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New Rules Limit Wait Times to See A Doctor

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(Sacramento, CA)
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
The new limits are 10 business days to see a primary care doctor, 15 days for a specialist and less than 48 hours for most urgent medical care.
Anthony Wright is with the consumer advocacy group Health Access California. He says these changes will help patients and overwhelmed hospitals.
"If we can provide patients with more options in terms of telephone advice or with urgent care appointments within a day or two that will take a lot of stress off of our emergency rooms."
The state says it will monitor wait times through patient complaints…and make sure HMOs have enough staff to manage patient loads. But the California Medical Association says the new mandate could lead doctors to drop sicker, low-income Medi-Cal patients in favor of new HMO patients. HMOs must comply by 2011.
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