Participating provider; contracts with health maintenance organizations; hold harmless clause; limitation on collection actions
Section 21. (a) For purposes of this section, ''participating provider'' shall mean any physician, hospital or other person who, under an express or implied contract with the health maintenance organization or with its contractor or subcontractor, has agreed to provide health care services to members with an expectation of receiving payment, other than co-payment, co-insurance or deductible, directly or indirectly from the health maintenance organization, its contractor or subcontractor.
(b) Every contract between a health maintenance organization and a participating provider shall be in writing and shall contain the following hold harmless provision:
The provider agrees that in no event, including but not limited to nonpayment by the health maintenance organization of amounts due the provider under this contract, insolvency of the health maintenance organization or any breach of this contract by the health maintenance organization, shall the provider or its assignees or subcontractors have a right to seek any type of payment from, bill, charge, collect a deposit from, or have any recourse against, the member, persons acting on the member's behalf, other than the health maintenance organization, the employer or the group health maintenance contract holder for services provided pursuant to this contract except for the payment of applicable co-payment, co-insurance or deductibles for services covered by the health maintenance organization. The requirements of this provision shall survive any termination of this contract for services rendered prior to the termination, regardless of the cause of such termination. The health maintenance organization's members, any persons acting on the member's behalf, other than the health maintenance organization, and the employer or group health maintenance contract-holder shall be third-party beneficiaries of this clause. This provision supercedes any oral or written agreement hereafter entered into between the provider and the member, persons acting on the member's behalf, other than the health maintenance organization, and the employer or group health maintenance contract holder.
(c) In the event that the participating provider contract has not been reduced to writing as required by subsection (b) or that the contract fails to contain the required hold harmless provision, such provision shall be deemed incorporated into such contract by operation of law.
(d) No participating provider, agent, trustee or assignee thereof, may maintain any action at law against a member to collect sums owed by the health maintenance organization.