OHCA Policies and Rules
317:30-5-77.4. Step therapy exception process
(1) "Exigent circumstances" means circumstances in which a delay in receiving a prescription drug will jeopardize the member's life or health or ability to attain, maintain, or regain maximum function.
(2) "Step therapy" or "step therapy protocol" means a protocol or program that establishes a specific sequence in which prescription drugs for a specified medical condition that are medically appropriate for a particular patient are covered by Medicaid. Step therapy protocols are based upon the recommendation of the Drug Utilization Review (DUR) Board, as approved by the Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA) Board.
(3) A "step therapy exception" means the process by which a step therapy protocol is overridden in favor of immediate coverage of a SoonerCare provider's selected prescription drug.
(b) Process. The step therapy exception process shall be initiated by a SoonerCare provider on behalf of a SoonerCare member. An exception can be requested following a denial of a prior authorization request for the specified prescription drug(s), or can be requested at the outset. In either case, the provider shall:
(1) Submit the exception request using the step therapy exception request form, which is available on the OHCA website and/or provider portal; and
(2) Submit with the step therapy exception request form, documentation or other information adequate to support the medical necessity for overriding the otherwise-applicable step therapy protocol for the particular prescription drug.
(3) A properly-supported step therapy exception request will be granted if it demonstrates that any of the following circumstances exists:
(A) The required prescription drug is contraindicated or will likely cause an adverse reaction or physical or mental harm to the patient;
(B) The required prescription drug is expected to be ineffective based on the known clinical characteristics of the patient and the known characteristics of the prescription drug;
(C) The patient has tried the required prescription drug while under the patient's current or a previous health insurance plan and such prescription drug was discontinued due to lack of efficacy or effectiveness, diminished effect, or an adverse event;
(D) The required prescription drug is not in the best interest of the patient, based on medical necessity; or
(E) The patient is stable on a prescription drug selected by the patient's healthcare provider for the medical condition under consideration while on the patient's current or a previous health insurance plan.
(4) The OHCA or its contractor or designee may request additional information that is reasonably necessary to determine whether a step therapy exception request should be granted, as provided by Oklahoma law.
(1) The OHCA or its contractor or designee shall respond to any step therapy exception request within seventy-two (72) hours of the submission of a completed and properly-supported request. For exigent circumstances, the OHCA shall respond to the exception request within twenty-four (24) hours of receipt. Provided, however, that if the timeframe for response ends on a weekend, or on any other day the OHCA is closed or closes early, including, but not limited to, legal holidays as defined by 25 O.S. ' 82.1, the timeframe for response shall run until the close of the next full business day. Any exception request not responded to within this timeframe shall be deemed granted.
(2) The OHCA shall respond to a request for a step therapy exception by:
(A) Notifying the provider that the request is approved;
(B) Notifying the provider that the request is not approved based on medical necessity;
(C) Notifying the provider that the medical necessity of the requested exception cannot be approved or denied as a result of missing or incomplete documentation or information necessary to approve or disapprove the request;
(D) Notifying the provider that the member is no longer eligible for coverage; or
(E) Notifying the provider that the step therapy exemption request cannot be processed because it was not properly submitted using the required form.
(3) The rejection of a step therapy exception request based upon missing or incomplete documentation or other information, or because it was not properly submitted using the required form is not a denial, and shall not be subject to further appeal. It must, instead, be resubmitted as a new request for exception pursuant to this rule before it will be considered for approval.
(d) Appeal. If a step therapy exception request is denied, an appeal may be initiated by the member within thirty (30) days of the denial pursuant to Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 317:2-1-18.
Disclaimer. The OHCA rules found on this Web site are unofficial. The official rules are published by the Oklahoma Secretary of State Office of Administrative Rules as Title 317 of the Oklahoma Administrative Code. To order an official copy of these rules, contact the Office of Administrative Rules at (405) 521-4911.