(a) The purpose of this section is to ensure that health care service plans and their contracting entities do not enter into contracts with physicians and surgeons or other licensed health care providers that interfere with any ethical responsibility or legal right of physicians and surgeons or other licensed health care providers to discuss with their patients information relevant to their patients’ health care. It is the intent of the Legislature to guarantee that a physician and surgeon or other licensed health care provider can communicate freely with, and act as advocate for, his or her patient.
(b) Health care service plans and their contracting entities shall not include provisions in their contracts that interfere with the ability of a physician and surgeon or other licensed health care provider to communicate with a patient regarding his or her health care, including, but not limited to, communications regarding treatment options, alternative plans, or other coverage arrangements. Nothing in this section shall preclude a contract provision that provides that a physician and surgeon, or other licensed health care provider, may not solicit for alternative coverage arrangements for the primary purpose of securing financial gain.
(c) Any contractual provision inconsistent with this section shall be void and unenforceable.
(d) For purposes of this section, “licensed health care provider” means any person licensed or certified pursuant to this division or licensed pursuant to the Osteopathic Initiative Act or the Chiropractic Initiative Act.
(e) No communication regarding treatment options shall be represented or construed to expand or revise the scope of benefits or covered services under a health care service plan or insurance contract.
(Added by Stats. 1996, Ch. 1089, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 1997.)
Last modified: October 25, 2018