We have now passed the cutoff for most bills to pass out of both the House and Senate, and bills that have passed both chambers are now headed for concurrence or to the governor for his action. We are pleased to report that bills WSHA supports, including SB 6273 (clarifying charity care), have passed both chambers. Many bills that WSHA opposed have died, including HB 1715 (nurse meals and breaks), SB 6015 (wrongful death) and HB 2114 (balance billing).
Unfortunately, with the large quantity of bills being considered by lawmakers this session, there were several bills that WSHA supported that died as well. The outcome on two other priority bills we support – HB 2489 (opioids) and HB 2408 (insurance market stability) — remains unclear. We will continue to work for successful outcomes on those issues this week, and we expect a compromise supplemental budget this week as well, since Thursday, March 8 is the last day of the regular session.
For easy reference, we’ve listed the major hospital and health system bills that have passed both chambers:
Bills WSHA Supports
|Sexual assault nurses. Directs a study to increase availability of and access to sexual assault nurse examiners statewide.
|Service animals. Establishes penalties if a person misrepresents an animal to be a service animal.
|Charity care. Clarifies charity care law and increases standardization regarding notice to patients and staff training on charity care policies and interpret services.
|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.
|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
|Wellness and superintendent changes. Concerning public hospital district health and wellness promotion activities, and superintendent appointment and removal.
Bills on which WSHA is neutral
|Medical records. Requires patients receive a free copy of medical records if the patient is appealing a denial of social security benefits.
Bills that may be necessary to implement the budget (and may not be subject to the policy cutoff)
|Individual market stability. Seeks to ensure commercial individual market plans are sold statewide.
|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.