Inside Olympia: Bills still alive after chamber-of-origin cutoff

February 16, 2022

Tuesday, Feb. 15 marked the cutoff for bills to pass out of their chamber of origin. Bills still alive will next advance through committees in the opposite chamber. E2SHB 1868, which would establish rigid hospital staffing ratios and institute other harmful measures, has passed the House and will next be considered by the Senate. The committee cutoffs for the opposite chamber are Thursday, Feb. 24 for most committees and Monday, Feb. 28 for the Appropriations and Ways & Means committees.

This week’s Inside Olympia will also celebrate harmful bills that are no longer advancing this session, though no bills are truly dead until session adjourns March 10.

Lastly, we expect the House and Senate budgets to be released as early as the end of the week or this weekend. The February 15 economic and revenue update showed state revenue collection continues to surpass expectations, and Washington’s economy is strong.

SHB 1616: Concerning the charity care act

WSHA continues to seek negotiated agreement on SHB 1616, which expands mandatory charity care provided by Washington State hospitals. Given concerns from rural hospitals about the financial burden of the bill as it passed the House, we are continuing to push for a more balanced approach that recognizes hospitals that are not part of larger health systems. SHB 1616 passed the House Feb. 2 and is scheduled for a public hearing Friday Feb. 18 in the Senate Committee on Health & Long Term Care. (Zosia Stanley)

HB 1761: Allowing nurses to dispense opioid overdose reversal medication in the emergency department

WSHA strongly supports HB 1761, which allows nurses to distribute lifesaving opioid reversal medication. Last year, the Legislature enacted a bill requiring hospitals to provide opioid reversal medication to certain patients at risk of an overdose. Unfortunately, the new law is too narrow in application and requires a prescriber to distribute the medication to patients in the ER setting, which could create patient backlogs. The Behavioral Health Subcommittee to the Senate Committee on Health & Long Term Care held a public hearing on HB 1761 on Tuesday, Feb. 15, and WSHA testified in favor. Read more from WSHA’s issue brief. (Cara Helmer)

ESHB 1852: Concerning language requirements for prescription drug labels

WSHA has some concerns with ESHB 1852, though we are pleased it was redesigned from its original form. The goal of the bill is laudable and we continue to work on it. The bill was amended to require the Pharmacy Quality Assurance Commission (PQAC) adopt rules by July 1, 2024, that require pharmacies to translate prescription drug labels and prescription information for outpatient prescriptions intended for home use. ESHB 1852 specifies that the translated labels must be included on the prescription container. WSHA successfully narrowed the bill’s applicability to outpatient prescriptions for home use and exempted prepackaged and opioid reversal medications from the translation requirements. We also amended the bill to include liability protections and a minimum of 120 days to prepare for compliance with the rules that PQAC establishes. Read more about ESHB 1852 from the Feb. 9 Inside Olympia. The Senate Committee on Health & Long Term Care will hold a public hearing on ESHB 1852 Friday, Feb. 18, and WSHA will testify to our concerns. (David Streeter)

Notable bills that are no longer advancing

SHB 1741: Addressing affordability through health care provider contracting

WSHA strongly opposed SHB 1741, which would have placed contracting restrictions on hospitals and their affiliates and given insurance carriers more leverage in contract negotiations. The bill would also have restricted the formation of new clinically integrated networks. The bill singled out hospitals and providers for health care increases. SHB 1741 did not advance from the House floor before the Tuesday evening cutoff. (Andrew Busz)

SB 5813: Establishing data privacy protections to strengthen a consumer’s ability to access, manage, and protect their personal data

WSHA opposed SB 5813, which would have instituted rigid privacy protections without exemptions for hospitals or health systems. Most notably, it would have required that any businesses that collect data on children or adolescents give parents the option of having their children’s information deleted or not used at all. This presented implications for the use of electronic health records. SB 5813 did not advance out of the Senate Committee on Environment, Energy & Technology. (Cara Helmer)

HB 1862: Concerning facility fees charged by certain health care providers

WSHA opposed HB 1862, which would have significantly restricted billing for the facility component of off-campus hospital-based clinics. The bill would have affected off-campus clinics and departments. Hospital clinics and departments serve a high proportion of Medicaid patients for highly specialized care, including cancer treatment and infusion services for chronic conditions as well as other important services like primary care and behavioral health. Medicaid payment pays below costs and the bill would have further reduced payment. HB 1862 did not advance out of the House Committee on Appropriations. (Andrew Busz)

