Law:Title 4. Liability In Tort from Chapter 88. Health Care Liability (Texas)

From Law Delta

Revision as of 21:03, 28 September 2011 by Admin (Talk | contribs)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to: navigation, search


Contents

Chapter 88. Health Care Liability

Section  88.001.  Definitions.

In this chapter:

(1)  "Appropriate and medically necessary" means the standard for health care services as determined by physicians and health care providers in accordance with the prevailing practices and standards of the medical profession and community.

(2)  "Enrollee" means an individual who is enrolled in a health care plan, including covered dependents.

(3)  "Health care plan" means any plan whereby any person undertakes to provide, arrange for, pay for, or reimburse any part of the cost of any health care services.

(4)  "Health care provider" means a person or entity as defined in Section 74.001.

(5)  "Health care treatment decision" means a determination made when medical services are actually provided by the health care plan and a decision which affects the quality of the diagnosis, care, or treatment provided to the plan's insureds or enrollees.

(6)  "Health insurance carrier" means an authorized insurance company that issues policies of accident and health insurance under Chapter 1201, Insurance Code.

(7)  "Health maintenance organization" means an organization licensed under Chapter 843, Insurance Code.

(8)  "Managed care entity" means any entity which delivers, administers, or assumes risk for health care services with systems or techniques to control or influence the quality, accessibility, utilization, or costs and prices of such services to a defined enrollee population, but does not include an employer purchasing coverage or acting on behalf of its employees or the employees of one or more subsidiaries or affiliated corporations of the employer or a pharmacy licensed by the State Board of Pharmacy.

(9)  "Physician" means:

(A)  an individual licensed to practice medicine in this state;

(B)  a professional association organized under the Texas Professional Association Act (Article 1528f, Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes) or a nonprofit health corporation certified under Section 5.01, Medical Practice Act (Article 4495b, Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes); or

(C)  another person wholly owned by physicians.

(10)  "Ordinary care" means, in the case of a health insurance carrier, health maintenance organization, or managed care entity, that degree of care that a health insurance carrier, health maintenance organization, or managed care entity of ordinary prudence would use under the same or similar circumstances. In the case of a person who is an employee, agent, ostensible agent, or representative of a health insurance carrier, health maintenance organization, or managed care entity, "ordinary care" means that degree of care that a person of ordinary prudence in the same profession, specialty, or area of practice as such person would use in the same or similar circumstances.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 163, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1276, Sec. 10A.508, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 134, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 728, Sec. 11.107, eff. September 1, 2005.



Section 88.0015.  Inapplicability To Erisa-regulated Employee Benefit Plan. This

chapter does not apply to an employee benefit plan regulated under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (29 U.S.C. Section 1001 et seq.).

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 306, Sec. 1, eff. June 17, 2005.



Section  88.002.  Application.

(a) A health insurance carrier, health maintenance organization, or other managed care entity for a health care plan has the duty to exercise ordinary care when making health care treatment decisions and is liable for damages for harm to an insured or enrollee proximately caused by its failure to exercise such ordinary care.

(b)  A health insurance carrier, health maintenance organization, or other managed care entity for a health care plan is also liable for damages for harm to an insured or enrollee proximately caused by the health care treatment decisions made by its:

(1)  employees;

(2)  agents;

(3)  ostensible agents; or

(4)  representatives who are acting on its behalf and over whom it has the right to exercise influence or control or has actually exercised influence or control which result in the failure to exercise ordinary care.

(c)  It shall be a defense to any action asserted against a health insurance carrier, health maintenance organization, or other managed care entity for a health care plan that:

(1)  neither the health insurance carrier, health maintenance organization, or other managed care entity, nor any employee, agent, ostensible agent, or representative for whose conduct such health insurance carrier, health maintenance organization, or other managed care entity is liable under Subsection (b), controlled, influenced, or participated in the health care treatment decision; and

(2)  the health insurance carrier, health maintenance organization, or other managed care entity did not deny or delay payment for any treatment prescribed or recommended by a provider to the insured or enrollee.

(d)  The standards in Subsections (a) and (b) create no obligation on the part of the health insurance carrier, health maintenance organization, or other managed care entity to provide to an insured or enrollee treatment which is not covered by the health care plan of the entity.

(e)  This chapter does not create any liability on the part of an employer, an employer group purchasing organization, or a pharmacy licensed by the State Board of Pharmacy that purchases coverage or assumes risk on behalf of its employees.

(f)  A health insurance carrier, health maintenance organization, or managed care entity may not remove a physician or health care provider from its plan or refuse to renew the physician or health care provider with its plan for advocating on behalf of an enrollee for appropriate and medically necessary health care for the enrollee.

