State senator’s healthcare law marks milestone

September 7, 2010

By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 6 a.m. Sept. 7, 2010

Issaquah-area state Sen. Cheryl Pflug, a registered nurse and a Republican, sponsored a bill during the 2010 regular legislative session to establish pilot projects meant to make healthcare more affordable.

Group Health Cooperative has been selected as the lead organization for the projects, the Washington State Health Care Authority announced last week.

The effort encourages public and private healthcare systems to coordinate patient care and pay for results rather than treatments.

The programs must be developed and implemented by January 2012. State funding is not available to Group Health, but the Seattle-based system can seek federal funds, grants and donations.

“I’m excited to see the selection of Group Health as the lead organization,” Pflug said in a statement. “This next step will build upon their recent success with enhancing the coordinating role of the primary care provider. I look forward to substantial progress toward an efficient health system that is far more satisfying for patients and providers.”

In 2004, Pflug, then a state representative, succeeded Dino Rossi in the state Senate; she has been subsequently re-elected.

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