Policy/Advocacy Agenda & Issue Briefs
We look forward to working with you to advance health care and hospital services in the 2013 state legislative session! We have an ambitious agenda to represent all the hospitals in Washington State. Our agenda is linked to our mission, vision, and strategic goals.
These documents provide more information about our policy/advocacy agenda for 2013:
The following Issue Briefs provide more in-depth analysis of key issues:
- Community Electronic Health Records: (Support HB 1636 and SB 5601) Allow hospital donation of electronic health records systems to independent physicians, and other practices permitted by the federal anti-kickback stature, in Washington State.
- Health Care in Rural Communities: Protect funding for Critical Access Hospitals to provide essential care for their communities.
- Hospital Outpatient Departments: Ensure that any legislation does not restrict billing and funding for hospital clinic services. Facility fees, negotiated with commercial insurers and provided by Medicaid and Medicare, help preserve access to needed services.
- Hospital Safety Net Assessment: Establish a hospital safety net assessment program that supports Washington hospitals through improvements in Medicaid payments, and ensure that hospitals receive more in net benefit than they pay in assessments.
- Medicaid Expansion: Extend Medicaid to cover 325,000 new Medicaid enrollees who are currently uninsured, and take advantage of federal funding.
- Mental Health: Support improvements to the mental health system to increase access to necessary care for people living with a mental illness.
- Nurse Staffing: (Oppose HB 1095, HB 1152, and HB 1153) Allow nurse staffing committees to set appropriate staff levels given the severity of their patients and experiences of their nurses. Oppose legislation that mandates nurse staffing ratios (also known as “patient assignment limits” or “minimum staffing standards”), which create a work environment unresponsive to patient needs and are not proven to improve safety.
- Patient Safety through Safe Critical Analysis: (Support HB 1436, SB 5550, and SB 5666) Reinforce the legislature’s intent to have effective quality improvement and peer review laws to ensure patients receive safe care from qualified practitioners.
- Payment Transparency: (Oppose SB 5537) Support a voluntary disclosure process that gives providers, insurers, employers, and patients access to information for informed health care decisions.
- Telehealth: (Support HB 1448) Assure payment for services provided using telehealth technology to support cost-effective access to specialty services.