California’s Answer to Long Wait Times: Outlaw Them

The regulations by the California Department of Managed Health Care…will require that patients be treated by HMO doctors within 10 business days of requesting an appointment, and by specialists within 15.

Patients seeking urgent care that does not require prior authorization must be seen within 48 hours. Telephone calls to doctors’ offices will have to be returned within 30 minutes, and physicians or other health professionals will have to be available 24 hours a day.

Full report on California’s new limits on HMO wait times.

Comments (6)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Ken says:

    Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just outlaw all our health care problems?

  2. Larry C. says:

    Agree, Ken. This is silly.

  3. Brian W. says:

    Why don’t they just outlaw sickness and disease? Then we wouldn’t even need HMOs or doctors.

  4. artk says:

    What’s the problem about requiring the medical profession to meet performance goals? If you pick up your phone, you expect to hear a dial tone and that the call gets completed. The requirements for telephone (the old style ones) performance are set by the local public service commissions. Your credit card companies expect you to make payments on time. When you get into an automobile accident, your insurance company has pay for your repairs on time. That time is dictated by your state insurance commission. Why should doctors and HMOs get a free pass?

  5. James Lansberry says:

    The issue isn’t doctors getting a free pass, artk, it’s that the industry has been wormed into something that makes this impossible, plus the patients should be the ones insisting on the service–not the government.

    If we had patient centered health care instead of third party centered health care (or employer centered) these reforms would just happen. But alas, no one in power seems to want to do what’s necessary to see the patient at the center. Must be because patients don’t lobby for special treatment.

  6. Linda Gorman says:

    Probably will work about as well as California’s law on nurse staffing ratios.