Medicaid http://www.kplu.org en Wash. Health Exchange Reports Strong Enrollment Numbers Despite Early Glitches http://www.kplu.org/post/wash-health-exchange-reports-strong-enrollment-numbers-despite-early-glitches <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/146178747&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>After a rocky start, Washington’s health benefits exchange is taking a victory lap. Officials say the exchange got the late surge in enrollments it was counting on, pushing up its final numbers.</p><p>The first open enrollment period of Obamacare ended in March, and now that the exchange has processed most of the stragglers, it has released new numbers: 164,062 people enrolled in private plans, with another 423,205 enrolling in Medicaid through March 31. Factor in those now required to use the exchange’s website to re-up their Medicaid, and the number exceeds a cool million.</p><p> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 00:45:32 +0000 Gabriel Spitzer 16237 at http://www.kplu.org Wash. Health Exchange Reports Strong Enrollment Numbers Despite Early Glitches Audit: State Overpaying Medicaid Providers http://www.kplu.org/post/audit-state-overpaying-medicaid-providers <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/144727516&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>Washington state has been overpaying for health care under the Medicaid program, according to state auditors.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The audit found the state spent about $17 million more than it should have on free health care for the poor in 2010. The amount is a tiny, tiny part of the billion-dollar Medicaid budget. But the auditor found the overpayments could feed a vicious cycle, increasing each year.</span></p><p> Mon, 14 Apr 2014 23:29:09 +0000 Gabriel Spitzer 16022 at http://www.kplu.org New Emergency Room Guidelines Help Washington Save Millions, Cut ER Visits http://www.kplu.org/post/new-emergency-room-guidelines-help-washington-save-millions-cut-er-visits <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/140482433&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Washington’s Medicaid program saved more than $33 million last year, and a new report gives much of the credit to a </span><a href="http://www.wsha.org/ERemergencies.cfm" style="line-height: 1.5;" target="_blank">big push to reduce emergency room visits</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">.</span></p><p>ERs are a great place to treat real emergencies, but a very expensive place to do run-of-the-mill medical care. So the Health Care Authority, the agency that runs Medicaid, partnered with the Washington State Hospital Association, the Washington State Medical Association and others to adopt seven best practices aimed at ensuring ERs are used for their intended purpose.</p><p> Thu, 20 Mar 2014 12:01:00 +0000 Gabriel Spitzer 15059 at http://www.kplu.org New Emergency Room Guidelines Help Washington Save Millions, Cut ER Visits Glitches Put Tens of Thousands In Danger Of Losing Medicaid http://www.kplu.org/post/glitches-put-tens-thousands-danger-losing-medicaid <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Glitches that kept tens of thousands of Medicaid recipients from re-enrolling this fall continued to trip people up in December, though the state agency that runs Medicaid said the problems are being fixed.</span></p> Tue, 14 Jan 2014 23:38:11 +0000 Gabriel Spitzer 12577 at http://www.kplu.org Glitches Put Tens of Thousands In Danger Of Losing Medicaid Strong Enrollment for Wash. Health Exchange, Medicaid Plan http://www.kplu.org/post/strong-enrollment-wash-health-exchange-medicaid-plan <p>On the day President Barack Obama acknowledged major flaws in the rollout of health insurance marketplaces, Washington’s exchange reported strong enrollment. Washington Healthplanfinder announced some 35,000 people have enrolled in a plan through the website, and another 56,000 are working their way through the process.</p><p>Michael Marchand, a spokesman for the exchange, said Washington’s site was designed to get the basics right.</p> Tue, 22 Oct 2013 00:24:22 +0000 Gabriel Spitzer 10587 at http://www.kplu.org Strong Enrollment for Wash. Health Exchange, Medicaid Plan Why is it hard to give away free health insurance? http://www.kplu.org/post/why-it-hard-give-away-free-health-insurance <p></p><p>You might imagine everyone without health insurance will gladly sign up for free or subsidized coverage once it’s available this fall, under the Affordable Care Act.</p><p>However, it hasn't worked out that way for children. A high-profile effort to cover all the uninsured kids in Washington has stalled. Mon, 08 Apr 2013 20:34:34 +0000 Keith Seinfeld 8350 at http://www.kplu.org Why is it hard to give away free health insurance? Been to the Emergency Room a Lot? Let’s Talk http://www.kplu.org/post/been-emergency-room-lot-let-s-talk <p></p><p>If you’ve been to an emergency room in Washington in recent months, you're probably in a new database.</p><p>The goal is to<a href="http://www.wsha.org/ERemergencies.cfm"> treat more injuries and illnesses outside the emergency department</a>, in a simpler setting, which should save money, curb drug abuse and also benefit patients.</p> Fri, 25 Jan 2013 17:55:32 +0000 Keith Seinfeld 7633 at http://www.kplu.org Been to the Emergency Room a Lot? Let’s Talk State limits non-emergency ER visits by Medicaid recipients http://www.kplu.org/post/state-limits-non-emergency-er-visits-medicaid-recipients <p>The state of Washington is limiting Medicaid recipients to three non-emergency Emergency Room visits per year, beginning October 1st.</p><p>Visits over the limit won&#39;t be covered by Medicaid, and hospitals will be allowed to bill patients for those services.</p><p> Thu, 22 Sep 2011 21:55:24 +0000 Dave Meyer 2707 at http://www.kplu.org State limits non-emergency ER visits by Medicaid recipients Program gives doctors access to records wherever they are http://www.kplu.org/post/program-gives-doctors-access-records-wherever-they-are <p>If you&rsquo;ve ever been to a hospital or doctor who can&rsquo;t seem to get your medical records, be thankful for a new web-service launching this month. It allows doctors, hospitals and health insurers to quickly send medical records to each other, even if they&#39;re not in the same network.</p><p> Mon, 18 Jul 2011 20:40:13 +0000 Keith Seinfeld 2101 at http://www.kplu.org Program gives doctors access to records wherever they are Washington praised for how it cares for the poor and sick http://www.kplu.org/post/washington-praised-how-it-cares-poor-and-sick <p><a href="http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/kplu/local-kplu-976645.mp3">http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/kplu/local-kplu-976645.mp3</a></p><p>When it comes to caring for its poorest and sickest people, Washington state appears to be doing better than the rest of the country. At least, that&rsquo;s the view from a <a href="http://healthaffairs.org/blog/2011/07/07/medicaid-spending-variations-driven-more-by-volume-than-price-says-study-in-new-health-affairs/">new study that looks at Medicaid spending</a>.</p><p>Public spending on health-care is a hot political topic these days, as states and the federal government try to balance their budgets. Researchers were wondering: How do the 50 states compare in their spending on Medicaid, which covers low-income people? Do some states spend more because they pay doctors higher fees?</p><p> Fri, 08 Jul 2011 01:01:59 +0000 Keith Seinfeld 2036 at http://www.kplu.org Washington praised for how it cares for the poor and sick Health clinics expanding, but also cutting services http://www.kplu.org/post/health-clinics-expanding-also-cutting-services <p>http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/kplu/local-kplu-966069.mp3</p><p>Health clinics that cater to low-income people have been expanding.</p> Mon, 18 Apr 2011 05:26:23 +0000 Keith Seinfeld 1222 at http://www.kplu.org Health clinics expanding, but also cutting services