State Regulatory Issues

State regulations have a big impact on hospitals, health systems and their patients. WSHA tracks rulemaking activity throughout the state and works closely with regulatory agencies, as well as other groups, to advocate for a reasonable regulatory environment. All statewide rulemaking activity is published in the Washington State Register.

Click here to see WSHA’s Top Priority State Rules Tracker

(Updated: March 13, 2019)

There are several important regulatory issues at the top of WSHA’s priority list:

  1. Charity Care. We are actively engaged in the Department of Health’s charity care rulemaking. The most recent rules development workshop was held on March 5, 2019. At that meeting, the workgroup discussed updated proposals from DOH and stakeholders. Those proposals and further details about the rulemaking are available at the Charity Care Rules website. (Zosia Stanley)
  2. EMS and Trauma Care.We are closely following the ongoing stakeholder meetings related to revising rules governing emergency medical services (EMS) and trauma care. The next EMS rules workshop will be held on March 21, 2019 at 9:30. Further information, including meeting location and web conferencing information is available on the EMS rulemaking website. (Lauren McDonald)
  3. Overtime for Exempt Employees. We are also closely following the rulemaking process about overtime pay exemptions for Executive, Administrative and Professional (EAP) workers by the Department of Labor and Industries. We commented with concerns about the second pre-draft rules by L&I in December 2018.  The formal proposal and commencement of the official rulemaking process is expected to comment late March, early April 2019. (Jaclyn Greenberg)

Click here to see WSHA’s Top Priority State Rules Tracker – **2019 Completed Rules**

Click here to see WSHA’s Top Priority State Rules Tracker – **2018 Completed Rules**

(Updated: March 13, 2019)

In addition to our 2018 year end list of completed rules impacting hospitals and health systems, we are including a running list of rulemaking completed in 2019. Each completed rules list contains our quick take of the result. Look for the thumbs up, thumbs down or neutral marker.

Upcoming Webinar on Changes to the Medical Regulations by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has adopted some big changes to their medical regulations. The changes apply to medical, gamma knife and nuclear pharmacy licensees.  The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) will be required to adopt the NRC’s changes, and DOH plans to prepare draft rules later in 2019. In the meantime, the Commission is hosting an informational webinar to explain the changes on April 24, 2019, 7 a.m. to noon (PDT). To register for the webinar, visit NRC Public Meeting Registration. Presentation slides are available here. (Jaclyn Greenberg)

HCA Rules Changes to Home Health Services and Medical Equipment Prescriptions

Effective Jan. 1, 2019, only physicians will be authorized to order home health services and medical equipment. The Health Care Authority amended its rules for home health services and durable medical equipment to align with federal regulations published by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on Feb. 2, 2016. The federal rules are available here, and the HCA’s rules regarding durable medical equipment are available here, and regarding home health services here. A letter from the Medicaid Director at HCA is available here. (Jaclyn Greenberg)

Hospital Construction Standards Rules Project

Members may also want to note that the Department of Health is reviewing certain rules governing hospital construction standards. DOH is in the early stages of that process, namely reviewing draft rules language and proposals at workshops. The workshops took place in October and early December 2018. Meeting notes from the second workshop are expected soon. The formal proposal (a filed CR-102) is expected Spring 2019.

Full details, including the draft rules language, a link to a webinar on the 2018 Facility Guideline Institute (FGI) changes (on which the revised rules will be based), and a report on draft proposals are available here.

Please contact DOH Construction Review Services Manager John Williams to receive free access to the 2018 FGI Guidelines.

Find more general information on this rulemaking on the Construction Review Services website or by joining the Construction Review listserv.

Please contact us if there is a state rulemaking activity impacting your hospital or health system that you do not see listed here. (Jaclyn Greenberg)


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