2SHB 1272 relates to increased reporting by hospitals on financial data, patient data, and community benefit reporting. WSHA has been negotiating bills relating to financial transparency for several years. Last session, WSHA successfully negotiated a similar bill (HB 2036) to a point where we were neutral. 2SHB 1272 adds additional data reporting and is poised to pass the House in the next few days. The bill contains several changes for financial, patient discharge, and community benefits reporting. WSHA remains concerned about the breadth of reporting contained in the bill. WSHA is also advocating for funding for rural hospitals to assist with the cost of EHR upgrades, should additional reporting become a requirement. Additionally, a safe harbor clause is needed for those hospitals with EHR systems that currently will not support needed upgrades to allow for reporting.
2SHB 1272 requires hospitals to further delineate the Department of Health year-end financial data in other direct expense and revenue categories; provide consolidated financial information for health systems operating in the state; request expanded patient demographic information from patients and submit the information to CHARS; report quarterly on charity care applications received and completed; and expanded reporting on community service activities for 501(c)3 hospitals for community benefit programs. WSHA has been advocating strongly on the bill and is pleased the requirement to collect intrusive patient income, occupation, and education data was removed, as was a requirement to report “critical staffing” information monthly. (Zosia Stanley, ZosiaS@wsha.org )