January 20, 2010 6:48 AM

California rule gives HMO patients timely health care access

The wait may soon be over for California's 21 million HMO members, whose doctors must comply with first-in-the-nation rules prescribing how quickly they must see patients — and even how long they can leave them holding on the phone. The state's so-called timely access rules went into effect over the weekend after an eight-year delay during which doctors, health plans and consumer groups quibbled over details.

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