With a little more than a month left in the 2023 legislative session, bills that passed their chamber of origin have started to receive committee hearings in the opposite chamber. This includes many important bills WSHA supports. We expect the House and Senate to begin releasing their proposed budgets this week and next, and WSHA will provide a full analysis when they are released.
2SSB 5103: Concerning payment to acute care hospitals for difficult to discharge Medicaid patients
WSHA strongly supports 2SSB 5103, which concerns payment to hospitals for patients that no longer need acute care but cannot be discharged to a post-acute facility. The provision to increase the administrative day rate to $700 a day to better reflect the cost of care was removed in Senate Ways and Means. The bill still provides for separate payment outside of the administrative day rate for surgical and other procedures that would not be available in a post-acute setting. It also retains the provision requiring standardization of managed care organizations approval and payment processes for administrative days. Read more about 2SSB 5103 from the Feb. 13 Inside Olympia.
The bill as amended unanimously passed the Senate. Next, the House Committee on Health Care & Wellness will hold a public hearing on 2SSB 5103 at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 21. WSHA will testify in support of the bill. (Andrew Busz)
SSB 5499: Concerning the multistate nurse licensure compact
WSHA strongly supports SSB 5499, which allows Washington to join the 37 other states and two jurisdictions that are already a part of the multistate Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC). The NLC allows nurses to meet uniform license requirements to practice in all participating states and jurisdictions, making it easier for nurses to begin practicing in Washington State. There are more than 2 million nurses working in an NLC state or jurisdiction. Read more about the efforts to join the NLC from the Jan. 30 Inside Olympia.
The House Committee on Postsecondary Education & Workforce will hold a public hearing on SSB 5499 at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, March 22, and WSHA will testify in support.
Also, WSHA now supports ESHB 1547, which increases the health care workforce by authorizing out-of-state providers to practice immediately. It is complimentary to SSB 5499 and would allow nurses licensed in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon or California to be eligible for a 2-year temporary license instead of a 6-month temporary practice permit. ESHB 1547 would be helpful because neither Alaska, Oregon nor California are part of the NLC. The Senate Committee on Health & Long Term Care held a public hearing on ESHB 1547 Friday, March 17. (Ashlen Strong)
SSB 5547: Concerning nursing pool transparency
WSHA strongly supports SB 5547, which increases transparency among staffing agencies to help hiring entities better understand costs and make more informed decisions when contracting. Read more from the Feb. 6 Inside Olympia. SSB 5547 unanimously passed the Senate. Next, the House Committee on Health Care & Wellness will hold a public hearing on SSB 5547 at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 21. WSHA will testify in support. (Katerina LaMarche)
WSHA Weighing In: March 20-24
Tuesday, March 21
- House Health Care & Wellness
- 2SSB 5103: Concerning payment to acute care hospitals for difficult to discharge Medicaid patients. (Andrew Busz)
- SB 5228: Providing occupational therapy services for persons with behavioral health disorders. (Cara Helmer)
- SSB 5300: Concerning continuity of coverage for prescription drugs prescribed for the treatment of behavioral health conditions. (Andrew Busz)
- SSB 5547: Concerning nursing pool transparency. (Katerina LaMarche)
Wednesday, March 22
- House Appropriations
- SSB 5189: Establishing behavioral health support specialists. (Cara Helmer)
- House Health Care & Wellness
- E2SSB 5580: Improving maternal health outcomes. (Andrew Busz)
- House Postsecondary Education & Workforce
- SSB 5499: Concerning the multistate nurse licensure compact. (Ashlen Strong)
- E2SSB 5582: Reducing barriers and expanding educational opportunities to increase the supply of nurses in Washington. (Katerina LaMarche)
Thursday, March 23
- Senate Health & Long Term Care
- 2SHB 1168: Providing prevention services, diagnoses, treatment, and support for prenatal substance exposure. (Cara Helmer)
- ESHB 1568: Concerning the credentialing of certified health care professionals providing long-term care services. (Mary Storace)
- Senate Ways & Means
- 2SHB 1452: Establishing a state medical reserve corps. (Ashlen Strong)
Thank you for testifying!
Thank you to everyone who testified in support of WSHA’s legislative efforts over the last week:
- Kashi Arora, Mental and Behavioral Health Program Manager, Seattle Children’s
- Sina Shah, Attending Physician, Seattle Children’s
- Anna Rassman, Social Worker – Care Management, EvergreenHealth
- Laura Knapp, Behavioral Health Service Line Senior Director, Providence Swedish