|(a) Network adequacy.
(1) The Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC)
is the state agency responsible for overseeing and monitoring the
Medicaid managed care program. A health care managed care organization
(health care MCO) participating in the Medicaid managed care program
must offer a network of pharmacy providers that is sufficient to meet
the needs of the health care MCO's members. HHSC will monitor health
care MCO members' access to an adequate provider network through reports
from the health care MCOs and complaints received from providers and
members. The reporting requirements are discussed in subsection (c)
of this section.
(2) A health care MCO may not refuse to reimburse an
out-of-network pharmacy provider for emergency covered outpatient
(b) Reasonable reimbursement methodology. If a health
care MCO and an out-of-network pharmacy provider cannot agree on a
reimbursement amount, then the health care MCO must reimburse the
provider at the usual and customary rate that prevails in the service
area, unless payment is limited by state or federal law.
(c) Reporting requirements. A health care MCO must
submit a quarterly report to HHSC regarding out-of-network pharmacy
utilization, as described in §353.4 of this chapter (relating
to Managed Care Organization Requirements Concerning Out-of-Network
Providers). For purposes of such reporting, the health care MCO will
include out-of-network pharmacy utilization under the "other services"
(1) Upon review of a report described in subsection
(c) of this section, HHSC may determine that a health care MCO exceeded
maximum out-of-network usage standards set by HHSC for out-of-network
access to covered outpatient pharmacy services during the reporting
(2) Out-of-network usage standards. No more than 20
percent of total dollars billed to a health care MCO for covered outpatient
pharmacy services may be billed by out-of-network providers.
(e) Provider complaints.
(1) HHSC will accept provider complaints regarding
reimbursement for or overuse of out-of-network pharmacy providers
and will conduct investigations into any such complaints.
(2) When a pharmacy provider files a complaint regarding
out-of-network payment, HHSC will require the health care MCO to submit
data to support its position on the adequacy of the payment to the
provider. The data will include at a minimum a copy of the claim for
services rendered and an explanation of the amount paid and of any
(3) Not later than the 60th day after HHSC receives
a pharmacy provider complaint, HHSC will notify the pharmacy provider
of the conclusions of HHSC's investigation regarding the complaint.
The notification to the complaining pharmacy provider will include:
(A) a description of the corrective actions, if any,
required of the health care MCO in order to resolve the complaint;
(B) if applicable, a conclusion regarding the amount
of reimbursement owed to an out-of-network pharmacy provider.
(4) If HHSC determines through investigation that a
health care MCO did not reimburse an out-of-network pharmacy provider
based on a reasonable reimbursement methodology as described in subsection
(b) of this section, HHSC will initiate a corrective action plan.
Refer to subsection (f) of this section for information about the
contents of the corrective action plan.
(5) If, after an investigation, HHSC determines that
additional reimbursement is owed to an out-of-network pharmacy provider,
the health care MCO must pay the additional reimbursement owed to
the out-of-network pharmacy provider within 90 days from the date
the complaint was received by HHSC, or 18 days from the date the clean
claim, or information required that makes the claim clean, is received
by the health care MCO, whichever comes first.
(6) If the health care MCO does not pay the entire
amount of the additional reimbursement by the due date described in
paragraph (5) of this subsection, HHSC may require the health care
MCO to pay interest on the unpaid amount. If required by HHSC, interest
accrues at a rate of 18 percent simple interest per year on the unpaid
amount from the due date described in paragraph (5) of this subsection
until the date the entire amount of the additional reimbursement is
(7) HHSC will pursue any appropriate remedy authorized
in the contract between the health care MCO and HHSC if the MCO fails
to comply with a corrective action plan under subsection (f) of this
(f) Corrective action plan.
(1) A corrective action plan is required by HHSC in
the following situations:
(A) The health care MCO exceeds a maximum standard
established by HHSC for out-of-network access to covered outpatient
pharmacy services described in subsection (d) of this section; or
(B) The health care MCO does not reimburse an out-of-network
pharmacy provider based on a reasonable reimbursement methodology
as described in subsection (b) of this section.
(2) A corrective action plan imposed by HHSC will require
one of the following:
(A) Reimbursements by the health care MCO to out-of-network
pharmacy providers at rates that equal the allowable rates for the
health care services as determined under Human Resources Code §32.028
and §32.0281 for all covered outpatient pharmacy services provided
during the period:
(i) the health care MCO is not in compliance with a
utilization standard established by HHSC; or
(ii) the health care MCO is not reimbursing out-of-network
pharmacy providers based on a reasonable reimbursement methodology,
as described in subsection (c) of this section;
(B) Initiation of an immediate freeze by HHSC on the
enrollment of additional recipients in the health care MCO until HHSC
determines that the provider network under the health care MCO can
adequately meet the needs of its members;
(C) Education of the health care MCO's members regarding
the proper use of the health care MCO's pharmacy provider network;
(D) Any other actions HHSC determines are necessary
to ensure that the health care MCO members have access to appropriate
covered outpatient pharmacy services and that pharmacy providers are
properly reimbursed by the health care MCO for providing such services
to those recipients.