News

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 >>

Banning non-compete clauses would prevent hospitals and health systems from protecting investments in physicians: Oppose HB 2931

Two bills have advanced through the House Labor & Workplace Standards Committee that would limit the use of non-compete clauses in employment contracts in Washington State. Many hospitals and physician groups in Washington State use non-compete clauses in physician contracting. Hospitals that use non-compete clauses consider them an important and necessary tool to protect hospital investments in physicians.... Read More >>

After cutoff: Bills still alive

It was an exciting week leading up to Friday’s cutoff for bills to be voted out of their original policy committee. To make it easy, we’ve listed all of the major bills we’ve been tracking. This is just a partial list; WSHA/AWPHD staff have reviewed more than 300 bills thus far. ... Read More >>

Thank you for last week: February 1-5

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. ... Read More >>

Bree Collaborative addresses state’s opioid epidemic

The U.S. is in the grips of an opioid epidemic with an estimated 2.1 million people suffering from opioid addiction. The Bree Collaborative approved the Collaborative’s Opioid Workgroup and charter on Jan 20. The workgroup, consisting of clinicians, state employees and policy experts, will look to facilitate implementation of the State Agency Medical Directors Opioid Prescribing Guidelines. These guidelines are intended to reduce the abuse and misuse of opioids.... Read More >>

Providence Health Care chief executive 2016 chair-elect to AHA governing council

Elaine Couture, R.N., chief executive of Providence Health Care, is 2016 chair-elect of the American Hospital Association’s (AHA) Section for Metropolitan Hospitals. She will assume her role in 2017. ... Read More >>

Legislative update: Supporting hospital-based clinic pharmacy licensing

WSHA testified this week in support of Senate Bill 6558, which would provide direction on how to implement current pharmacy licensing law (SB 5460), giving hospitals an efficient way to license their clinics and transfer essential medications to them. ... Read More >>

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