(g)  A health insurance carrier, health maintenance organization, or other managed care entity may not enter into a contract with a physician, hospital, or other health care provider or pharmaceutical company which includes an indemnification or hold harmless clause for the acts or conduct of the health insurance carrier, health maintenance organization, or other managed care entity. Any such indemnification or hold harmless clause in an existing contract is hereby declared void.

(h)  Nothing in any law of this state prohibiting a health insurance carrier, health maintenance organization, or other managed care entity from practicing medicine or being licensed to practice medicine may be asserted as a defense by such health insurance carrier, health maintenance organization, or other managed care entity in an action brought against it pursuant to this section or any other law.

(i)  In an action against a health insurance carrier, health maintenance organization, or managed care entity, a finding that a physician or other health care provider is an employee, agent, ostensible agent, or representative of such health insurance carrier, health maintenance organization, or managed care entity shall not be based solely on proof that such person's name appears in a listing of approved physicians or health care providers made available to insureds or enrollees under a health care plan.

(j)  This chapter does not apply to workers' compensation insurance coverage as defined in Section 401.011, Labor Code.

(k)  An enrollee who files an action under this chapter shall comply with the requirements of Section 74.351 as it relates to expert reports.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 163, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 134, Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2005.



Section  88.003.  Limitations On Cause Of Action.

(a) A person may not maintain a cause of action under this chapter against a health insurance carrier, health maintenance organization, or other managed care entity that is required to comply with or otherwise complies with the utilization review requirements of Article 21.58A, Insurance Code, or Chapter 843, Insurance Code, unless the affected insured or enrollee or the insured's or enrollee's representative:

(1)  has exhausted the appeals and review applicable under the utilization review requirements; or

(2)  before instituting the action:

(A)  gives written notice of the claim as provided by Subsection (b); and

(B)  agrees to submit the claim to a review by an independent review organization under Article 21.58A, Insurance Code, as required by Subsections (c) and (d).

(b)  The notice required by Subsection (a)(2)(A) must be delivered or mailed to the health insurance carrier, health maintenance organization, or managed care entity against whom the action is made not later than the 30th day before the date the claim is filed.

(c)  The insured or enrollee or the insured's or enrollee's representative must submit the claim to a review by an independent review organization if the health insurance carrier, health maintenance organization, or managed care entity against whom the claim is made requests the review not later than the 14th day after the date notice under Subsection (a)(2)(A) is received by the health insurance carrier, health maintenance organization, or managed care entity. If the health insurance carrier, health maintenance organization, or managed care entity does not request the review within the period specified by this subsection, the insured or enrollee or the insured's or enrollee's representative is not required to submit the claim to independent review before maintaining the action.

(d)  A review conducted under Subsection (c) as requested by a health insurance carrier, health maintenance organization, or managed care entity must be performed in accordance with Article 21.58C, Insurance Code. The health insurance carrier, health maintenance organization, or managed care entity requesting the review must agree to comply with Subdivisions (2), (3), and (4), Section 6A, Article 21.58A, Insurance Code.

(e)  Subject to Subsection (f), if the enrollee has not complied with Subsection (a), an action under this section shall not be dismissed by the court, but the court may, in its discretion, order the parties to submit to an independent review or mediation or other nonbinding alternative dispute resolution and may abate the action for a period of not to exceed 30 days for such purposes. Such orders of the court shall be the sole remedy available to a party complaining of an enrollee's failure to comply with Subsection (a).

(f)  The enrollee is not required to comply with Subsection (c) and no abatement or other order pursuant to Subsection (e) for failure to comply shall be imposed if the enrollee has filed a pleading alleging in substance that:

(1)  harm to the enrollee has already occurred because of the conduct of the health insurance carrier, health maintenance organization, or managed care entity or because of an act or omission of an employee, agent, ostensible agent, or representative of such carrier, organization, or entity for whose conduct it is liable under Section 88.002(b); and

(2)  the review would not be beneficial to the enrollee, unless the court, upon motion by a defendant carrier, organization, or entity finds after hearing that such pleading was not made in good faith, in which case the court may enter an order pursuant to Subsection (e).

(g)  If the insured or enrollee or the insured's or enrollee's representative seeks to exhaust the appeals and review or provides notice, as required by Subsection (a), before the statute of limitations applicable to a claim against a managed care entity has expired, the limitations period is tolled until the later of:

(1)  the 30th day after the date the insured or enrollee or the insured's or enrollee's representative has exhausted the process for appeals and review applicable under the utilization review requirements; or

(2)  the 40th day after the date the insured or enrollee or the insured's or enrollee's representative gives notice under Subsection (a)(2)(A).

(h)  This section does not prohibit an insured or enrollee from pursuing other appropriate remedies, including injunctive relief, a declaratory judgment, or relief available under law, if the requirement of exhausting the process for appeal and review places the insured's or enrollee's health in serious jeopardy.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 163, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1327, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1276, Sec. 10A.509, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.


Personal tools
Laws
Variants
Actions
Navigation
Toolbox