Access

In California’s Rural Communities, Primary Care Remains Hard to Find

As the complicated drama of federal health care reform continues, some patients in California face a far more basic problem: getting timely access to to a primary care doctor.

Outside of the Golden State’s major metropolitan areas such as the cities of San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego it is increasingly difficult for people to get access to general primary medical care.

Despite New Law, Doctor Directories Are Still Often Inaccurate

When Jackie called her assigned primary-care physician for the first time, she was told that her doctor was a specialist, not a primary care physician. She would need to see someone else, they informed her. Jackie then called her insurance company, and asked for help finding another doctor. Armed with a list from the insurance company, Jackie tried again, calling a doctor in the insurer’s directory. But, she recounted, “the receptionist said, ‘He’s not taking anybody and we’ve been trying to get off the list for three years.’”

Health Plans for Over 2 Million Californians Don’t Follow Consumer Protection Law

Every morning, Tracey Watts checked her body for blood. The recent PhD has a rare condition that causes her to have leaky blood vessels. She bled out of pinprick-size spots on her lower body and legs for eight months as she searched for a specialist who accepted her insurance. Watts is one of millions of Californians enrolled in health plans exempted from a law that requires insurers to provide patients with timely access to doctors.

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