The objectives of the utilization management review process are to ensure that the medical services provided to members are medically necessary and appropriate, that medical services meet nationally recognized standards for quality care, and that medical services are provided at the appropriate level of care and at the appropriate site of service.
The programs are staffed by health educators, licensed registered nurse case managers, and physician reviewers who are in routine contact with our health care plan providers. They use national, evidence-based criteria that are reviewed annually by a committee of health plan and communitybased physicians to determine the medical appropriateness of selected services requested by your physician.
These criteria are approved as being consistent with generally accepted standards of medical practice, including prudent layperson standards for emergency room care.
FHLAC also develops in-house criteria, making use of local specialist input and current medical literature, as well as guidelines from Medicare and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
To obtain information about the status or outcome of a utilization review decision, call 1-800-868-5200, ext. 69138 (TTY users please call TRS Relay 711).
The plan does not provide compensation or other financial incentive or reward to its in-plan providers or staff who conduct utilization management review that is based on the quantity or type of denial decisions rendered.
FHLAC’s Quality Services Program systematically measures, monitors, evaluates and improves the performance of the managed care organization with respect to clinical care and service received by its members. Components of the program include careful attention to credentialing and re-credentialing of plan providers, evaluation of all member complaints related to quality of care, and a formal peer review program to identify opportunities for improved care (on both an individual-practitioner level and a system-wide level). The plan also conducts focused performance projects related to planspecific opportunities and formal chronic disease management programs appropriate to the plan’s membership. With respect to service quality, the plan monitors and assures appropriate access to its contracted practitioners as well as complaints related to quality of service. A team of physicians, licensed registered nurses, and specialists create and regularly update clinical guidelines that are then shared with our contracted practitioners to promote preferred medical practices and to improve the quality of care. These guidelines are designed to complement rather than replace your doctor’s clinical judgment.
Assessing new technologies
FHLAC maintains a formal mechanism for evaluation of new medical and behavioral health technologies, the new application of existing technologies, and the review of special cases, through our Technology Assessment Committee. The committee includes physician administrators, practicing physicians from the plan’s service area, and plan staff who perform extensive literature reviews regarding the proposed technology, including review of information from governmental agencies, such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and published scientific evidence. The committee makes use of external research organizations, which perform reviews of available literature regarding a given procedure. When necessary, the committee seeks input from specialists or professionals who have expertise in the proposed technology.
The committee makes recommendations for health plan coverage and develops written coverage criteria in accordance with standards developed by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) for those technologies that can offer improved outcomes to our members without substantially increasing the risks of treatment. Criteria are reviewed at least annually or more often as new treatments, applications and technologies are adopted as generally accepted practice.
FHLAC has a separate but similar process for evaluation of new drugs and medications, with reviews performed by our Pharmacy & Therapeutics Committee.