Jailing a hospital administrator for treating the sickest

Newly-appointed Western State Hospital CEO Cheryl Strange is facing possible jail time for refusing to comply with a court order to admit a particular patient currently being served through single bed certification at a WSHA member hospital. Strange said she wouldn’t override the hospital’s waiting list, where other patients who are sicker have priority.... Read More >>

WSHA submits comment letter to OIC regarding prior authorization rule changes

WSHA recently sent the Office of the Insurance Commissioner (OIC) a comment letter and recommendations in response to the OIC’s request for comments related to health plan prior authorizations, which are used to determine if medical procedures, services or medications will be covered by health insurance. The OIC is considering rulemaking to streamline the prior authorization process and make it easier for consumers and providers to get prior authorizations.... Read More >>

Hospital clinical experts needed to fill vacancies on the Health Technology Clinical Committee

The Washington Health Care Authority is seeking to fill three vacancies on the Health Technology Clinical Committee. Qualified health professionals who use health technology in their scope of practice and who have experience with evidence-based medicine are encouraged to apply. The application process has been extended. Applications will now be accepted until 5pm on June 24. Click here for more information on the application process.... Read More >>

WSHA Submits Comment Letter to Insurance Commissioner Regarding Prior Authorization Rule Changes

WSHA recently sent the Office of the Insurance Commissioner (OIC) a comment letter and recommendations in response to the OIC’s request for comments related to health plan prior authorizations. The OIC is considering rulemaking to streamline the prior authorization process and make it easier for consumers and providers to get prior authorizations.... Read More >>

Capital funding for mental health beds available

Over the last several years, WSHA has lobbied the state legislature to make significant investments in mental health. This work has resulted in tens of millions of dollars in capital funding for mental health beds. Using this funding, a number of new mental health beds have already opened, and many more are in development. The Washington State Department of Commerce just released the application for a second pool of money for capital grants to create mental health capacity. Applications are due July 28... Read More >>

The impact of poverty on health care spending

Washington Hospital Services Industry Partner Merritt Hawkins would like to share a blog article discussing the relationship between poverty and the increased demand on health care services. The article suggests that policy-makers often do not account for the income level of the community when pointing to examples of who is doing a “good” job in managing their patient populations. ... Read More >>

AHA, CDC issue patient education resource on prescription opioids

The AHA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on June 7 released a one-page resource to help hospital patients who may be prescribed opioids before discharge discuss the risks and benefits of these medications with their health care provider.... Read More >>

Panel OKs HHS spending bill

A Senate Appropriations Subcommittee this week set funding levels for the Department of Health and Human Services for the 2017 fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1. The HHS funding bill has often been the venue for partisan fights. This week’s action sets the stage for the first Senate floor vote on the HHS spending bill in years. ... Read More >>

WSHA survey on post-acute care placement – please respond

Many hospitals are struggling with patients who have completed their acute hospital stay, but for whom post-hospital placement cannot be found. Based on member concerns, a new goal has been added to the WSHA strategic plan: Exploring policy options and process changes to speed up discharge for patients waiting for placement in long-term care facilities.... Read More >>

House approves hospital bill

The House of Representatives this week approved by voice vote legislation that would extend the time hospitals have to qualify to be grandfathered into the existing payment system for services provided in off-campus, provider-based clinics. Washington Rep. Jim McDermott, who serves as the senior Democrat on the House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee, was the bill’s Democratic sponsor. ... Read More >>

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