Oregon Public Broadcasting

There's a new program aimed at helping Washington state Medicaid patients who struggle with chronic illness.

The Columbian newspaper reports that about 62,000 people across the state are eligible for the "health homes" program.

The idea is to have one place where a patient's physical health, behavioral health and substance abuse treatment can be managed.

The goal is to improve their care and health, and save money for the state.

Officials are hoping to see a reduction in the number of costly hospitalizations and emergency room visits.

The program is part of the federal Affordable Care Act.

The program just launched in Clark County and 13 other Washington counties and will roll out in the rest of the state later this year.

This story originally appeared on Oregon Public Broadcasting.

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