Flurries of filings and hearings

January 15, 2018

Bills continue to be written, introduced, revised and scheduled at a rapid pace, so if you’re trying to track a particular issue or piece of legislation, let us know. You may also want to use the Legislature’s bill tracking and summary website, which can be found here: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/.

As usual, you can scroll down to see which bills WSHA will testify on this week. Please contact Chris Bandoli or any other member of the team for more information.

Appropriate weapons policy: SB 6146

Advocating on behalf of patients and hospital employees is a crucial part of our legislative agenda. This year, the WSHA board made clear that we should support appropriate weapons policies for patients and visitors. Many people don’t realize that the right to carry a gun in public areas extends to hospitals that are part of public hospital districts. We are working with lawmakers to allow hospitals to have a no-weapons policy.  (Chris Bandoli)

Partnerships and affiliations: HB 1811

Washington state communities need access to acute and emergency health care services, but also to the kind of primary and specialty care that is offered through physician clinics. Affiliations among physician offices, hospitals and health systems can maintain access to care by giving physician offices access to the resources they need to stay in practice.

Most of the affiliations in Washington are the result of physician groups or a smaller hospital looking for a larger partner to provide needed resources and services. However, HB 1811, first introduced last year, would institute a new process that would require complicated documentation and review for almost any kind of “material change”— even simple arrangements, such as contracted services. State and federal laws already ensure that partnerships don’t reduce competition or violate antitrust laws.

These partnerships are needed to keep providers in business and improve patient coordination. WSHA strongly opposes this bill. (Zosia Stanley)

Focus on opioids

A number of bills have been introduced to address the opioid crisis, and several of them will be heard this week. To learn more about WSHA’s approach to the opioids, read last week’s Inside Olympiaread the issue brief or contact Ian Corbridge.

WSHA Legislative Testimony: January 15-19

WSHA is testifying on the following bills this week:

Monday, January 15

  • Senate Law and Justice
    • SB 6146 (see article above)
  • Senate Human Services & Corrections
    • SB 6124 would allow video court hearings under the involuntary commitment act. (Chelene Whiteaker)
  • Senate Health & Long Term Care
    • SB 6150 Governor’s opioid legislation that expands access to opioid addiction treatment while mandating facility EHRs connect with the state PMP.(Ian Corbridge)
    • SB 6028 requires providers to check the PMP when writing and opioid prescription. (Ian Corbridge)
    • SB 6050 would place a pill limit on providers when prescribing opioids (Ian Corbridge)

Wednesday, January 17

  • House Local Government
    • HB 2539 affects public hospital district health promotional activities and superintendent appointment and removal (Ben Lindekugel)
  • House Health Care & Wellness
    • HB 2408 would increase plan options in the individual insurance market in Washington state. (Chris Bandoli)

Thursday, January 18

  • Senate Law and Justice
    • SB 6015 would inappropriately expand the circumstances and classes of individuals able to sue in cases of wrongful death (Zosia Stanley)
  • House Judiciary
    • HB 1811 (see article above)

Friday, January 19

  • House Health Care & Wellness
    • HB 2447 would impose new requirements on physician prescribing practices, threatening their ability to adequately meet each patients’ needs
    • HB 2489 would remove the Pharmacy Commission’s requirement to approve all electronic prescribing technologies. (Ian Corbridge)
    • HB 2501 would require DOH to ensure the state PMP met federal standards for the sharing of data. (Ian Corbridge)

Important resources for Legislative Session

If staying informed on legislative issues is important to you, we can help.

Inside Olympia is sent out weekly during the session, and anyone can subscribe visiting our subscription page.

Legislative Priorities and Issue Briefs web page is a great resource for those who want to know more about WSHA’s priority issues. See it here: www.wsha.org/policy-advocacy/state-legislative-agenda/

Legislative Session Kick Off Webcast was January 11. You can see the webcast and the slides on this webpage.

WSHA’s Government Affairs team is WSHA’s greatest asset. They work constantly to review bills, understand their implications for health care and engage with legislators and other stakeholder groups to do the right thing for Washington state. See who’s-who here.


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