(a) Except in instances involving the delivery of health care services immediately needed to resolve an imminent life-threatening medical or surgical emergency, the agreement by a health care provider to deliver services to a beneficiary of any department or division of the state which participates in a plan or plans developed under section three of this article shall be considered to also include an agreement by that health care provider:
(1) To accept the assignment by the beneficiary of any rights the beneficiary may have to bill such division or department for, and to receive payment under such plan or plans on account of, such services; and
(2) To accept as payment in full for the delivery of such services the amount specified in plan or plans or as determined by the plan or plans. In such instances, the health care provider shall bill the division or department, or such other person specified in the plan or plans, directly for the services. The health care provider shall not bill the beneficiary or any other person on behalf of the beneficiary and, except for deductibles or other payments specified in the applicable plan or plans, the beneficiary shall not be personally liable for any of the charges, including any balance claimed by the provider to be owed as being the difference between that provider's charge or charges and the amount payable by the applicable department or divisions. The plan or plans may specify what sums are deductibles, copayments or are otherwise payable by the beneficiary and the sums for which the health care provider may bill the beneficiary: In addition, any health care service which is not subject to payment by the plan or plans shall be the responsibility of the beneficiary and for those health care services which are not covered by the plans, there shall be no prohibition against billing the beneficiary directly.
(b) The prohibitions and limitations stated in subsection (a) of this section do not apply to the delivery of health care services immediately needed to resolve an imminent life-threatening medical or surgical emergency. However, once the patient is stabilized, then the delivery of any further health care services shall be subject to subsection (a) of this section for those latter services only.
(c) The exceptions provided in this section for the delivery of health care services immediately needed to resolve an imminent life-threatening medical or surgical emergency shall not apply to health care providers under contract with a department or division plan or plans.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2012 1st Special Session