MONTCLAIR, Calif.—Prime Healthcare Services, Ontario, Calif., has donated 100% of its ownership interest in 102-bed Montclair (Calif.) Hospital Medical Center to Prime Healthcare Services Foundation, Ontario, effective Dec. 31, 2010. The hospital is the second that Prime Healthcare Services has transferred to the foundation, after 151-bed Encino (Calif.) Hospital Medical Center was donated to the foundation in 2009, according to a news release. Both now operate as tax-exempt hospitals. The foundation is a tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) organization established in 2007, according to GuideStar.org, a website that tracks tax-exempt organizations. The foundation has its roots in a $1 million donation made in 1989 by Dr. Prem Reddy, chairman of Prime Healthcare Services and the foundation, according to the PHS and foundation websites.
Regional News/West: Prime transfers another hospital to foundation, and other news
SACRAMENTO, Calif.—As of Jan. 17, California was the first state in the nation requiring HMOs to make sure their members can see their doctor within reasonable time frames. The regulations, approved in 2010, specify the usual wait times for appointments. For instance, patients must be seen within 48 hours for an urgent-care appointment that doesn't require prior authorization, and non-urgent primary-care appointments must be scheduled within 10 days of the patient request. Health plans must make sure they have adequate provider networks to meet these requirements and must be able to respond to patient calls for appointments quickly, in most cases within 30 minutes. If timely appointments aren't possible in certain geographic areas, then the health plan must refer enrollees to available providers in neighboring service areas. The regulations “are not putting doctors on a stopwatch,” Cindy Ehnes, director of the California Department of Managed Health Care, which oversees HMOs, said in a news release. “The burden of complying with the access standards is on the health plan, not the doctor.” About 21 million Californians, or about 57% of the population, are enrolled in HMOs, according to the DMHC.
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