According to a new report, California will become the first state to enforce timely access rules on health maintenance organizations (HMOs) and other healthcare providers when treating patients with personal injury.

If the plan is accepted, new rules will dictate the maximum time a patient must wait to see a doctor depending on the patient’s personal injury condition and the doctor’s specialty.  The California Department of Managed Health Care would be imposing the time frames.

Our firm’s San Diego personal injury attorneys are pleased to hear that new guidelines will help get injured persons obtain medical treatment in a timely and convenient manner.  Sometimes, people with personal injury have to be seen by a doctor quicker depending on the severity of their personal injury.

For example, if you are in a car accident and have neck pain as a result, would you not want to see a physician quickly in case you have a condition like whiplash?  What if the car crash caused spinal cord damage?  Not getting treated quickly can lead to paralysis (i.e. paraplegia or quadriplegia).

The new rules will require primary care physicians to see personal injury patients within 10 days for non-urgent problems.  Specialists will be required to see personal injury patients within 15 days of a request, and personal injury patients needing urgent care will be seen within two days.  These new regulation are set to be released by the end of May.

Merritt Hawkins & Associations, a national physician search and consulting firm and an AMN Healthcare company, recently conducted their 2009 Physician Appointment Wait Time Survey.  The survey of over 1,100 medical offices traced the average time needed to schedule a doctor appointment in 15 large metropolitan areas.

Of the five areas of practice in the survey: cardiology, dermatology, gynecology, orthopedic surgery and family practice, Boston had the longest average wait times.  In California, Los Angeles was ranked third and San Diego was ranked sixth.  The complete list of rankings can be found on the Merritt Hawkins website.

Our personal injury attorneys in San Diego are encouraged by the new rules that will be imposed on physicians so people with personal injuries can be treated quickly and effectively so they can begin treatments.  One of our responsibilities to our clients is making sure they are care for in case personal injury from events like car accidents takes place.

Please feel free to call us now at 1-858-551-2090 or click here for a FREE CONSULTATION with an experienced personal injury attorney. We have a large bilingual staff that can assist you in either English or Spanish.