A. Each (i) insurer proposing to issue individual or group accident and sickness insurance policies providing hospital, medical and surgical or major medical coverage on an expense incurred basis, (ii) corporation providing individual or group accident and sickness subscription contracts, and (iii) health maintenance organization providing a health care plan for health care services, whose policies, contracts or plans, including any certificate or evidence of coverage issued in connection with such policies, contracts or plans, include coverage for obstetrical or gynecological services, shall permit any female of age 13 or older covered thereunder direct access, as provided in subsection B, to the health care services of a participating obstetrician-gynecologist (a) authorized to provide services under such policy, contract or plan and (b) selected by such female.
B. An annual examination, and routine health care services incident to and rendered during an annual visit, may be performed without prior authorization from the primary care physician. However, additional health care services may be provided subject to the following:
1. Consultation, which may be by telephone or electronically, with the primary care physician for follow-up care or subsequent visits;
2. Prior consultation and authorization by the primary care physician before the patient may be directed to another specialty provider; and
3. Prior authorization by the insurer, corporation, or health maintenance organization for proposed inpatient hospitalization or outpatient surgical procedures.
C. For the purpose of this section, "health care services" means the full scope of medically necessary services provided by the obstetrician-gynecologist in the care of or related to the female reproductive system and breasts and in performing annual screening and immunization for disorders and diseases in accordance with the most current published recommendations of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. The term includes services provided by nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and certified nurse midwives in collaboration with the obstetrician-gynecologists providing care to individuals covered under any such policies, contracts or plans.
D. Nothing contained herein shall prohibit an insurer, corporation, or health maintenance organization from requiring a participating obstetrician-gynecologist to provide written notification to the covered female's primary care physician of any visit to such obstetrician-gynecologist. Such notification may include a description of the health care services rendered at the time of the visit.
E. Each insurer, corporation or health maintenance organization subject to the provisions of this section shall inform subscribers of the provisions of this section. Such notice shall be provided in writing.
F. The requirements of this section shall apply to all insurance policies, contracts, and plans delivered, issued for delivery, reissued, renewed, or extended or at any time when any term of any such policy, contract, or plan is changed or any premium adjustment is made. The provisions of this section shall not apply to short-term travel or accident-only policies, or to short-term nonrenewable policies of not more than six months' duration.
G. The provisions of this section shall not apply in any instance in which the provisions of this section are inconsistent or in conflict with a provision of Article 6 (§ 38.2-3438 et seq.) of Chapter 34.
38.2-34381996, c. 967; 1997, c. 806; 2001, c. 99; 2011, c. 882.