Miscarriage No Longer Considered “Emergency” For Medicaid Patients In Washington State

The Republican Party is gung ho on the idea of reducing Medicaid costs to save the rich from having to pay their fair share of taxes.  So what would Medicaid rationing look like under their plan?

Probably a lot like Washington State.  In an effort to curb the cost of hospital visits by Medicaid patients, the Health Care Authority (HCA) has made a list of conditions that no longer are deemed “emergency,” and have allowed patients only three “non-emergency” hospital visits a year before they stop covering their claims.

One “not an emergency?”  Miscarriage.  Apparently bleeding out when you are losing a pregnancy and not sure if the baby is out or not isn’t worth a visit to the E.R. anymore.

Maybe poor women can get lucky and plan their miscarriages weeks in advance so they can see their primary care physician instead.

Like this story? Your $10 tax-deductible contribution helps support our research, reporting, and analysis.

For more information or to schedule an interview with contact press@rhrealitycheck.org.

Follow Robin Marty on twitter: @robinmarty

  • crowepps

    I had a miscarriage and my doctor had me come to the hospital AT ONCE and did a suction evacuation as soon as he had evaluated me and decided the pregnancy was irreversibly lost.


    I cannot believe they seriously are deciding that miscarriage is something women are just supposed to suffer through on their own at home.  Have they got any idea at all how that’s going to bolster the hate mongers passing those revolting laws about ‘women who abort their own pregnancies are murderers unless they can PROVE it was a natural miscarriage?’

  • stacey-burns

    This is actually not as ridiculous as it sounds. 

    Not all miscarriages are emergencies; most miscarriages early in pregnancy can be treated by a trained practitioner, either with medication, by aspiration abortion in an office setting, or, yes, by waiting. If someone has a fever or is “bleeding out,” well, that is an emergency.  But rather than securing an expensive operating room in an ER with multiple staff, why not first go to a general clinic? If you think this sounds dangerous, check out the resources on miscarriage management from the Reproductive Health Access Project, which trains clinicians in early abortion methods.

    An added advantage to treating most miscarriage like the frequent occurrence that it is rather than as an emergency is that more clinicians, including midwives and nurse practitioners, would receive training in early abortion methods as a matter of course if that is the standard of care at the large county hospitals that treat high percentages of Medicaid patients.