(1) A district managed care ombudsman committee is created in each district of the agency that has staff assigned for the regulation of managed care programs. Each district committee is subject to direction from and the supervision of the statewide committee.
(2) Each district committee shall have no fewer than 9 members and no more than 16 members, including at least: one physician licensed under chapter 458, one physician licensed under chapter 459, one physician licensed under chapter 460, and one physician licensed under chapter 461, one psychologist, one registered nurse, one clinical social worker, one attorney, and one consumer. For the consumer member, preference shall be given to members of organized consumer or advocacy groups with national or statewide membership. No member may be employed by or affiliated with a managed care program.
(3)(a) The agency director shall appoint the first three members of each district committee, and those three members shall select the remaining members, subject to approval of the agency director. If any of the first three members are not appointed within 60 days after the statewide committee is established and after a request is submitted to the agency director, those members shall be appointed by a majority vote of the statewide committee without further action by the agency director.
(b) Members shall be appointed to serve for a term of 3 years, except that at the time of initial appointment, terms shall be staggered so the first 40 percent of members appointed shall serve for a term of 2 years and the remaining members shall serve for a term of 3 years. Members may serve only two consecutive terms.
(c) Upon the expiration of the term of a member or upon the occurrence of a vacancy, the district committee shall appoint a successor, subject to the approval of the agency director.
(d) If the agency director fails to approve or disapprove a replacement member within 30 days after the district committee provides the agency director with a nomination, the nomination is automatically approved.
(4) Each district committee shall elect a chairperson for a term of 1 year. A person may not serve as chairperson for more than two consecutive terms.
(5) If a district committee member misses, without cause, two-thirds of the regular district committee meetings in a calendar year, the member is automatically removed, and the district committee shall select a replacement.
(6) Each district committee or member of the committee:
(a) Shall serve to protect the health, safety, and rights of all enrollees participating in managed care programs in this state.
(b) Shall receive complaints regarding quality of care from the agency, and may assist the agency with the resolution of complaints.
(c) May conduct site visits with the agency, as the agency determines is appropriate. A complaint may be referred by the agency to the committee, as to whether an enrollee’s managed care program may have inappropriately denied the enrollee a covered medical service, may be inappropriately delaying the provision of a covered medical service to the enrollee, or is providing substandard covered medical services. The committee shall establish and follow uniform criteria in reviewing information and receiving complaints.
(d) Shall submit an annual report to the statewide committee concerning activities, recommendations, and complaints reviewed or developed by the district committee during the year.
(e) Shall conduct meetings as required at the call of its chairperson, the call of the agency director, the call of the statewide committee, or by written request of a majority of the district committee members.