Inside Olympia: Tax bill concerns and policy bill progress report

April 3, 2017

Budget bills

The House and Senate have now passed their respective budgets. WSHA supports the spending plans of both the House and Senate, both of which put important resources into health care, most prominently making improvements to the behavioral health system.

To compare the budgets, see our comparison chart here.

However, the House’s tax bill includes an increase to the business and occupation (B&O) tax that would affect hospitals in Washington State. WSHA is very concerned about the impacts of the B&O tax increase, and we’re working to analyze the impacts on hospitals. The bill has been referred to the Finance Committee and will have a hearing on it today.

Policy bills

We are now past the cutoff for policy bills to pass a committee in the opposite chamber, so it is a good opportunity to assess the progress of our key bills. Click here to see the full cutoff calendar.

Living bills

These bills are still alive and moving through the house opposite their house of origin.
Bill Number Description WSHA
HB 1337 Establishing an interstate physician licensure compact Support
HB 1338 Washington state health insurance pool Support
HB 1359 Notice of charity care in hospital billing statements Neutral as amended
HB 1477 Concerning disclosure of health-related information with persons with a close relationship with a patient Support as amended
HB 1520 Alternative payment methodology for WRHAP pilot Support
HB 1547 Certificate of need exemption for psychiatric beds Support – needs amendment in current form
HB 1641 Informed consent for homeless youth Support
HB 1713 Children’s mental health improvements Support
HB 1714 Nurse staffing committees Neutral
HB 1766 and SB 5815 Hospital Safety Net Assessment Support
HB 1967 Noncompetition agreements Neutral
HB 2114 Charges for out of network health services Oppose in current form
SB 5248 Access to prescription monitoring program data Support
SB 5435 Allowing mental health information to be used by care coordinators Support
SB 5436 Expanding where patients can receive services delivered through telemedicine Support
SB 5514 Health network data reports Neutral

Dead (for now) bills

Bills that did not pass cutoff and are unlikely to move forward in their current form. However, we continuously scrutinize bills that are still moving to ensure that they are not amended with language we oppose.
Bill Number Description WSHA
HB 1640 Allowing notaries and proof of identity for advance directives Support
HB 1854 Concerning transition of Medicaid enrollees to skilled nursing facility care Support
SB 5186 Concerning collection of blood for forensic testing Support
SB 5456 Concerning unpaid accounts Support
SB 5800 Concerning a provider’s duty to warn Support


Contact Us

Washington State Hospital Association
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Suite 1400
Seattle, WA 98104

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206.283.6122 fax

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