Balance billing legislation places burden on hospitals 

HB 2114 (originally HB 1117) is aimed at protecting patients who use an in-network hospital or ambulatory surgery center, but then receive an additional "balance" bill from an out-of-network provider for care during their stay. SHA supports protections for patients in emergency situations in which they have no control over who provides their care. However, the bill as currently drafted creates significant administrative burden, cost and liability for hospitals.... Read More >>

Inside Olympia: Bills moving to the opposite house

Wednesday, March 8 was the cutoff for bills to be voted out of their house of origin and move to the opposite house for consideration. There are a number of important bills still alive that WSHA both supports and opposes, including bills related to nurse staffing requirements, duty to warn, balance billing and flexibility in physician contracts.... Read More >>

We need your help on duty to warn

The recent Washington State Supreme Court ruling in Volk v DeMeerleer abandoned the longtime standard for when a provider has a duty to warn potential victims and law enforcement of a dangerous patient's inclination to cause harm. The previous standard required a warning be made when there was an actual threat of physical violence against an identifiable victim or victims. ... Read More >>

Next steps in the budget process

Friday was the cutoff for the bills to be voted out of the House Appropriations and Senate Ways & Means committees. All the bills that are still alive now move to their full house of origin for consideration and possible amendment, and the deadline for bills to pass through their house of origin is Wednesday, March 8. In other words, in order to be alive after March 8, a bill that started in the House committees must pass a floor vote of the House and vice versa in the Senate. ... Read More >>

WSHA supported bills that have passed house of origin

HB 1337, the physician licensure compact bill, passed the House with a vote of 94 to 3. SB 5436 passed the Senate 49-0. The bill makes the definition of "home" more flexible in the state's telemedicine law. ... Read More >>

After cutoff: Bills still alive

It was an exciting week leading up to Friday’s cutoff for bills to be voted out of their original policy committee. To make it easy, we’ve listed all of the major bills we’ve been tracking. This is just a partial list; WSHA/AWPHD staff have reviewed more than 300 bills thus far.... Read More >>

Support more timely placements for hospital patients who need long term care

B 1854 would require the Medicaid managed care plans to assemble an adequate and appropriate network of covered SNFs. It would require the Washington State Health Care Authority to monitor and enforce timely and appropriate placement of patients in SNFs. It would also create an incentive to place patients at a SNF by creating new fees on the plan if it has not placed the patient in a reasonable amount of time.... Read More >>

Help patients get the care they want at the end of life

HB 1640 adds the option of allowing a notary to validate advance directives, and it allows witnesses to verify a patient's identity by looking at personal identification, such as a driver's license or passport. This gives patients more options to execute advance directives while maintaining important protections against fraud and abuse, helping to ensure patient care and wishes are aligned.... Read More >>

Ambulatory surgical facilities must protect patients

SB 5593 threatens patient safety by creating hospital-like facilities without any of the safety requirements the Washington State Legislature and other governmental and accrediting bodies have put in place for hospitals. The bill proposes to allow ambulatory surgical facilities to add “postsurgical care centers” to care for patients who require up to 72 hours of post-treatment care. There is an array of state or federal mandates for inpatients in community hospital settings to ensure the safety of any patient requiring care for a period of longer than 23 hours.... Read More >>

New reporting and oversight requirements threaten to stall community partnerships that maintain access to care

HB 1811 would create a significant burden for health care providers — not just for mergers and purchases, but for almost any kind of “material change,” including such things as contracted services. Despite the laws currently in place, this bill would institute a new process that would require complicated documentation and review.... Read More >>

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