Participation in the Medi-Cal program by a provider of service is subject to suspension in order to protect the health of the recipients and the funds appropriated to carry out this chapter.
(a)(1) The director may suspend a provider of service from further participation under the Medi-Cal program for violation of any provision of this chapter or Chapter 8 (commencing with Section 14200 ) or any rule or regulation promulgated by the director pursuant to those chapters. The suspension may be for an indefinite or specified period of time and with or without conditions, or may be imposed with the operation of the suspension stayed or probation granted. The director shall suspend a provider of service for conviction of any felony or any misdemeanor involving fraud, abuse of the Medi-Cal program or any patient, or otherwise substantially related to the qualifications, functions, or duties of a provider of service.
(2) If the provider of service is a clinic, group, corporation, or other association, conviction of any officer, director, or shareholder with a 10 percent or greater interest in that organization, of a crime described in paragraph (1) shall result in the suspension of that organization and the individual convicted if the director believes that suspension would be in the best interest of the Medi-Cal program. If the provider of service is a political subdivision of the state or other government agency, the conviction of the person in charge of the facility of a crime described in paragraph (1) may result in the suspension of that facility. The record of conviction or a certified copy thereof, certified by the clerk of the court or by the judge in whose court the conviction is had, shall be conclusive evidence of the fact that the conviction occurred. A plea or verdict of guilty, or a conviction following a plea of nolo contendere is deemed to be a conviction within the meaning of this section.
(3) After conviction, but before the time for appeal has elapsed or the judgment of conviction has been affirmed on appeal, the director, if he or she believes that suspension would be in the best interests of the Medi-Cal program, may order the suspension of a provider of service. When the time for appeal has elapsed, or the judgment of conviction has been affirmed on appeal or when an order granting probation is made suspending the imposition of sentence irrespective of any subsequent order under Section 1203.4 of the Penal Code allowing a person to withdraw his or her plea of guilty and to enter a plea of not guilty, or setting aside the verdict of guilty, or dismissing the accusation, information, or indictment, the director shall order the suspension of a provider of service. The suspension shall not take effect earlier than the date of the director's order. Suspension following a conviction is not subject to the proceedings required in subdivision (c). However, the director may grant an informal hearing at the request of the provider of service to determine in the director's sole discretion if the circumstances surrounding the conviction justify rescinding or otherwise modifying the suspension provided for in this subdivision.
(4) If the provider of service appeals the conviction and the conviction is reversed, the provider may apply for reinstatement to the Medi-Cal program after the conviction is reversed. Notwithstanding Section 14124.6 , the application for reinstatement shall not be subject to the one-year waiting period for the filing of a reinstatement petition pursuant to Section 11522 of the Government Code .
(b) Whenever the director receives written notification from the Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services that a physician or other individual practitioner has been suspended from participation in the Medicare or Medicaid programs, the director shall promptly suspend the practitioner from participation in the Medi-Cal program and notify the Administrative Director of the Division of Workers' Compensation of the suspension, in accordance with paragraph (2) of subdivision (e). This automatic suspension is not subject to the proceedings required in subdivision (c). No payment from state or federal funds may be made for any item or service rendered by the practitioner during the period of suspension.
(c) The proceedings for suspension shall be conducted pursuant to Section 100171 of the Health and Safety Code . The director may temporarily suspend any provider of service prior to any hearing when in his or her opinion that action is necessary to protect the public welfare or the interests of the Medi-Cal program. The director shall notify the provider of service of the temporary suspension and the effective date thereof and at the same time serve the provider with an accusation. The accusation and all proceedings thereafter shall be in accordance with Section 100171 of the Health and Safety Code . Upon receipt of a notice of defense by the provider, the director shall set the matter for hearing within 30 days after receipt of the notice. The temporary suspension shall remain in effect until such time as the hearing is completed and the director has made a final determination on the merits. The temporary suspension shall, however, be deemed vacated if the director fails to make a final determination on the merits within 60 days after the original hearing has been completed. This subdivision does not apply where the suspension of a provider is based upon the conviction of any crime involving fraud, abuse of the Medi-Cal program, or suspension from the federal Medicare program. In those instances, suspension shall be automatic.
(d)(1) The suspension by the director of any provider of service shall preclude the provider from submitting claims for payment, either personally or through claims submitted by any clinic, group, corporation, or other association to the Medi-Cal program for any services or supplies the provider has provided under the program, except for services or supplies provided prior to the suspension. No clinic, group, corporation, or other association which is a provider of service shall submit claims for payment to the Medi-Cal program for any services or supplies provided by a person within the organization who has been suspended or revoked by the director, except for services or supplies provided prior to the suspension.
(2) If the provisions of this chapter, Chapter 8 (commencing with Section 14200 ), or the regulations promulgated by the director are violated by a provider of service that is a clinic, group, corporation, or other association, the director may suspend the organization and any individual person within the organization who is responsible for the violation.
(e)(1) Notice of the suspension shall be sent by the director to the provider's state licensing, certifying, or registering authority, along with the evidence upon which the suspension was based.
(2) At the same time notice is provided pursuant to paragraph (1), the director shall provide written notification of the suspension to the Administrative Director of the Division of Workers' Compensation, for purposes of Section 139.21 of the Labor Code .
(f) In addition to the bases for suspension contained in subdivisions (a) and (b), the director may suspend a provider of service from further participation under the Medi-Cal dental program for the provision of services that are below or less than the standard of acceptable quality, as established by the California Dental Association Guidelines for the Assessment of Clinical Quality and Professional Performance, Copyright 1995, Third Edition, as periodically amended. The suspension shall be subject to the requirements contained in subdivisions (a) to (e), inclusive.
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