of out-of-network provider) must be made by qualified medical providers, unhindered by fiscal or administrative concerns. Utilization management (UM) decisions are, therefore, made by medical staff and based solely on medical necessity. Providers may openly discuss treatment alternatives (regardless of coverage limitations) with members without being penalized for discussing medically necessary care with the member. Health Net requires that each participating physician group (PPG) and hospital's UM program include provisions to ensure that financial and administrative concerns do not affect UM decisions.