Major bills still alive after opposite chamber committee action cutoff

February 27, 2018

We have now passed the cutoff for most bills to make it out of committees in the opposite chamber, and we are heading into the final stretch of this year’s legislative session. We are happy to report that significant bills WSHA supports have made it through these deadlines and will now go to the floor for final action. This list represents a great deal of work by the WSHA team to keep bills from becoming problematic for members and make improvements to other bills, such as HB 2489, which addresses the opioid crisis. Unfortunately, a few bills that WSHA strongly opposes also made it through the most recent cutoff. These include:


  • HB 1715, meal/rest breaks and prescheduled on-call;
  • HB 2114, prohibiting balance billing; and
  • SB 6015, expanding the wrongful death statute.
We will continue to work hard to stop these bills from becoming law. The final day for legislative action is March 8.
For easy reference, we’ve listed all the major hospital and health system bills that are still alive below:


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 2489 Addressing the opioid crisis. Comprehensive act related to opioid use disorder treatment, prevention and related services. This is governor-request legislation. WSHA is fully supportive of the bill, including additional funding for medication assisted therapy. We had earlier concerns around a mandate to connect electronic health records (EHRs) to the state prescription monitoring program, but those concerns have been addressed.
HB 2541 Informed consent improvements. Makes it possible for 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.
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.
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 2107 Expands purchasing capacity for 90/180 day mental health patients at voluntary community providers, including hospitals. The bill has been amended to also move purchasing at state hospitals and community providers to managed care organizations.
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 opposes the civil penalties provision.

Bills WSHA Opposes 

HB 1715 Nurse meal and rest breaks. Mandates stringent meal and rest break requirements, prohibits the use of pre-scheduled on call, and expands mandatory overtime prohibitions.
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 and expands potential damages.


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