DMHC Opens Final Public Comment Period on Rule To Ease HMO Wait Times
This week, the Department of Managed Health Care is expected to open its final public comment period on proposed regulations designed to ensure that HMO members have timely access to medical services, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports.
The public will have 15 days to submit comments about the proposed rules, according to DMHC spokesperson Lynne Randolph.
The proposed regulations would affect an estimated 20 million Californians enrolled in managed care health plans.
The rules would require HMOs to schedule nonurgent primary care appointments within 10 business days and nonurgent specialist appointments within 15 business days.
The regulations also would govern wait times for dentists who practice in managed care plans.
Some health care advocates say the proposed regulations will be difficult to enforce unless DMHC requires health plans to contract with more physicians.In addition, some insurance company representatives say health plans do not have the capacity to ensure sufficient physician and specialist access in certain areas of the state (Hines, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 9/19). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.