New charity care requirements effective July 1

Substitute House Bill 1616 , which becomes effective July 1, 2022, substantially expands who may qualify for free or discounted care under the charity care law by raising the incomes under which patients qualify for free and discounted care. The bill also provides details on how and when hospitals may consider assets as part of determining... Read More >>

HCA finalizes public option contracting enforcement rule

The Washington State Health Care Authority (HCA) recently finalized its rulemaking for enforcement of the requirement under Senate Bill 5377 that hospitals contract with at least one public option plan if they receive an offer from a carrier. WSHA had submitted comments during the rulemaking process. While HCA adopted some of WSHA’s suggested changes, we... Read More >>

CMS releases proposed Medicare inpatient rule

On April 18, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued its proposed FY 2023 Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) rule. WSHA is preparing a detailed summary of the proposed rule and hospital-specific impact analyses, which will be sent within the next few weeks to hospital chief financial officers and finance staff. CMS will accept comments... Read More >>

Hospital leader advises Health Care Cost Transparency Board that that increasing costs and low Medicare and Medicaid payments complicate state’s cost growth benchmark

On April 18, Confluence Health CEO Dr. Peter Rutherford told the Health Care Cost Transparency Board that Confluence’s hospitals needed increases in its commercial rates to sustain its operations, since costs of providing care continue to rise and there are either low and no payment increases from Medicare and Medicaid. These factors make it difficult for hospitals... Read More >>

WSHA, OIC provide balance billing law resources

On March 31, 2022, Governor Inslee signed E2SHB 1688 (Chap. 263, Laws of 2022) which aligns portions of the state’s Balance Billing Protection Act to the federal No Surprises Act and adds new provisions. The law went into effect on that date. Last week, WSHA provided a Bulletin to members summarizing key components of E2SHB 1688. The state... Read More >>

HCA provides updated Naloxone billing information

The Health Care Authority (HCA) recently updated information regarding billing of take-home opioid reversal medication pursuant to  Senate Bill 5195, enacted during the 2021 legislative session. WSHA has been actively working with HCA to obtain updated information as HCA develops its billing and payment processes. Beginning May 1, hospitals and behavioral health agencies can bill... Read More >>

Kreidler extends emergency orders on COVID testing and surprise billing to May 28

On April 26, Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler extended two existing emergency orders through May 28. The orders prohibiting health insurers from applying copays or deductibles on testing for the COVID-19 and protecting consumers from surprise bills for lab fees related to medically necessary diagnostic testing for COVID-19 are both extended until May 28. The order waiving... Read More >>

State Moves Forward on Work to Keep Health Care Spending Growth Below 3.2 Percent

Washington State’s Health Care Cost and Transparency Board, made up of state agency representatives, consumer representatives and others, continues to discuss levers and strategies the state might employ to reduce the growth in health care spending.... Read More >>

WSHA Provides New Law Implementation Guide for Members

WSHA’s New Law Implementation Guide provides links to bulletins and other resources to assist member hospitals implement recent legislation. Recent bulletins include: ... Read More >>

OIC Provides Webinars on E2SHB Balance Billing Reconciliation, Updates Notice of Consumer Rights

On March 31, 2022, Governor Inslee signed E2SHB 1688 (Chap. 263, Laws of 2022) which aligns portions of the state’s Balance Billing Protection Act to the federal No Surprises Act and adds new provisions.... Read More >>

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