Open Enrollment: Seven insurers offering plans for 2018

Open enrollment for 2019 coverage will run from November 1, 2018 to December 15, 2018.

Source: https://www.healthinsurance.org/washington-state-health-insurance-exchange/

All counties will have 2019 exchange coverage, but 14 (up from 9 this year) will have only one insurer; average proposed rate increase is more than 19 percent

Washington marketplace highlights and updates

Source: https://www.healthinsurance.org/washington-state-health-insurance-exchange/
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Rare polio like disease cases growing in WA – Seattle Times

What is causing AFM? This is bizarre disease is increasing in the number of cases, and apparently is happening in Washington State.

Hayden Werdal was born “perfectly healthy.” He caught a nasty cold at age 14, and now, four years later, he’s considered a paraplegic and needs a ventilator. Werdal, of Bremerton, has a rare and mysterious illness that’s left Washington families reeling. AFM is spiking, with 127 confirmed or reported cases nationwide this year, including eight in Washington. – Seattle Times

Just today, another case in Yakima:

http://newstalkkit.com/possible-acute-flaccid-myelitis-case-in-yakima-county/

While this is emerging, Trump has cut the budget at the Center for Disease Control. According to Politifact:

Among other changes, Trump’s budget would cut $138 million from the program dedicated to chronic disease prevention and health promotion, cut $59.9 million from programs studying “emerging and zoonotic infectious diseases,” and $46 million from a program called “Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health.” A zoonotic disease is a disease that can be transmitted from animals to people.

Remember this as you decide who to vote for. A vote for Republicans is a vote to continue cutting the one agency that might help find a cause for this emerging illness.

GOP state lawmakers unveil plans to improve Washington’s troubled mental health system.-Seattle Times

This profoundly broken system need massive overhaul. At least the Republicans recognize the issue and have reasonable proposals to come to a bipartisan table to address. Now if Inslee can find the money needed to get this done.

GOP state lawmakers unveil plans to improve Washington’s troubled mental-health system

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/gop-state-lawmakers-unveil-plans-to-improve-washingtons-troubled-mental-health-system/

6500 rape kits untested statewide, awaiting federal funds.-Seattle Times

It is outrageous that the Federal Government has not delivered the monies needed and promised by law to do this. While we spend billions on military gear without batting an eye, women who have been raped in our state (and elsewhere) await justice. Please let Derek Kilmer, Patty Murray Maria Cantwell and others know this needs to get done.

Nearly 6,500 rape kits sit untested statewide, Washington attorney general says

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/crime/washington-attorney-general-identifies-nearly-6500-untested-rape-kits-statewide/

Washington launches online tool that lets patients compare prices for medical procedures

Interested in knowing a bit about how to much you might pay for a procedure?  Check out the emergency room prices both from Jefferson Healthcare and surrounding areas. Finally we are seeing the curtain being pulled back on our hospital pricing, which many of us have known is overpriced for many standard procedures.  Our elected hospital commissioners, have claimed  that this kind of comparison was not possible to do. The Governor has had it done.

https://www.wahealthcarecompare.com/procedure/emergency-room-visit?zipcode=98368

If you or a loved one needed knee replacement surgery, would you want to know which surgeon in your community has the highest rating for quality of care? Would you like to know how much a knee replacement costs, on average, at all of the medical offices close to your home?

Those are the types of information easily accessed through Washington state’s new HealthCareCompare website, an online tool that launched today. The user-friendly website is part of the state’s larger effort to make health care costs more transparent, and gives the public access to health care price and quality information from the Washington All-Payer Claims Database. The database is the result of legislation proposed by the governor.

https://www.governor.wa.gov/news-media/washington-launches-online-tool-lets-patients-compare-prices-medical-procedures

 

One-of-a kind collaboration expected to train health care workers on Peninsula – PDN

This is a great idea to try and work to train and bring on qualified local people quickly.  Thanks to the Littlejohns and the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe for also helping to fund the initiative. Jefferson Healthcare has tried with little success to find medical professionals willing to relocate here for the long term. I personally have seen them pass over qualified local candidates in favor of people from elsewhere, only to see them leave after a few years of work here. Now this program presents the opportunity to grow candidates on the peninsula, which is far more likely to having them stay for the long haul. A good use of our tax dollars, I’d say.

PORT ANGELES — Peninsula College is teaming up with health care providers from Clallam and Jefferson counties in a wide-ranging $1 million effort funded by state lawmakers, the college foundation, local hospitals and others. The goal: Add registered nurses, medical assistants and certified nursing assistants to a rural medical industry workforce on the North Olympic Peninsula that is typically starving for job applicants.

http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/news/one-of-a-kind-collaboration-expected-to-train-health-care-workers-on-peninsula/