Mandate for Hospitals to Participate in the Public Option Health Plans (Cascade Care Select) and New Premium Subsidies Available to Consumers

This bulletin is to inform hospitals and health systems about Senate Bill 5377, which makes some key modifications to public option health plans (also known as “Cascade Care Select”). Specific to hospitals is section 5 – mandating hospital participation in at least one public option plan upon receiving an offer to contract from a public option health plan. This provision is effective if in 2022 or any subsequent year, there are any counties that a public option health plan is not available to consumers (bare counties).... Read More >>

New State Employee Payroll Tax Law for Long-Term Care Benefits

This bulletin provides hospitals and health systems information about House Bill 1087, passed in 2019, which creates the Long-Term Services and Supports Trust Program (referred to in this bulletin as the “LTSS Program” or “WA Cares Fund”). This also provides information about House Bill 1323, passed in 2021, which modifies a few provisions of the LTSS Program.... Read More >>

Changes to Washington’s Involuntary Treatment Laws that Impact Hospitals

This bulletin provides hospitals information on recent changes to 71.05 RCW, Washington state’s Involuntary Treatment Act (ITA) and 71.34 RCW, the minors’ involuntary treatment statute (together, involuntary treatment laws).  Two bills make changes to the involuntary treatment laws that directly impact hospital practices. Unless otherwise stated, these changes are effective July 25, 2021.... Read More >>

Effective July 25, 2021: Changes to State Law on Mental Health Advance Directives

This bulletin provides hospitals information on recent changes to 71.32 RCW, Washington’s law authorizing mental health advance directives (MHADs).... Read More >>

Update to Section 1557 Nondiscrimination Final Rule

The purpose of this bulletin is to inform hospitals and health systems of a change of interpretation to section 1557, the nondiscrimination provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). On May 10, 2021, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department for Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that it will interpret section 1557 to prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation.... Read More >>

New State Law Requirements For Health Care Worker Protections During A Declared State of Emergency

The purpose of this bulletin is to inform hospitals and health systems about legislation enacted in the 2021 legislative session requiring additional worker protections during the currently declared state of emergency for the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as in the event of any future public health emergencies. These new laws, ESSB 5115 and ESSB 5190, are now in effect. ... Read More >>

New Requirements for Critical Access Hospitals, Small Hospitals, and Sole Community Hospitals

The purpose of this bulletin is to inform critical access hospitals, small hospitals with fewer than 25 beds in operation, and sole community hospitals that Substitute House Bill 1155, legislation regarding staffing requirements enacted in 2019, is effective for your hospitals on July 1, 2021.... Read More >>

New Federal Buprenorphine Guidelines Reduce Barriers to Treatment

The purpose of this bulletin is to inform hospitals about the new buprenorphine practice guidelines issued by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), effective April 28, 2021. The new guidance removes a key barrier to obtaining an X-Waiver for prescribing buprenorphine by exempting covered practitioners from certain requirements. This regulatory change will make it easier for practitioners to obtain an X-Waiver to prescribe buprenorphine to patients with opioid use disorder (OUD).... Read More >>

New PQAC and L&I COVID-19 Safety Guidance

The purpose of this bulletin is to inform hospitals about the new COVID-19 safety guidance for pharmacies issued by Washington State’s Pharmacy Quality Assurance Commission (PQAC) and Department of Labor & Industries (L&I).... Read More >>

New Clean Buildings Standard: Start Planning for Compliance

The purpose of this bulletin is to inform hospitals and health systems about the new clean buildings standard that requires compliance as early as June 1, 2026. ... Read More >>

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