Medical Mutual - Health Plans for Life

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Provider Accessibility Standards

Provider accessibility represents an important element of healthcare quality. Please strive for compliance with these accessibility standards so that our members may have access to needed healthcare services in a timely manner. We recognize that you may not be able to accommodate these time frames when unpredictable circumstances and emergencies occur.

Medical Provider Accessibility Standards and Related Descriptions

Type of Service


Performance Goal


Sudden, life-threatening symptom(s) or condition requiring immediate medical treatment.
Example: Major trauma injuries; chest pain; severe abdominal pain; new onset shortness of breath.

Immediate appointment or patient is directed to nearest emergency room or call 911.


Onset of symptom(s) or health problem requiring prompt, but not immediate, medical attention.
Example: Minor trauma injuries; unrelieved fever; signs/symptoms of urinary tract infection; children with ear pain and fever.

Appointment available within 24 hours; or when appointment is not available refer to a network Urgent Care Center.


(new, non-urgent symptoms)

Non-urgent symptoms or follow-up problems involving symptoms.
Example: Headache; cold; cough; new patient visit; follow-up after hospital discharge or emergency room visit.

Appointment available within 7 days.


(ongoing, non-urgent symptoms)

Follow-up care for non-acute symptoms
Example: Visits for recurring/chronic problems.

Appointment available within 3 weeks.

Preventive Care

Routine, regularly scheduled health assessment.
Example: Well-child visits; routine physical or gynecological exam.

Appointment available within 6 weeks.

After Hours Care

Accessibility to healthcare provider outside of normal business hours.

24-hour, 7-day a week on-call coverage system where patients can speak with a healthcare provider.

Office Wait Time

Duration of time (when patient arrives on-time for appointment) between patient arrival and beginning of physician encounter.

Average wait time should not exceed 30 minutes for scheduled appointment.

Behavioral Health Accessibility Standards and Related Definitions

Type of Service


Performance Goal


Refers to a sudden or unexpected behavioral health condition that is life-threatening and requires immediate psychiatric treatment to prevent death or disability.
Example: Suicidal/homicidal ideation with a definitive plan.

If contact is made with the office of the provider, members are scheduled to be seen immediately or will be directed to the closest appropriate provider for emergency treatment.


Services provided for the onset of symptoms of behavioral health problems that require prompt attention but are not considered emergency care. Example: Suicidal/homicidal ideation without a definitive plan.

Members are scheduled to be seen within 6 hours of contacting the provider.


Services provided for the onset of symptoms of behavioral health problems that require prompt attention but are not considered emergency care.
Example: Symptoms severely affecting daily functioning in such a way that eventual detriment to the member or others will occur.

Members are scheduled to be seen within 48 hours of contacting the provider.


Services rendered during general office visits that are scheduled for any behavioral health concern which is of a non-emergency or non-urgent nature.
Example: Reactions to environmental life stressors that have affected the member's daily functioning or the ability to adapt to day to day situations.

Members are scheduled to be seen
within 10 days of contacting the provider.

Office Wait Time

Wait time for a member when (s)he arrives for an appointment on time.

Wait time for scheduled appointments normally does not exceed 30 minutes.

After Hours*

Accessibility outside of normal business hours.

A 24-hour, 7-day a week on-call system must be in a place for member emergencies after hours.

Follow-up After
Hospitalization for
Mental Illness

Outpatient follow-up care after discharge from a mental health hospitalization.

After discharge from a hospital stay, members are scheduled for the first follow-up visit within 7 days of discharge, and a second follow-up visit within 30 days of discharge.

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