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WA state has new plan for ER limits; doctors critical

The News Tribune, February 8, 2012

Lawmakers last year called for reducing poor patients' use of emergency rooms to save Medicaid $72 million, but state officials' first try at a three-visit limit on "nonemergency" visits to the ER was criticized by doctors and hospitals and struck down by a judge over procedural flaws. The state now has a new plan with a stricter limit: Medicaid will cover zero ER visits if treatment in an emergency room is "not medically necessary" for a health condition.