Lawmakers have released their compromise 2018 state supplemental budget. The budget is positive for hospitals, with increased funding for behavioral health and no proposed reimbursement cuts. WSHA has analyzed the budget. See our chart for more detail.
Overall, revenue is up for the state, as the State Economic and Revenue Forecast Council estimated an increase of $647 million for the 2017-2019 biennium, and an increase of $671 million for the 2019-21 biennium. With this additional revenue, the 2018 budget funds the Supreme Court’s direction on the McCleary decision with a new investment of about $700 million for K-12 public schools. For health care, the budget makes some new investments in mental health, adds modest amounts for the opioid crisis, and backfills unrealized savings from the 2017 budget.
On mental health, the budget places a significant emphasis on increased funding to the state psychiatric hospitals: about $105 million state funds for state hospital improvements and about $40 million state funds ($73 million total funds) for community mental health. The state hospital investments include staff to meet Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ requirements and funding for forensic mental health patients where the state continues not to meet court-ordered mandates. While WSHA supports increased funding for mental health, we will continue to advocate for increased focus on community-based services.
Toward the beginning of session, we were also pleased to see the 2017-2019 capital budget enacted. It included about $65 million for behavioral health projects, including $10 million for competitive grants to hospitals and community providers to formally treat patients on 90/180-day commitments.
Webcast: Results from the 2018 Legislative Session
Join us for a lunchtime virtual chat about the 2018 legislative session.
Wednesday, March 14, 2018
Noon – 1:00 p.m.
Go to Training— Register now to get login (or call-in) information
Chris Bandoli and Chelene Whiteaker will give a review of this year’s legislative session and discuss success as well as continuing challenges. Rhonda Curry will lead member engagement in the webcast. We hope you can join us.
If you have any questions or need help registering, please contact Dana Pellegrini (firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-577-1852).