United Health Care Proposes Concerning Changes to Payment for Emergency Services and Hospital Clinics

United Health Care (UHC) recently announced two policy payment policy changes impacting hospitals. WSHA has grave concerns regarding these policies and is expressing our concerns to staff at the Office of the Insurance Commissioner (OIC).  We encourage hospitals and providers with concerns to also contact OIC.... Read More >>

New PPE Billing Law in Effect

Senate Bill 5169, requiring commercial insurance carriers to reimburse for personal protective equipment (PPE) costs during COVID-19, was signed into law April 16, 2021. The bill applies to services incurred from April 16 through the end of the federal public health emergency, which has now been extended to at least July 20, 2021. Under the... Read More >>

New State Employee Payroll Tax Law for Long-Term Care Benefits

This bulletin provides hospitals and health systems information about House Bill 1087, passed in 2019, which creates the Long-Term Services and Supports Trust Program (referred to in this bulletin as the “LTSS Program” or “WA Cares Fund”). This also provides information about House Bill 1323, passed in 2021, which modifies a few provisions of the LTSS Program.... Read More >>

Changes to Washington’s Involuntary Treatment Laws that Impact Hospitals

This bulletin provides hospitals information on recent changes to 71.05 RCW, Washington state’s Involuntary Treatment Act (ITA) and 71.34 RCW, the minors’ involuntary treatment statute (together, involuntary treatment laws).  Two bills make changes to the involuntary treatment laws that directly impact hospital practices. Unless otherwise stated, these changes are effective July 25, 2021.... Read More >>

Effective July 25, 2021: Changes to State Law on Mental Health Advance Directives

This bulletin provides hospitals information on recent changes to 71.32 RCW, Washington’s law authorizing mental health advance directives (MHADs).... Read More >>

Update to Section 1557 Nondiscrimination Final Rule

The purpose of this bulletin is to inform hospitals and health systems of a change of interpretation to section 1557, the nondiscrimination provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). On May 10, 2021, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department for Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that it will interpret section 1557 to prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation.... Read More >>

New State Law Requirements For Health Care Worker Protections During A Declared State of Emergency

The purpose of this bulletin is to inform hospitals and health systems about legislation enacted in the 2021 legislative session requiring additional worker protections during the currently declared state of emergency for the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as in the event of any future public health emergencies. These new laws, ESSB 5115 and ESSB 5190, are now in effect. ... Read More >>

Thank you to members of our federal delegation

Four members of Washington’s federal delegation recently signed onto a “dear colleague” letter urging HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra to extend the timeline to spend down provider relief fund (PRF) dollars and quickly disburse the remaining funds.... Read More >>

Lower premiums under the American Rescue Plan Act and Washington’s Cascade Care Bill

Under the new American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), Washingtonians will find that the cost of their health insurance that is purchased on the Health Benefit Exchange is temporarily more affordable.... Read More >>

DOR Provides Notice of Tax Exemptions for Emergency Grants

The Washington State Department of Revenue (DOR) recently provided updated guidance regarding the tax exemption for certain emergency grants under Substitute House Bill 1095 passed during the 2021 legislative session. Previously, DOR instructed that organizations should delay reporting these funds in anticipation of the legislation. WSHA provided input to DOR and strongly supported the bill.... Read More >>

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