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(820 ILCS 305/8.7)
Sec. 8.7. Utilization review programs.
(a) As used in this Section:
"Utilization review" means the evaluation of proposed or provided health care services to determine the appropriateness of both the level of health care services medically necessary and the quality of health care services provided to a patient, including evaluation of their efficiency, efficacy, and appropriateness of treatment, hospitalization, or office visits based on medically accepted standards. The evaluation must be accomplished by means of a system that identifies the utilization of health care services based on standards of care of nationally recognized peer review guidelines as well as nationally recognized treatment guidelines and evidence-based medicine based upon standards as provided in this Act. Utilization techniques may include prospective review, second opinions, concurrent review, discharge planning, peer review, independent medical examinations, and retrospective review (for purposes of this sentence, retrospective review shall be applicable to services rendered on or after July 20, 2005). Nothing in this Section applies to prospective review of necessary first aid or emergency treatment.
(b) No person may conduct a utilization review program for workers' compensation services in this State unless once every 2 years the person registers the utilization review program with the Department of Insurance and certifies compliance with the Workers' Compensation Utilization Management standards or Health Utilization Management Standards of URAC sufficient to achieve URAC accreditation or submits evidence of accreditation by URAC for its Workers' Compensation Utilization Management Standards or Health Utilization Management Standards. Nothing in this Act shall be construed to require an employer or insurer or its subcontractors to become URAC accredited.
(c) In addition, the Director of Insurance may certify alternative utilization review standards of national accreditation organizations or entities in order for plans to comply with this Section. Any alternative utilization review standards shall meet or exceed those standards required under subsection (b).
(d) This registration shall include submission of all of the following information regarding utilization review program activities:
(1) The name, address, and telephone number of the

utilization review programs.
(2) The organization and governing structure of the
utilization review programs.
(3) The number of lives for which utilization review
is conducted by each utilization review program.
(4) Hours of operation of each utilization review
program.
(5) Description of the grievance process for each
utilization review program.
(6) Number of covered lives for which utilization
review was conducted for the previous calendar year for each utilization review program.
(7) Written policies and procedures for protecting
confidential information according to applicable State and federal laws for each utilization review program.
(e) A utilization review program shall have written procedures to ensure that patient-specific information obtained during the process of utilization review will be:
(1) kept confidential in accordance with applicable
State and federal laws; and
(2) shared only with the employee, the employee's
designee, and the employee's health care provider, and those who are authorized by law to receive the information. Summary data shall not be considered confidential if it does not provide information to allow identification of individual patients or health care providers.
Only a health care professional may make determinations regarding the medical necessity of health care services during the course of utilization review.
When making retrospective reviews, utilization review programs shall base reviews solely on the medical information available to the attending physician or ordering provider at the time the health care services were provided.
(f) If the Department of Insurance finds that a utilization review program is not in compliance with this Section, the Department shall issue a corrective action plan and allow a reasonable amount of time for compliance with the plan. If the utilization review program does not come into compliance, the Department may issue a cease and desist order. Before issuing a cease and desist order under this Section, the Department shall provide the utilization review program with a written notice of the reasons for the order and allow a reasonable amount of time to supply additional information demonstrating compliance with the requirements of this Section and to request a hearing. The hearing notice shall be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, and the hearing shall be conducted in accordance with the Illinois Administrative Procedure Act.
(g) A utilization review program subject to a corrective action may continue to conduct business until a final decision has been issued by the Department.
(h) The Department of Insurance may by rule establish a registration fee for each person conducting a utilization review program.
(i) Upon receipt of written notice that the employer or the employer's agent or insurer wishes to invoke the utilization review process, the provider of medical, surgical, or hospital services shall submit to the utilization review, following accredited procedural guidelines.
(1) The provider shall make reasonable efforts to
provide timely and complete reports of clinical information needed to support a request for treatment. If the provider fails to make such reasonable efforts, the charges for the treatment or service may not be compensable nor collectible by the provider or claimant from the employer, the employer's agent, or the employee. The reporting obligations of providers shall not be unreasonable or unduly burdensome.
(2) Written notice of utilization review decisions,
including the clinical rationale for certification or non-certification and references to applicable standards of care or evidence-based medical guidelines, shall be furnished to the provider and employee.
(3) An employer may only deny payment of or refuse to
authorize payment of medical services rendered or proposed to be rendered on the grounds that the extent and scope of medical treatment is excessive and unnecessary in compliance with an accredited utilization review program under this Section.
(4) When a payment for medical services has been
denied or not authorized by an employer or when authorization for medical services is denied pursuant to utilization review, the employee has the burden of proof to show by a preponderance of the evidence that a variance from the standards of care used by the person or entity performing the utilization review pursuant to subsection (a) is reasonably required to cure or relieve the effects of his or her injury.
(5) The medical professional responsible for review
in the final stage of utilization review or appeal must be available in this State for interview or deposition; or must be available for deposition by telephone, video conference, or other remote electronic means. A medical professional who works or resides in this State or outside of this State may comply with this requirement by making himself or herself available for an interview or deposition in person or by making himself or herself available by telephone, video conference, or other remote electronic means. The remote interview or deposition shall be conducted in a fair, open, and cost-effective manner. The expense of interview and the deposition method shall be paid by the employer. The deponent shall be in the presence of the officer administering the oath and recording the deposition, unless otherwise agreed by the parties. Any exhibits or other demonstrative evidence to be presented to the deponent by any party at the deposition shall be provided to the officer administering the oath and all other parties within a reasonable period of time prior to the deposition. Nothing shall prohibit any party from being with the deponent during the deposition, at that party's expense; provided, however, that a party attending a deposition shall give written notice of that party's intention to appear at the deposition to all other parties within a reasonable time prior to the deposition.
An admissible utilization review shall be considered by the Commission, along with all other evidence and in the same manner as all other evidence, and must be addressed along with all other evidence in the determination of the reasonableness and necessity of the medical bills or treatment. Nothing in this Section shall be construed to diminish the rights of employees to reasonable and necessary medical treatment or employee choice of health care provider under Section 8(a) or the rights of employers to medical examinations under Section 12.
(j) When an employer denies payment of or refuses to authorize payment of first aid, medical, surgical, or hospital services under Section 8(a) of this Act, if that denial or refusal to authorize complies with a utilization review program registered under this Section and complies with all other requirements of this Section, then there shall be a rebuttable presumption that the employer shall not be responsible for payment of additional compensation pursuant to Section 19(k) of this Act and if that denial or refusal to authorize does not comply with a utilization review program registered under this Section and does not comply with all other requirements of this Section, then that will be considered by the Commission, along with all other evidence and in the same manner as all other evidence, in the determination of whether the employer may be responsible for the payment of additional compensation pursuant to Section 19(k) of this Act.
The changes to this Section made by this amendatory Act of the 97th General Assembly apply only to health care services provided or proposed to be provided on or after September 1, 2011.
(Source: P.A. 97-18, eff. 6-28-11.)



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