§9-4C-7. Powers and duties.

(a) Each board created pursuant to this article shall:

(1) Develop, recommend, and review reimbursement methodology where applicable, and develop and recommend a reasonable provider fee schedule, in relation to its respective provider groups, so that the schedule conforms with federal Medicaid laws and remains within the limits of annual funding available to the single state agency for the Medicaid program. In developing the fee schedule the board may refer to a nationally published regional specific fee schedule, if available, as selected by the secretary in accordance with §9-4C-8 of this code. The board may consider identified health care priorities in developing its fee schedule to the extent permitted by applicable federal Medicaid laws, and may recommend higher reimbursement rates for basic primary and preventative health care services than for other services. In identifying basic primary and preventative health care services, the board may consider factors, including, but not limited to, services defined and prioritized by the basic services task force of the health care planning commission in its report issued in December of the year 1992; and minimum benefits and coverages for policies of insurance as set forth in and minimum benefits and coverages for policies of insurance as set forth in chapter thirty-three of this code and rules of the Insurance Commissioner promulgated thereunder. If the single state agency approves the adjustments to the fee schedule, it shall implement the provider fee schedule;

(2) Review its respective provider fee schedule on a quarterly basis and recommend to the single state agency any adjustments it considers necessary. If the single state agency approves any of the board’s recommendations, it shall immediately implement those adjustments;

(3) Assist and enhance communications between participating providers and the Department of Human Services;

(4) Meet and confer with representatives from each specialty area within its respective provider group so that equity in reimbursement increases or decreases may be achieved to the greatest extent possible and when appropriate to meet and confer with other provider boards; and

(5) Appoint a chairperson to preside over all official transactions of the board.

(b) Each board may carry out any other powers and duties as prescribed to it by the secretary.

(c) Nothing in this section gives any board the authority to interfere with the discretion and judgment given to the single state agency that administers the state’s Medicaid program. If the single state agency disapproves the recommendations or adjustments to the fee schedule, it is expressly authorized to make any modifications to fee schedules as are necessary to ensure that total financial requirements of the agency for the current fiscal year with respect to the state’s Medicaid plan are met and shall report such modifications to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance on a quarterly basis. The purpose of each board is to assist and enhance the role of the single state agency in carrying out its mandate by acting as a means of communication between the health care provider community and the agency.

(d) In addition to the duties specified in subsection (a) of this section, the ambulance service provider Medicaid board shall develop a method for regulating rates charged by ambulance services.