The 2019 state legislative session kicks off on Monday, Jan. 14, and we are excited to announce that we will host a Hospital Advocacy Day in Olympia Thursday, Feb. 7. We will spend the day advocating for our priority initiatives, talking with legislators and telling the hospital story. We would love it if you could save the date to join us, tell your story and help us advocate for health care improvements in Washington State. Please RSVP today! We will have more information as the date approaches.
Our top policy priorities for this session will help ensure that hospitals can be stable institutions in their communities long into the future, improve the behavioral health system for patients, and maintain flexibility for hospital operations while preventing burdensome and costly new regulations.
This year’s legislative session is the first in the two-year biennium, and Democrats have a majority in both the House and the Senate. After years of advocacy, we are excited to see behavioral health funding gaining significant traction. One issue we expect be hotly contested this year is nurse staffing regulations. We are likely to see legislation that mandates uninterrupted nurse meal and rest breaks and places rigid constraints on the use of prescheduled on-call and overtime, which are used to support high-quality patient care. While we want to ensure nurses are getting much-needed breaks, we worry that such requirements will be harmful to patient care.
We look forward to working with our state’s elected leaders to advance legislation that will benefit Washingtonians and help them live the healthiest lives they can. We also hope you will save the date to join us in Olympia Feb. 7.
WSHA Senior VP, Government Affairs