Inside Olympia: Bills moving to the opposite house, harmful bills that have been stopped

February 16, 2018

Wednesday, February 14 was the cutoff for bills to be voted out of their house of origin and move to the opposite house for consideration. If a policy bill did not pass its house of origin, it is technically dead. Because bills can be amended, nothing is truly dead until the legislature adjourns. (Cutoff calendar is here.) To make it easy, we’ve listed all the major bills below that we are tracking as they move to the opposite house.

We are also pleased to report that we were able to stop HB 1811, concerning complicated notification and documentation requirements for even simple affiliation arrangements. Also of importance, HB 2903 / SB 6522 and SB 6526 — limiting the use of noncompetition agreements — has died. WSHA worked to amend that bill and was neutral on the final proposed version.

Bills WSHA Supports

HB 1640 Advance directives. Expands options for patients to have an advance directive by adding the option of a notary and clarifying some witness requirements.
HB 2101 Sexual assault nurses. Directs a study to increase availability of and access to sexual assault nurse examiners statewide.
HB 2408 Individual market stability. Seeks to ensure commercial individual market plans are sold statewide.
HB 2541 Informed consent improvements. Makes it possible for certain additional family members and close friends who meet certain standards to make medical decisions for a patient who is incapacitated.
HB 2572 Substance use disorder health coverage. Requires commercial health plans to cover inpatient and residential substance use treatment without prior authorization for the first 24 hours. WSHA supports the bill to increase access to detoxification and treatment programs.
HB 2822 Service animals. Establishes penalties if a person misrepresents an animal to be a service animal.
SB 5522 Study of newborn surrenders. Requiring the department of social and health services to collect and publicly report information on the safe surrender of newborn children.
SB 6273 Charity care. Clarifies charity care law and increases standardization regarding notice to patients and staff training on charity care policies and interpret services. This is the compromise bill between WSHA and Columbia Legal Services.
SB 6399 Pilot for telemedicine payment parity. Directs the telemedicine collaborative to make recommendations by December 1, 2018 on a pilot to test payment parity for the following services: Diabetes mellitus, stroke, mental health conditions, opioid dependence and chronic pain.
SB 6408 Body-worn cameras in hospitals. Preserves privacy protections for body-worn camera recordings that will sunset on July 1, 2019 under current law.

Bills AWPHD Supports

HB 2539 Wellness and superintendent changes. Concerning public hospital district health and wellness promotion activities, and superintendent appointment and removal.

Bills on which WSHA is neutral

HB 1239 Medical records. Requires patients receive a free copy of medical records if the patient is appealing a denial of social security benefits. We are seeking a clarifying amendment.
HB 2894 Ambulatory surgical facilities. Clarifies state statute regarding when an ambulatory surgical facility requires certificate of need approval.
SB 5998 Peer review and whistleblower protections. Clarifies and expands health care provider and health care facility whistleblower protections.

Bills that are works in progress for WSHA

HB 2489 Combating the opioid crisis. Comprehensive act related to opioid use disorder treatment, prevention and related services. This is governor-request legislation. WSHA supports much of the bill, including additional funding for medication assisted therapy. We are still working on a mandate that connects electronic health records (EHRs) to the state prescription monitoring program.
HB 2585 Sexual assault notification. Creates notification requirements for hospitals about the availability of sexual assault evidence kit collections provided. WSHA supports the approach, but not the civil penalties hospitals would face if they do not adhere to notification requirements.

Bills WSHA Opposes

HB 1715 Nurse meal and rest breaks. Mandates stringent meal and rest break requirements and prohibits the use of pre-scheduled on call.
SB 2114 Balance billing. Protects consumers from balance billing charges, but creates significant administrative burden, cost and liability for hospitals. WSHA opposed the bill last year. Its current iteration is improved but still has significant issues.
SB 6015 Wrongful death. Inappropriately expands the circumstances and classes of individuals able to sue in cases of wrongful death.

Thank you for testifying!

We are very thankful for everyone who comes to Olympia to testify! Your testimony is essential for helping legislators and the public to understand the real impact of proposed legislation. We were pleased to recently have testimony from:

  • Dr. Scott Foster, PeaceHealth, Physician, testifying against HB 2482 & SB 6287: Proposing to drastically limit the ability of health care facilities to plan health care services and standardize care, negatively impacting the quality, safety and cost of care.
  • Testifying against HB 1715, mandating stringent nurse meal and rest break requirements, and prohibiting the use of pre-scheduled on-call:
    • Alison Bradywood, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Administrative Director, Clinical Quality
    • Ann Goesen, PeaceHealth United General Medical Center, Director of Clinical Services
    • Kara Young, Confluence Health, ICU Nurse
    • Tracy Kasnic, Confluence Health, CNO


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