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Road to faster HMO care proves a rocky one

Sacramento Bee, March 11, 2008
Six years ago, the California Legislature passed a law requiring the state to adopt regulations to ensure HMO patients have timely access to needed medical services. But there are still no requirements that spell out how soon primary care doctors must schedule an appointment for an urgent healthcare matter or provide referrals to a specialist if necessary. The state Office of Administrative Law rejected draft regulations because the state Department of Managed Health Care did not provide enough time for public comment after the proposal was altered, and now regulators have four months to come up with the next proposal.