The 2023 state legislative session began this week, and it is the first in the two-year biennium. Lawmakers will need to pass the operating, capital and transportation budgets for the biennium before adjourning April 23. This session is likely to be a busy one, and the nursing unions and their allies are once again attempting to pass legislation mandating staff-to-patient ratios. WSHA remains opposed to ratios because they will result in fewer patients having access to care in our state. WSHA is proposing an alternative package of legislation that will help address the workforce shortage in Washington State. Expect more information soon on this important topic.
Our biggest priorities this session are to increase Hospital Safety Net Assessment Program (SNAP) Medicaid payments to hospitals, pass our package of legislation to support our state’s hospital workforce, help get difficult-to-discharge patients out of the hospital and into more appropriate care settings, allow hospitals to merge, affiliate and engage in business transactions to ensure hospitals services remain in communities, and develop and fund new behavioral health 23-hour crisis receiving centers. You can see WSHA’s full legislative agenda on our website.
Legislative advocacy is at the core of our association’s work as we aim to improve health care in Washington State. The best way to stay up to date on the latest developments is to subscribe to our Inside Olympia newsletter, which typically sends to members each Monday during session. Stay tuned for more information from Olympia over the coming weeks!
WSHA Senior VP of Government Affairs