Upcoming Changes To Washington’s Paid Family Medical Leave Program

The purpose of this bulletin is to inform hospitals about legislative changes made during the 2021 session to the Washington State Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) program.... Read More >>

Final DOH rules for Behavioral Health Agencies and DOH interpretive guidance for voluntary patients

This bulletin informs hospitals of two recent developments related to behavioral health services: 1. The Department of Health (DOH) final rules for Behavioral Health Agencies (including hospitals) go into effect on July 1, 2021, but DOH is planning a 6-month grace period to allow BHAs time to implement the changes. Surveyors will not issue citations for noncompliance until January 1, 2022. 2. A DOH interpretive statement for release of voluntary patients from inpatient behavioral health settings. ... Read More >>

New Law Impacting Hospital Sexual Assault Services

This bulletin is to inform hospitals and health systems about Engrossed Substitute House Bill (ESHB) 1109, which provides additional rights to survivors of sexual assault when they present at a hospital seeking services. The rights of survivors of sexual assault are expanded to include: 1. The right to receive written notice about eligibility for benefits under the Crime Victim’s Compensation Fund, and 2. The right to receive a referral to an accredited community sexual assault program for survivors who are adults or connection to services in accordance with the county child sexual abuse investigation protocol, in the case of a survivor who is a minor. ... Read More >>

Increased Department of Health Oversight and Enforcement Abilities of Acute Care Hospitals

This bulletin is to inform acute care hospitals about House Bill 1148, which increases the Washington State Department of Health’s (DOH) oversight and enforcement abilities of acute care hospitals. This is the continuation of the legislature’s efforts to increase DOH oversight and enforcement abilities over health care facilities.... Read More >>

Effective July 25, 2021: Closed Captioning Requirements for Televisions in Public Places of Accommodation

The purpose of this bulletin is to inform hospitals and health systems of new requirements in Senate Bill 5027 regarding activation of closed captioning settings on televisions located in public places of accommodation. The new requirements are effective July 25, 2021. Enforcement and potential penalties for noncompliance begin 90 days from the effective date.... Read More >>

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 >>

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