This Inside Olympia covers bills that are alive after important cutoff dates

February 9, 2022

Thursday, Feb. 3, marked the cutoff for bills to pass out of their policy committees of origin, while Monday, Feb. 7, marked the cutoff for bills to advance from fiscal committees (the House Appropriations Committee and the Senate Ways & Means Committee). This Inside Olympia covers bills that are alive after these important cutoff dates. The next cutoff is Feb. 15, when bills must pass their original house of origin to still be alive in the process.

2SHB 1868: Improving worker safety and patient care in health care facilities by addressing staffing needs, overtime, meal and rest breaks, and enforcement

2SHB 1868, which imposes rigid staffing requirements, has passed the House Appropriations Committee now advances to the House floor for a vote. WSHA strongly opposes the bill and is continuing to work on amendments to make the bill less harmful. Read more from the Jan. 18 Inside Olympia. (Ashlen Strong)

SHB 1852: Concerning language requirements for prescription drug labels

WSHA is pleased that SHB 1852 was redesigned, as it passed through the House Health Care & Wellness Committee. SHB 1852 now requires the Pharmacy Quality Assurance Commission (PQAC) to adopt rules by July 1, 2024, that require pharmacies to translate prescription drug labels and prescription information for outpatient prescriptions intended for home use. Prepackaged and opioid reversal medications are specifically exempt from the requirements. If SHB 1852 passes, pharmacies will need to provide translated prescription label information, which will likely require changes to hospitals’ existing pharmacy software and printers so translated labels can be affixed to prescription containers intended for home use. SHB 1852 requires PQAC to determine specific details for the translation mandate through the rulemaking process. Details to be specified in rule include up to 15 languages requiring translations; the elements of prescription drug labels and auxiliary warnings that must be translated; and the process for procuring or providing translations.

SHB 1852’s original design created operational challenges for all pharmacies and did not provide sufficient time for implementation. This led WSHA and the Washington State Pharmacy Association to suggest amendment language that resulted in the redesigned substitute bill. WSHA successfully narrowed the bill’s applicability to outpatient prescriptions for home use and exempted prepackaged and opioid reversal medications from the translation requirements. We are continuing to work on liability protections and a delayed compliance timeline. (David Streeter)

SHB 1779: Requiring policies addressing surgical smoke

WSHA was able to work with Rep. Callan to amend SHB 1779, which requires hospitals to develop and implement policies and systems to remove surgical smoke from planned surgical procedures beginning Jan. 1, 2024. WSHA’s amendments limits the bill’s impact and gives hospitals some discretion with implementation. Another amendment extends the implementation date for critical access hospitals and sole community hospitals to Jan. 1, 2025. Finally, WSHA secured commitments from Rep. Callan to pursue an appropriation next year to help hospitals implement the bill, and to give them more flexibility in purchasing smoke evacuation equipment. SHB 1779 passed the House Committee on Labor & Workplace Standards and has been referred to House Rules Committee. (Ed Phippen)

High-priority bills still alive after cutoff

Bills WSHA Supports

SHB 1616 Concerning the charity care act.
SHB 1621 Creating programs to encourage sexual assault nurse examiner training.
SHB 1735 Modifying the standard for use of force by peace officers.
HB 1739 Modernizing hospital policies related to pathogens of epidemiological concern.
HB 1761 Allowing nurses to dispense opioid overdose reversal medication in the emergency department.
SHB 1821 Concerning the definition of established relationship for purposes of audio-only telemedicine.
2SHB 1890 Concerning the children and youth behavioral health work group.
2SSB 5736 Concerning partial hospitalizations and intensive outpatient treatment services for minors.

Bills on which WSHA is neutral

2SHB 1688 Protecting consumers from charges for out-of-network health care services, by aligning state law and the federal no surprises act and addressing coverage of treatment for emergency conditions.
SHB 1708 Concerning facility fees for audio-only telemedicine.
SHB 1852 Concerning language requirements for prescription drug labels.
E2SSB 5155 Concerning prejudgment interest.
SSB 5821 Evaluating the state’s cardiac and stroke emergency response system.
SSB 5883 Concerning an unaccompanied homeless youth’s ability to provide informed consent for that minor patient’s own health care, including nonemergency, outpatient, and primary care services, including physical examinations, vision examinations and eyeglasses, dental examinations, hearing examinations and hearing aids, immunizations, treatments for illnesses and conditions, and routine follow-up care customarily provided by a health care provider in an outpatient setting, excluding elective surgeries.

Bills WSHA opposes

SHB 1741 Addressing affordability through health care provider contracting.
2SHB 1868 Improving worker safety and patient care in health care facilities by addressing staffing needs, overtime, meal and rest breaks, and enforcement.


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