Thank you for last week: February 15-19

We are very thankful for everyone who comes to Olympia to testify! Your testimony is essential for helping legislators and the public to understand the real impact of proposed legislation. Last week, we were pleased to have testimony from Cheryl Pell, RPh, from Medication Review, Inc.... Read More >>

WSHA legislative testimony: Feb. 22-26

Bills that WSHA is testifying on for the week of Feb. 22-26.... Read More >>

House Democrats release their budget, call for more than $45 million for mental health

The House Democrats today released their proposal for the 2016 supplemental budget. For hospitals and health systems, the most significant part of the budget is more than $45 million investments in mental health to combat the state’s mental health crisis. Mental health is WSHA’s top budget priority.... Read More >>

Legislative update: Budgets soon to be released

Recognizing that this is a short session and a supplemental budget, mental health remains our top priority. Other key issues we are advocating for include enhanced payment to hospitals with high volumes of Department of Corrections inmates, and protecting rural nursing homes from the negative effects of changes to the nursing home rate formula.... Read More >>

DOH announces honor roll for hospital antimicrobial stewardship

The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) plans to honor facilities that have an ASP and are working to improve antibiotic use through education, targeted activities and assessment. This is an opportunity for hospitals to be publicly recognized for leading efforts to reduce antibiotic resistance and improve patient outcomes. The department will list names of facilities with an ASP and details about program leadership on the DOH Antibiotic Stewardship webpage.... Read More >>

State budget forecast down

After several cycles of increasing revenue forecasts, state legislators got the news Wednesday that the state’s revenue forecast declined slightly for this year and more significantly for the coming biennium. This news comes as budget writers are working to craft their supplemental budget proposals. The budget downfall was attributed to weak economic growth, both globally and nationally, and a decline in exports from Washington State.... Read More >>

Budgets soon to be released

While the legislature continues to debate hundreds of policy bills, budget writers are also focusing on crafting a supplemental budget for 2016-2017. The legislature enacted a biennial budget for 2015-2017, but this supplemental budget is meant to address emerging needs, such as last summer’s wildfires and the rising costs of prescription drugs. ... Read More >>

Insurance Commissioner releases report on marketplace before and after ACA

The Office of the Insurance Commissioner released a report Feb. 3 examining the health insurance marketplace in Washington State before and after the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The report states that more than 300,000 Washingtonians have gained health insurance since 2012, and the state’s uninsured rate has dropped from 13.9 percent at the end of 2012 to 8.2 percent in 2014.... Read More >>

Legislative update: Bills out of committee, tracking the future of telemedicine

Over the last week, the cutoffs for bills to move out of their policy and budget committees passed. It’s been a busy legislative session thus far: WSHA and AWPHD have already analyzed and tracked more than 300 bills. The list of alive bills was winnowed down considerably with the bill cutoffs.... Read More >>

An opportunity to expand telemedicine: Support SB 6519

Washington State has a significant opportunity to expand services delivered through telemedicine with Senate Bill 6519. This year’s bill, sponsored by Senator Becker, seeks to allow patients to have virtual provider visits in their homes starting in January 2018. WSHA strongly supports this bill and testified last week. We are working with Senator Becker to refine the bill. The bill would also create a collaborative that would meet over the next two years to recommend to the legislature other advancements in telemedicine and telehealth.... Read More >>

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Washington State Hospital Association
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