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Avoidable ER Visits Drop 1 Percent In Oregon

OPB | Aug. 19, 2013 1:21 p.m. | Updated: Jan. 3, 2014 2:20 p.m. | Portland

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Oregon’s health care overhaul appears to be reducing avoidable emergency room visits. That’s according to a study from the non-profit, Oregon Health Care Quality Corporation — known as Q-Corp.

The annual study found that the number of avoidable ER visits for Oregon adults dropped from 11 percent in 2011 to 10 percent last year.

Q-Corp executive director, Mylia Christensen warned the numbers only represent one year of data, but says they’re encouraging.

“We think that may be a signal that people are actually becoming more connected with primary care, that we’re sending signals to consumers about appropriate places to get care,” Christensen says.

Health experts say having patients get care at a doctor’s office instead of the ER saves the system money and is more likely to prevent problems.

The study found that Oregon’s screening rates for cervical cancer and Chlamydia are below the national average.

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