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Washington State Limits Emergency Room Visits For Medicaid Recipients

Emergency Department (ED) costs are a significant source of our country’s skyrocketing healthcare costs.  The ED is often treated as a clinic by uninsured and insured alike, who either do not want to or cannot visit a primary care provider or who do not have one.  ED care is expensive and is not at all set up to treat chronic conditions or provide routine care.  It is a less than ideal environment for routine care or care for non urgent issues that could wait until office hours at a primary care provider.  There are long waits and all the infectious disease risk of hospitals.  There is also little or no mechanism for following up with patients to insure compliance with treatment or to gauge effectiveness of treatment. Continue reading

Healthcare Workers Using All The Healthcare

A recent study by Thomas Reuters Healthcare that analyzed healthcare utilization of healthcare workers compared to non healthcare workers found that hospital employees spent 10% more on healthcare services than the general population, consumed more healthcare services and were generally sicker.  Interestingly enough, this finding was only amplified when dependents of healthcare workers were taken into account. Continue reading