Inside Olympia: Creating a public option health insurance plan, establishing a system for setting rates for health care services and more

HB 1523/SB 5556 would allow health insurance carriers to offer Washingtonians the option to purchase lower-costing health insurance coverage on the Health Benefit Exchange (the individual market). WSHA supports expanding access to health care coverage, but we have concerns with this bill. ... Read More >>

Inside Olympia: WSHA’s nurse staffing bill to get hearing this week

Thank you all who joined WSHA’s hospital advocacy day last week! We had a great turnout with about 75 hospital leaders joining us for about 80 legislative visits. This week is a busy week in Olympia with many bills of interest up for hearings. This is also a first for many of us at WSHA – multiple hearings have been cancelled and rescheduled due to snow. The legislature is known for powering through regardless of weather conditions. ... Read More >>

Inside Olympia: Budget picture continues to be gloomy

While revenue collections in the state continue to be strong, it appears that policy decisions made to fund future costs in the McCleary bill in the 2017-2019 biennium have led to the inability to spend money on any additional policy items without new revenue or cuts in other programs.... Read More >>

Inside Olympia: Public option for health care coverage, CN exemption for psychiatric beds & more

Highlights this week include bills on a public option for health care coverage, Certificate of Need for psychiatric beds and noncompete agreements. ... Read More >>

Inside Olympia: Nurse staffing to get hearings this week

The legislature is off and running in its second week. Several bills of interest for hospitals and health systems have hearings in their respective committees. SB 5190/HB 1155: Uninterrupted nurse meal and rest breaks SB 5190 and HB 1155, promoted by the nursing unions, would require hospitals to provide completely uninterrupted meal and rest breaks... Read More >>

Inside Olympia: Legislative session is now underway

The 2019 legislation begins today. This year’s session is the first in the two-year biennium and will last for 105 days, making it a “long” session. Policy bills will have 40 days to advance from their respective committees to the House or Senate floor. We expect hundreds of bills impacting health care to be introduced during this year’s session.... Read More >>

Gov. Inslee releases his comprehensive behavioral health plan

Today, Gov. Jay Inslee released a behavioral health plan for the state. This is a preview of his investments in behavioral health that will be in his proposed 2019-2021 budget, which will be released later in the week. WSHA has been very active in advocating for increased funding for behavioral health and developed a comprehensive 10-Point Behavioral Health Plan to highlight areas of need. We are pleased the governor proposes to fund all major budget items in WSHA’s 10-point plan.... Read More >>

Post-session bill updates

The 2018 legislative session is officially a wrap. Below you will find a final roundup of bills from session we opposed and that died and ones we supported and that passed.... Read More >>

Final 2018 compromise supplemental budget released

Lawmakers have released their compromise 2018 state supplemental budget. The budget is positive for hospitals, with increased funding for behavioral health and no proposed reimbursement cuts. WSHA has analyzed the budget. ... Read More >>

Inside Olympia: Bills that have passed both chambers

We have now passed the cutoff for most bills to pass out of both the House and Senate, and bills that have passed both chambers are now headed for concurrence or to the governor for his action. We are pleased to report that bills WSHA supports, including SB 6273 (clarifying charity care), have passed both chambers. Many bills that WSHA opposed have died, including HB 1715 (nurse meals and breaks), SB 6015 (wrongful death) and HB 2114 (balance billing).... Read More >>

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