"Timely Access" Laws

When my rheumatologist told me I would have to wait six months to see a neurologist (to check for MS), I cried. Then I called my insurance company, my husband's employers human resource department, and began calling other neurologists in town to see if anyone could get me in sooner. Then, I began searching on the Internet.

I found out that California law requires health plans to provide "timely access to care"! That means that my doctor has to find a neurologist who can see me within 15 days! I feel so empowered!

For anyone in California with an HMO:

California Department of Managed Health Care


For everyone else - check the laws in your home state. You may be pleasantly surprised!

I wish I lived in California! I totally understand , I've been waiting 4 months now for my first rheumatology appointment, it's so ridiculous that we have to wait that long to see a specialist. Good for you taking matters into your own hands!! Good luck with your appointment. ox

I live in Ca. too, but have never had a problem seeing a specialist especially when it is ordered by your pc doc.

Now I am on Medicare and a gap insurance and it is much easier to see anyone. However the Rx's are more costly!

Good luck! Don't let them get away with anything!

Wonder how this law is enforced when the national average to see a doctor is 5-6 weeks? 6 months is ridiculous I agree I live in a high percentage area for doctors- Baltimore Washington DC and it takes weeks and weeks to get a specialist appointment - it took almost 3 months to see my rheumy the first time when it was considered an emergency and several were tried - the story was the same at all the offices very frustrating and a major reason why emergency rooms are so heavily utilized Atleast you have your regular doctor to tide you over

Hey i live in california but I have medical and i have been waiting for 6 months to be seen by a back specialist for some fractures i developed?

This is great! Thanks for the info!!! I live in South Florida and I have to start all over w/ a new… Everything! But I am on a wait list for Johns Hopkins and that is in Baltimore- wonder how that works-

Thank you for this info!!!

Do you have an HMO? If so, you can legally require that a back specialist see you within 15 days. I would recommend calling around and finding a qualifying doctor yourself, then give the information to your PCP for referral. Make sure you mention "timely access law" :-)

delia quintanilla said:

Hey i live in california but I have medical and i have been waiting for 6 months to be seen by a back specialist for some fractures i developed?

Great news every one! After many phone calls and a lot of boat-rocking, I have an appointment with a neurologist this week - on Aug. 7!! I'll keep you all posted :-)