Tuesday, January 4, 2011

State has new guidelines for medical appointments

My good friend and colleague Jacques Chambers of HelpWithBenefits.com passed this on to me. It affects anyone who is covered by an HMO in the State of California.

By Anita Creamer
Published: Friday, Dec. 31, 2010 - 2:12 pm

California's Department of Managed Health Care, which oversees the state's health plans, has announced a new set of time frames that will govern how quickly appointments are scheduled for health plan members. The new standards, which go into effect Jan. 17, were mandated by legislation signed in early 2010.
A 2009 DMHC study found that new HMO patients wait an average of 59 days when they call to make an appointment with their general practice physician.
The new regulations specify a range of shortened waiting times, including 48 hours for an urgent care appointment that doesn't require prior authorization and 10 business days for a non-urgent primary care appointment.
To contact DMHC's Help Center, please go to www.healthhelp.ca.gov or call 1-888-466-2219.

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