John Kennedy, Louisiana State Treasurer, recently wrote in one of the state’s journal, “A few years ago, Washington State started looking at utilization of the emergency room by Medicaid patients as the program’s costs soared amid the economic recession. Some patients were going to the emergency room more than 100 times a year. Washington State found that 85 percent of the frequent visitors had serious mental health problems and 48 percent had substance abuse issues.
“The state’s political leadership asked the state’s hospitals and doctors to sit down and come up with some solutions. Legislation produced reforms that actually are working and saving the state millions of dollars.”