High-priority bills still alive after cutoff

Bills WSHA Supports

SHB 1616 Concerning the charity care act.
SHB 1735 Modifying the standard for use of force by peace officers.
HB 1739 Modernizing hospital policies related to pathogens of epidemiological concern.
HB 1761 Allowing nurses to dispense opioid overdose reversal medication in the emergency department.
SSB 1773 Concerning assisted outpatient treatment for persons with behavioral health disorders
ESHB 1821 Concerning the definition of established relationship for purposes of audio-only telemedicine.
2SHB 1890 Concerning the children and youth behavioral health work group.
SHB 1893 Allowing emergency medical technicians to provide medical evaluation, testing, and vaccines outside of an emergency in response to a public health agency request.
E2SSB 5600 Concerning the sustainability and expansion of state registered apprenticeship programs.
2SSB 5736 Concerning partial hospitalizations and intensive outpatient treatment services for minors.
SSB 5790 Strengthening critical community support services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities
SSB 5819 Concerning the developmental disabilities administration’s no-paid services caseload.

Bills on which WSHA is neutral

SHB 1708 Concerning facility fees for audio-only telemedicine.
SHB 1779 Requiring policies addressing surgical smoke.
SHB 1850 Protecting and enforcing the foundational data privacy rights of Washingtonians
2SSB 5062 Concerning the management, oversight, and use of data
E2SSB 5155 Concerning prejudgment interest.
E2SSB 5702 Requiring coverage for donor breast milk.
SSB 5883 Concerning an unaccompanied homeless youth’s ability to provide informed consent for that minor patient’s own health care, including nonemergency, outpatient, and primary care services, including physical examinations, vision examinations and eyeglasses, dental examinations, hearing examinations and hearing aids, immunizations, treatments for illnesses and conditions, and routine follow-up care customarily provided by a health care provider in an outpatient setting, excluding elective surgeries.

Bills with which WSHA has concerns or for which it is seeking amendments

ESHB 1852 Concerning language requirements for prescription drug labels.
SHB 1860 Preventing homelessness among persons discharging from inpatient behavioral health settings

Bills WSHA opposes

EHB 1837 Restoring the state’s ability to address work-related musculoskeletal injuries.
E2SHB 1868 Improving worker safety and patient care in health care facilities by addressing staffing needs, overtime, meal and rest breaks, and enforcement.

WSHA weighing in: Feb. 14-18

WSHA is weighing in on the following bills this week:

Tuesday, Feb. 15

  • Behavioral Health Subcommittee to Health & Long Term Care
    • SHB 1074: Concerning overdose and suicide fatality reviews. (Zosia Stanley)
    • HB 1761: Allowing nurses to dispense opioid overdose reversal medication in the emergency department. (Cara Helmer)

Wednesday, Feb. 16

  • Senate Health & Long Term Care
    • SHB 1124: Concerning nurse delegation of glucose monitoring, glucose testing, and insulin injections. (Ed Phippen)
    • SHB 1646: Continuing the work of the dementia action collaborative. (Zosia Stanley)
    • HB 1651: Allowing providers to bill separately for immediate postpartum contraception. (Andrew Busz)
  • House Health Care & Wellness
    • SSB 5496: Concerning health professional monitoring programs. (Cara Helmer)
    • SB 5499: Concerning credentialing of medical assistant-hemodialysis technicians. (Ed Phippen)
  • Behavioral Health Subcommittee to Health & Long Term Care
    • SHB 1860: Preventing homelessness among persons discharging from inpatient behavioral health settings (Cara Helmer)

Thursday, Feb. 17

  • House Health Care & Wellness
    • SB 5518: Concerning the occupational therapy licensure compact. (Ed Phippen)
  • House Housing, Human Services & Veterans
    • ESSB 5268: Transforming services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities by increasing the capabilities of community residential settings and redesigning the long-term nature of intermediate care facilities. (Zosia Stanley)

Friday, Feb. 18

  • Senate Health & Long Term Care
    • ESHB 1852: Concerning language requirements for prescription drug labels. (David Streeter)
    • SHB 1616: Relating to the charity care act. (Zosia Stanley)
    • E2SHB 1688: Protecting consumers from charges for out-of-network health care services, by aligning state law and the federal no surprises act and addressing coverage of treatment for emergency conditions. (Andrew Busz)

Thank you for testifying!

Thank you to everyone who testified over the last two weeks in support of WSHA’s legislative efforts:

  • Heidi Anderson, CEO, Forks Community Hospital
  • Mary Shepler, CNO, EvergreenHealth


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