Program to limit emergency room over-use

  • Mon May 21st, 2012 9:30pm
  • News

Associated Press

SEATTLE — Hospitals across Washington will be taking part in a new program aimed at reducing the number of Medicare patients who repeatedly use emergency rooms for non-emergency visits.

The so-called “frequent flyers” run up a lot of bills and many of them have mental illness or substance abuse problems. As part of the program, hospitals will share information to identify patients who have visited another emergency room recently and received a prescription. Washington State Health Care Authority expects the program that starts in July will save $31 million in the budget year.