(1) The purpose of these rules concerning managed care is to provide a process to certify managed care organizations (MCO) in a manner consistent with the purposes and provisions of the Workers' Compensation Act. MCOs are to serve the medical needs of injured workers in an efficient and cost-effective manner.
(2) A MCO may be formed by a single health care provider, a hospital, a consortium of medical service providers, or other groups or entities that provide the services required by these rules. In order to expand the areas served by a MCO, the use of satellite office locations providing medical services to injured workers is encouraged.
(3) Although these rules do not regulate preferred provider organizations (PPOs) , insurers are encouraged to use PPOs in addition to or in conjunction with the use of MCOs.
(4) The certification procedure contained in these rules consists of a two step process of a preliminary application and a final application. The department anticipates that preliminary applications may have to be revised or modified, and emphasizes that applicants are engaged in a process of certification. Certification of a MCO by the department, however, does not obligate insurers to contract with any MCO.