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Healthcare leaders in eastern Massachusetts have agreed to a 90-day collaborative initiative to address the expected surge in local emergency department visits this summer, according to NBC Boston. Plans call for directing more patients to urgent care facilities when appropriate. Last week, the state department of insurance issued a memo detailing plans for insurers and urgent care providers aimed at managing the “typically high” volume of emergency room visits from July 3 to October 1. Providers will only redirect patients who do not require emergency-level care. Local health insurers will cover visits at urgent care centers, even if the facility is out of network, where they will pay 135% of Medicare’s reimbursement rate.

Who’s who: Collaborators include health plans and urgent care providers represented by the Massachusetts Health and Hospital Association, Steward Health, Massachusetts Association of Health Plans, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and the Massachusetts Urgent Care Association.

Boston Health Leaders Agree to Direct Patients to Urgent Care This Summer