2010 Georgia Code
TITLE 33 - INSURANCE
CHAPTER 24 - INSURANCE GENERALLY
ARTICLE 3 - BREAST CANCER PATIENT CARE
§ 33-24-72 - Mastectomy; lymph node dissection; coverage for inpatient care and follow-up visits required by health insurers; notice to policyholders

O.C.G.A. 33-24-72 (2010)
33-24-72. Mastectomy; lymph node dissection; coverage for inpatient care and follow-up visits required by health insurers; notice to policyholders.


(a) As used in this Code section, the term:

(1) "Attending physician" means any surgeon or other physician attending the breast cancer patient.

(2) "Health benefit policy" means any individual or group plan, policy, or contract for health care services issued, delivered, issued for delivery, or renewed in this state, including, but not limited to, those contracts executed by the State of Georgia on behalf of indigents and on behalf of state employees under Article 1 of Chapter 18 of Title 45, by a health care corporation, health maintenance organization, preferred provider organization, accident and sickness insurer, fraternal benefit society, hospital service corporation, medical service corporation, or other insurer or similar entity; except that such term does not include any policy of limited benefit insurance as defined in paragraph (4) of subsection (e) of Code Section 33-30-12.

(3) "Insurer" means an accident and sickness insurer, fraternal benefit society, hospital service corporation, medical service corporation, health care corporation, health maintenance organization, managed care plan other than a dental plan, or any similar entity authorized to issue contracts under this title and also means any state program funded under Title XIX of the federal Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C.A. Section 1396 et seq., and any other publicly funded state health care program.

(4) "Lymph node dissection" means the removal of a part of the lymph node system under the arm using general anesthesia as part of a diagnostic process that is used to evaluate the spread of cancer and to determine the need for further treatment.

(5) "Mastectomy" means surgical removal of one or both breasts.

(b) Every health benefit policy that provides surgical benefits for mastectomies that is delivered, issued, executed, or renewed in this state or approved for issuance or renewal in this state by the Commissioner on or after July 1, 1999, shall provide coverage in a licensed health care facility for inpatient care following a mastectomy or lymph node dissection until the completion of the appropriate period of stay for such inpatient care as determined by the attending physician in consultation with the patient. Coverage shall be provided also for such number of follow-up visits as determined to be appropriate by the attending physician after consultation with the patient. Such follow-up visits shall be conducted by a physician, a physician assistant, or a registered professional nurse with experience and training in postsurgical care. In consultation with the patient, such attending physician, physician assistant, or registered professional nurse shall determine whether any follow-up visit or visits will be conducted at home or at the office.

(c) Every insurer shall provide notice to policyholders regarding the coverage required by this Code section. The notice shall be in writing and prominently positioned in any of the following literature:

(1) The next mailing to the policyholder;

(2) The yearly informational packets sent to the policyholder; or

(3) Other literature mailed before January 1, 2000.

(d) No insurer covered under this Code section shall deselect, terminate the services of, require additional utilization review, reduce capitation payment, or otherwise penalize an attending physician or other health care provider who orders care consistent with the provisions of this Code section. For purposes of this subsection, health care provider shall include the attending physician and hospital.

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