Emergency physicians have filed suit in Superior Court of Washington for Thurston County against a state plan that would limit payment for Medicaid visits to three “non-emergency” visits to emergency departments each year and classify more than 700 diagnoses as “non-emergent,” including chest pain, abdominal pain, miscarriage and breathing problems.

“This list of non-emergent diagnoses puts patients in danger and unfairly targets the poor and those in most need of care,” said Dr. Stephen Anderson, president of the Washington Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians. “We understand that our state Medicaid office is working with 19 other states to develop this policy. If this plan goes into effect, other states will certainly follow suit.”
The Washington Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians said the state has not implemented a rulemaking process that included stakeholder comments – yet the plan is being forced on hospitals and providers with no warning.

Washington ACEP represents more than 650 emergency medicine physicians.