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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.

California’s ERs Treat Large Number of Opioid Cases Involving Seniors

Originally prescribed opioids for foot pain, 67-year-old veteran nurse George Ates eventually found himself on a fentanyl patch that would swiftly kill someone who hadn’t built up a high tolerance to opioids. On the surface, Ates appears to be another of the millions of Americans caught up in the nation’s epidemic of opioid drug use. While one may think of the phenomenon as on that has mostly swept up younger adults, Ates’ struggles are actually commonplace at California’s hospitals.

For Medi-Cal Patients Who Need Specialists or Mental Health Treatment, Where You Live Will Determine Your Access

 The California department that runs the state’s low-income health program released updated rules last week that spell out how far patients may need to travel to see a doctor. Medi-Cal managed-care health plans, which cover more than a quarter of Californians, will be required to have primary-care doctors within 10 miles or 30 minutes from patients’ homes. But when it comes to seeing specialists, mental

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