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OBLIGATIONS OF HEALTH CARE PRACTITIONERS AND PROVIDERS OF HEALTH CARE SERVICES; SANCTIONS AND PENALTIES; HEARINGS AND REVIEW

Sec1156[42 U.S.C. 1320c–5] (a) It shall be the obligation of any health care practitioner and any other person (including a hospital or other health care facility, organization, or agency) who provides health care services for which payment may be made (in whole or in part) under this Act, to assure, to the extent of his authority that services or items ordered or provided by such practitioner or person to beneficiaries and recipients under this Act—

(1) will be provided economically and only when, and to the extent, medically necessary;

(2) will be of a quality which meets professionally recognized standards of health care; and

(3) will be supported by evidence of medical necessity and quality in such form and fashion and at such time as may reasonably be required by a reviewing quality improvement[171] organization in the exercise of its duties and responsibilities.

(b)(1) If after reasonable notice and opportunity for discussion with the practitioner or person concerned, and, if appropriate, after the practitioner or person has been given a reasonable opportunity to enter into and complete a corrective action plan (which may include remedial education) agreed to by the organization, and has failed successfully to complete such plan, any organization having a contract with the Secretary under this part determines that such practitioner or person has—

(A) failed in a substantial number of cases substantially to comply with any obligation imposed on him under subsection (a), or

(B) grossly and flagrantly violated any such obligation in one or more instances,

such organization shall submit a report and recommendations to the Secretary. If the Secretary agrees with such determination, the Secretary (in addition to any other sanction provided under law) may exclude (permanently or for such period as the Secretary may prescribe, except that such period may not be less than 1 year) such practitioner or person from eligibility to provide services under this Act on a reimbursable basis. If the Secretary fails to act upon the recommendations submitted to him by such organization within 120 days after such submission, such practitioner or person shall be excluded from eligibility to provide services on a reimbursable basis until such time as the Secretary determines otherwise.

(2) A determination made by the Secretary under this subsection to exclude a practitioner or person shall be effective on the same date and in the same manner as an exclusion from participation under the programs under this Act becomes effective under section 1128(c), and shall (subject to the minimum period specified in the second sentence of paragraph (1)) remain in effect until the Secretary finds and gives reasonable notice to the public that the basis for such determination has been removed and that there is reasonable assurance that it will not recur.

(3) In lieu of the sanction authorized by paragraph (1), the Secretary may require that (as a condition to the continued eligibility of such practitioner or person to provide such health care services on a reimbursable basis) such practitioner or person pays to the United States, in case such acts or conduct involved the provision or ordering by such practitioner or person of health care services which were medically improper or unnecessary, an amount not in excess of up to $10,000 for each instance of the medically improper or unnecessary services so provided. Such amount may be deducted from any sums owing by the United States (or any instrumentality thereof) to the practitioner or person from whom such amount is claimed.

(4) Any practitioner or person furnishing services described in paragraph (1) who is dissatisfied with a determination made by the Secretary under this subsection shall be entitled to reasonable notice and opportunity for a hearing thereon by the Secretary to the same extent as is provided in section 205(b), and to judicial review of the Secretary’s final decision after such hearing as is provided in section 205(g).

(5) Before the Secretary may effect an exclusion under paragraph (2) in the case of a provider or practitioner located in a rural health professional shortage area or in a county with a population of less than 70,000, the provider or practitioner adversely affected by the determination is entitled to a hearing before an administrative law judge (described in section 205(b)) respecting whether the provider or practitioner should be able to continue furnishing services to individuals entitled to benefits under this Act, pending completion of the administrative review procedure under paragraph (4). If the judge does not determine, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the provider or practitioner will pose a serious risk to such individuals if permitted to continue furnishing such services, the Secretary shall not effect the exclusion under paragraph (2) until the provider or practitioner has been provided reasonable notice and opportunity for an administrative hearing thereon under paragraph (4).

(6) When the Secretary effects an exclusion of a physician under paragraph (2), the Secretary shall notify the State board responsible for the licensing of the physician of the exclusion.

(c) It shall be the duty of each quality improvement[172] organization to use such authority or influence it may possess as a professional organization, and to enlist the support of any other professional or governmental organization having influence or authority over health care practitioners and any other person (including a hospital or other health care facility, organization, or agency) providing health care services in the area served by such review organization, in assuring that each practitioner or person (referred to in subsection (a)) providing health care services in such area shall comply with all obligations imposed on him under subsection (a).


[171]  P.L. 112-40, §261(a)(2)(C), struck out “peer review” and inserted “quality improvement”, applicable to contracts entered into or renewed on or after January 1, 2012.

[172]  P.L. 112-40, §261(a)(2)(C), struck out “utilization and quality control peer review” and inserted “quality improvement”, applicable to contracts entered into or renewed on or after January 1, 2012.