(a) Any health care provider, carrier, or employer who elects to contest the disallowance or adjustment of payment by a carrier under subsection (6) must, within 30 days after receipt of notice of disallowance or adjustment of payment, petition the department to resolve the dispute. The petitioner must serve a copy of the petition on the carrier and on all affected parties by certified mail. The petition must be accompanied by all documents and records that support the allegations contained in the petition. Failure of a petitioner to submit such documentation to the department results in dismissal of the petition.
(b) The carrier must submit to the department within 10 days after receipt of the petition all documentation substantiating the carrier's disallowance or adjustment. Failure of the carrier to timely submit the requested documentation to the department within 10 days constitutes a waiver of all objections to the petition.
(c) Within 60 days after receipt of all documentation, the department must provide to the petitioner, the carrier, and the affected parties a written determination of whether the carrier properly adjusted or disallowed payment. The department must be guided by standards and policies set forth in this chapter, including all applicable reimbursement schedules, practice parameters, and protocols of treatment, in rendering its determination.
(d) If the department finds an improper disallowance or improper adjustment of payment by an insurer, the insurer shall reimburse the health care provider, facility, insurer, or employer within 30 days, subject to the penalties provided in this subsection.
(e) The department shall adopt rules to carry out this subsection. The rules may include provisions for consolidating petitions filed by a petitioner and expanding the timetable for rendering a determination upon a consolidated petition.
(f) Any carrier that engages in a pattern or practice of arbitrarily or unreasonably disallowing or reducing payments to health care providers may be subject to one or more of the following penalties imposed by the department:
1. Repayment of the appropriate amount to the health care provider.
2. An administrative fine assessed by the department in an amount not to exceed $5,000 per instance of improperly disallowing or reducing payments.
3. Award of the health care provider's costs, including a
reasonable attorney's fee, for prosecuting the petition.