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ACEP Fights State Medicaid Cuts in WA

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, October 17, 2011

The group said that its solutions can achieve the same $72 million in annual savings that the Medicaid program hoped to achieve with the monthly visit caps and elimination of 700 symptoms it deems non-emergent, estimated as follows:

  • $28 million from reducing abusive ED visits for narcotic seeking behavior, achieved through integrated statewide case management and a visit tracking program.
  • $12 million for use of next day or same-day visits in a primary care setting and patient notification of non-urgent visits and implementation of medical screening exams, which would reduce unnecessary visits to the ED by 50%.
  • $20 million from the removal of brand name narcotic pain medications and psychiatric medications from the state's preferred provider list or Medicaid.
  • $12 million: Additional savings will be realized by removal of "cabulance" services for truly non-emergent conditions, improved access to care, and visit tracking programs to reduce ED shopping.

"The alternative plan proposed by Washington ACEP is based in reasonable savings that improves the quality of care and does not shift the cost of care to the poor inappropriately," the group said in its statement.


Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.
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1 comments on "ACEP Fights State Medicaid Cuts in WA"


Lou Ellen Horwitz (10/28/2011 at 11:42 AM)
The issues in Washington State are an excellent impetus for emergency departments and primary care physicians (of which there is an apparent shortage) and Medicaid to work with urgent care centers to help provide easy access to care for many of these patients. Lou Ellen Horwitz Executive Director Urgent Care Association of America