Timely access to care for providers

Sharp Health Plan is obligated under California law to provide or arrange for timely access to care. Plan Provider shall provide appointments and telephone screening services to Sharp Health Plan’s Members according to the following guidelines.

Appointment wait times

Urgent appointmentsMaximum wait time after request
No prior authorization required48 hours
Prior authorization required96 hours
Non-urgent appointmentsMaximum wait time after request
Primary care physician (excludes preventive care appointments)
10 business days
Non-physician behavioral health care or substance use disorder providers (includes follow-up appointments)10 business days
(excludes routine follow-up appointments)
15 business days
Ancillary services
(e.g., x-rays, lab tests, etc. for the diagnosis and treatment of injury, illness, or other health conditions)
15 business days

Rescheduling appointments

If an appointment requires rescheduling, the appointment shall be promptly rescheduled in a manner that is appropriate for the member’s health care needs and continuity of care, consistent with good professional practice.

Extended wait times

Plan providers may extend the applicable wait time for an appointment if they have determined and noted in the member’s record that a longer wait time will not be detrimental to the member’s health.

Advance scheduling

Plan providers may schedule appointments in advance for preventive and periodic follow-up care services (e.g. standing referrals to specialists for chronic conditions, periodic visits to monitor and treat pregnancy, cardiac, or mental health conditions, and laboratory and radiological monitoring for recurrence of disease) consistent with professionally recognized standards of practice, and exceed the listed wait times.

Telephone wait times

ServiceMaximum wait time
Sharp Health Plan Customer Care
(Monday to Friday, 8 am to 6 pm)
10 minutes

After-Hours triage services

PCP, mental health providers and substance abuse disorder providers are required to have an answering service or a telephone answering machine during nonbusiness hours. These services must provide direction to a member on how to obtain urgent or emergency care and, if applicable, how to contact an on-call provider for screening or to receive urgent or emergency care as appropriate.

Interpreter services at scheduled appointments

Sharp Health Plan provides free interpreter services for members at scheduled appointments whose primary language is not English. Plan providers can request interpreters by calling Customer Care at 1-800-359-2002. Plan providers must make requests for face-to-face interpreting services at least five (5) business days prior to the appointment date. Coordination of interpreter services shall not impose delays on the scheduling of the appointment. In the event that an interpreter is unavailable for face-to-face interpreting, Customer Care can arrange for telephone interpreting services.

Concerns about timely referral to an appropriate provider

Plan providers or members can contact Customer Care at 1-800-359-2002 for assistance if a member is unable to obtain a timely referral to an appropriate provider. Plan providers or members can also contact the California Department of Managed Health Care at 1-888-466-2219 to file a complaint.

If you have any questions, please contact our Provider Relations Team at provider.relations@sharp.com or 1-858-499-8330. We are available to assist you Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm.