California Code, Health and Safety Code - HSC § 1368.04

(a) The director shall investigate and take enforcement action against plans regarding grievances reviewed and found by the department to involve noncompliance with the requirements of this chapter, including grievances that have been reviewed pursuant to the independent medical review system established pursuant to Article 5.55 (commencing with Section 1374.30 ).  Where substantial harm to an enrollee has occurred as a result of plan noncompliance, the director shall, by order, assess administrative penalties subject to appropriate notice of, and the opportunity for, a hearing with regard to the person affected in accordance with Section 1397 .  The administrative penalties shall not be deemed an exclusive remedy available to the director.  These penalties shall be paid to the Managed Care Administrative Fines and Penalties Fund and shall be used for the purposes specified in Section 1341.45 .  The director shall periodically evaluate grievances to determine if any audit, investigative, or enforcement actions should be undertaken by the department.

(b) The director may, after appropriate notice and opportunity for hearing in accordance with Section 1397 , by order, assess administrative penalties if the director determines that a health care service plan has knowingly committed, or has performed with a frequency that indicates a general business practice, either of the following:

(1) Repeated failure to act promptly and reasonably to investigate and resolve grievances in accordance with Section 1368.01 .

(2) Repeated failure to act promptly and reasonably to resolve grievances when the obligation of the plan to the enrollee or subscriber is reasonably clear.

(c) The administrative penalties available to the director pursuant to this section are not exclusive, and may be sought and employed in any combination with civil, criminal, and other administrative remedies deemed warranted by the director to enforce this chapter.

(d) The administrative penalties authorized pursuant to this section shall be paid to the Managed Care Administrative Fines and Penalties Fund and shall be used for the purposes specified in Section 1341.45 .


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