Stop Denying Payment of Emergency Services to Medicaid Patients

The Washington State Health Care Authority (HCA) plans to stop paying for all emergency department visits for Medicaid patients when HCA deems those visits "not medically necessary" in the ER.  The HCA is pointing the finger squarely at Medicaid patients and distorting the issue to deny care to people with real emergencies.
Please join us in asking the Washington State Legislature to enact a physician-developed plan to reduce emergency visits that will save millions of dollars and still protect patient safety and access to quality care.
Putting a faceless bureaucrat between a patient and physician to determine what is a true emergency is dangerous and sacrifices patient safety.  The proposed plan was developed by the Washington Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians (WA/ACEP), Washington State Medical Association (WSMA), and Washington State Hospital Association (WSHA).  
It would reduce emergency visits and save money by:
*  Reducing ED visits for narcotic-seeking behavior.
*  Increasing access to primary care and reducing ED visits by collaborative use of next-day or same-day visits to primary care.
*  Creating a "Generics First" initiative spearheaded by physicians to voluntarily develop a statewide drug formulary.
*  Instituting an extensive case management program to reduce ED utilization by frequent users.
*  Tracking emergency room visits to reduce ED shopping.
Sign our petition as a voice against bureaucrats getting between physicians and patients and a voice for our state's most vulnerable receiving the emergency care they need.
We the undersigned believe emergency services are critical to patients in need.  Emergency physicians must be allowed to provide appropriate medical care to all patients who come through their doors -- including Medicaid patients.
In April the Washington State Healthcare Authority (HCA) plans to stop paying for all emergency visits for Medicaid patients when HCA deems those visits "not medically necessary" in the ER.  The HCA is asking Medicaid patients to diagnose themselves to determine if their arm is broken or sprained, or if they are having a heart attack or indigestion.  This is unfair and unsafe.
I urge you to instead enact the physician-developed plan proposed by the Washington Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians (WA/ACEP), Washington State Medical Association (WSMA), and Washington State Hospital Association (WSHA).  This plan reduces emergency visits while protecting patient safety and access to care for Medicaid patients.
Thank you for taking the time to consider our request.
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