The definitions in this section apply throughout the chapter unless the context clearly requires otherwise.
(1) "Adverse benefit determination" means a benefit is denied, reduced, or terminated. The basis for these actions or determinations may include:
(a) An enrollee's or applicant's eligibility to participate in a plan or group plan;
(b) Any utilization review; or
(c) Failure to cover an item or service for which benefits are otherwise provided because of a determination that the item or service is experimental, investigational, or not medically necessary or appropriate.
(2) "Applicant" means a person or entity seeking to become a Washington certified independent review organization (IRO).
(3) "Attending provider" includes "treating provider" or "ordering provider" as used in WAC 284-43-620
(4) "Carrier" or "health carrier" has the same meaning in this chapter as in WAC 284-43-130
(5) "Case" means a dispute relating to a carrier's decision to deny, modify, reduce, or terminate coverage of or payment for health care service for an enrollee, which has been referred to a specific IRO by the insurance commissioner under RCW 48.43.535
(6) "Clinical peer" means a physician or other health professional who holds an unrestricted license or certification and is in the same or similar specialty as typically manages the medical condition, procedures, or treatment under review. Generally, as a peer in a similar specialty, the individual must be in the same profession, i.e., the same licensure category, as the attending provider. In a profession that has organized, board-certified specialties, a clinical peer generally will be in the same formal specialty.
(7) "Clinical reviewer" means a medical reviewer, as defined in this section.
(8) "Conflict of interest" means violation of any provision of WAC 246-305-030
, including, but not limited to, material familial, professional and financial affiliations.
(9) "Contract specialist" means a reviewer who deals with interpretation of health plan coverage provisions. If a clinical reviewer is also interpreting health plan coverage provisions, that reviewer shall have the qualifications required of a contract specialist.
(10) "Department" means the Washington state department of health.
(11) "Enrollee" means an "appellant" as defined in WAC 284-43-130
. "Enrollee" also means a person lawfully acting on behalf of the enrollee, including, but not limited to, a parent or guardian.
(12) "Evidence-based standard" means the conscientious, explicit, and judicious use of the current best evidence based on the overall systematic review of the research in making decisions about the care of individual patients.
(13) "Health care provider" or "provider" means a person practicing health care services consistent with Washington state law, or a person with valid credentials from another state for a similar scope of practice.
(14) "Independent review" means the process of review and determination of a case referred to an IRO under RCW 48.43.535
(15) "Independent review organization" or "IRO" means an entity certified by the department under this chapter.
(16) "IRO," see independent review organization.
(17) "Material familial affiliation" means any relationship as a spouse, child, parent, sibling, spouse's parent, or child's spouse.
(18) "Material professional affiliation" includes, but is not limited to, any provider-patient relationship, any partnership or employment relationship, or a shareholder or similar ownership interest in a professional corporation.
(19) "Material financial affiliation" means any financial interest including employment, contract or consultation which generates more than five percent of total annual revenue or total annual income of an IRO or an individual director, officer, executive or reviewer of the IRO. This includes a consulting relationship with a manufacturer regarding technology or research support for a specific product.
(20) "Medical reviewer" means a physician or other health care provider who is assigned to an external review case by a certified IRO, consistent with this chapter.
(21) "Medical, scientific, and cost-effectiveness evidence" means published evidence on results of clinical practice of any health profession which complies with one or more of the following requirements:
(a) Peer-reviewed scientific studies published in or accepted for publication by medical journals that meet nationally recognized requirements for scientific manuscripts and that submit most of their published articles for review by experts who are not part of the editorial staff;
(b) Peer-reviewed literature, biomedical compendia, and other medical literature that meet the criteria of the National Institute of Health's National Library of Medicine for indexing in Index Medicus, Excerpta Medicus (EMBASE), Medline, and MEDLARS data base Health Services Technology Assessment Research (HSTAR);
(c) Medical journals recognized by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, under Section 1861 (t)(2) of the federal Social Security Act;
(d) The American Hospital Formulary Service-Drug Information, the American Medical Association Drug Evaluation, the American Dental Association Accepted Dental Therapeutics, and the United States Pharmacopoeia-Drug Information;
(e) Findings, studies, or research conducted by or under the auspices of federal government agencies and nationally recognized federal research institutes including the Federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute, National Academy of Sciences, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Congressional Office of Technology Assessment, and any national board recognized by the National Institutes of Health for the purpose of evaluating the medical value of health services;
(f) Clinical practice guidelines that meet Institute of Medicine criteria; or
(g) In conjunction with other evidence, peer-reviewed abstracts accepted for presentation at major scientific or clinical meetings.
(22) "Referral" means receipt by an IRO of notification from the insurance commissioner or designee that a case has been assigned to that IRO under provisions of RCW 48.43.535
(23) "Reviewer" or "expert reviewer" means a clinical reviewer or a contract specialist, as defined in this section.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 43.70.235 and 48.43.535. 11-23-124, § 246-305-010, filed 11/21/11, effective 11/26/11; 01-08-023, § 246-305-010, filed 3/28/01, effective 4/28/01.]