NoHLA Legislative Summary 2019
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Northwest Health Law Advocates
Summary of Health Care Access Bills that Passed the 2019 Legislature
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Bill NameBill/ main sponsor Summary Description
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PUBLIC PROGRAMS
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Healthcare for workers with disabilities (HWD)SHB 1199 (Cody)Removes income and age limits for Washington's Medicaid program for workers with disabilities. Income can still be considered in cost-sharing requirements (currently this is a premium based on income). HWD already has no resource limit. Requires HCA to seek federal approval to exclude resources accumulated (in a separate account from earnings during enrollment in HWD) when determining the individual's eligibility for another medical assistance program later. Effective date January 1, 2020.
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Long term services and supports trust 2SHB 1087 (Jinkins)Establishes a new public program to pay for Long Term Services and Supports for Washington workers using funds deducted from employee paychecks. Collection of funds starts January 1, 2022, and benefits begin no earlier than January 2025. Qualified individuals must have paid in .58% of wages during 3 of last 6 years or during 10 years total with not more than 5 consecutive years off, with at least 500 hours worked annually during the 3 years or the 10 years. Individuals disabled before age 18 are not eligible for benefits, but this issue will be reviewed for report due January 2021. DSHS determines eligibility based on needing help with 3 Activities of Daily Living. Total benefit is 365 units of $100 (adjusted for inflation over time). Benefit is paid to qualified providers, which may include spouse/domestic partner of eligible person. Goal is to provide different funding source and program to delay/reduce need for Medicaid long term care programs, while ensuring this program does not interfere with eligibility for other means-tested benefits.
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Dental coverage for Pacific islanders residing in WashingtonESB 5274 (Hasegawa)Establishes the Compact of Free Association (COFA) islander dental care program for persons from the Marshall Islands, Micronesia and Palau with income under 133% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), including those on the Premium Assistance Program (for health coverage through the Exchange) and Medicare enrollees. Requires HCA to cover dental services under the Medical Assistance Program, with open enrollment to begin no later than 11/1/2020 for coverage 1/1/2021. Existing advisory committee is continued. Establishes annual education and outreach program for application, enrollment and use of benefits that is culturally and linguistically appropriate for the COFA population.
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Creating the Washington Indian health improvement act SB 5415 (McCoy)Establishes the Governor's Indian Health Advisory Council to (1) adopt the biennial Indian Health Improvement Advisory Plan, (2) address policies or actions that have tribal implications that are not able to be resolved or addressed at the agency level; and (3) provide oversight of certain service organizations or entities to address their impacts on services to American Indians and Alaska Natives and relationships with Indian health care providers. Establishes the Indian Health Improvement Reinvestment Account to collect receipts from new state savings achieved through recent federal reimbursement policy changes and to fund programs, projects, and activities that are identified in the Advisory Plan.
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DSHS/HCA purchasing interpreters for individuals on or applying for public assistance who are sensory impairedSB 5558 (Saldana)Restores the ability of DSHS and HCA to purchase interpreter services for individuals with sensory impairments who are on or applying for public assistance.
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Revising economic assistance programs2SHB 1603 (Senn)Removes permanent disqualification from Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) based on noncompliance with WorkFirst, removes limitation on benefits for person moving from another state, and adds evaluation of outcome measures, including for sanctioned and time-limited families. A time limit extension is available to recipients who are homeless.
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Making state law consistent with selected federal consumer protections in the ACASHB 1870 (Cleveland)Incorporates Affordable Care Act protections into state law relating to guaranteed issue and eligibility, open enrollment periods, prohibiting unfair retroactive rescission of coverage, Essential Health Benefits, out-of-pocket maximums, lifetime limits, explanation of coverage, waiting periods for group coverage, and nondiscrimination. Authorizes OIC to adopt rules. The bill takes effect immediately.
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Increasing access to fruits and vegetables for individuals with limited incomesSHB 1587 (Riccelli)Establishes the fruit and vegetable incentives program to be administered by the Department of Health (DOH), consisting of (a) extra benefits to purchase fruit and vegetables at authorized farmers markets, (b) extra benefits to purchase fruit and vegetables at authorized grocery stores, and (c) fruit and vegetable vouchers distributed by a participating health care provider, health educator, community health worker or other health professional. Individuals are eligible for (a) and (b) if they receive "basic food" (SNAP or state family assistance, i.e, food stamps) and for (c) if they either (1) receive basic food and have a "qualified health condition" (DOH will define), or (2) are "food insecure" (their consistent access to adequate food is limited by lacking money and resources at times during the year) according to participating health care provider.
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PRIVATE INSURANCE AND HEALTH BENEFIT EXCHANGE
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Protecting consumers from charges for out-of-network healthcare services2SHB 1065 (Cody)Protects patients from surprise bills from out of network providers (1) when a patient receives services for an emergency medical condition, and (2) when a person receives non-emergency surgery or ancillary services in an in-network facility. In these situations, patients receiving out of network services will be charged cost-sharing at the in-network rate and cannot be billed for additional amounts. Expands the definition of “emergency medical condition” to include mental health and substance use disorder conditions, emotional distress, and severe pain. Requires fully-insured health insurance carriers to apply these rules. Self-funded plans may choose to opt in. Out-of-network providers are paid by carriers; a dispute resolution process is used if they can't agree. Requires OIC to develop a template notice of consumer rights and requires providers to provide this notice, keep updated lists of their in-network providers, and provide their enrollees with a description of their plan's out-of-network benefits upon request. Exempts emergency services provided in an out-of-network hospital in a border state if (1) federal legislation, (2) border state legislation, or (3) an interstate compact prohibits balance billing in this situation.
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Increasing the availability of quality, affordable health coverage in the individual marketESSB 5526 (Frockt)(1) Requires the WA Health Benefit Exchange (HBE), in consultation with the Insurance Commissioner, HCA, an independent actuary, and other stakeholders, to establish up to three standardized health plans for each of the bronze, silver, and gold levels. (2) By 1/1/21, plans offering qualified health plans on the Exchange must offer at least one standardized plan at silver and gold levels, and bronze if any bronze is offered. By December 2023, HBE and OIC shall issue a report on the impact of offering only standard plans by 2025 on the Exchange, including on consumers' plan choice and affordability. (3) Requires HCA, in consultation with HBE, to contract with one or more health carriers to offer bronze, silver and gold qualified health plans (QHP) on the state health benefit exchange, for plan years beginning in 2021. State-purchased QHP reimbursements of providers and facilities, other than pharmacy, in aggregate may be no more than 160% of Medicare rates, with specific rules for rural and primary care rates and inflation adjustments, though HCA has authority to waive requirements. (4) HBE, HCA and OIC must develop a plan by 11/15/20 to implement and fund premium subsidies for individuals whose modified adjusted gross incomes are less than 500% of the federal poverty level and who are purchasing individual market coverage on the exchange; the plan must also assess providing cost-sharing reductions to plan participants. Data submitted by health carriers to HBE for purposes of establishing standardized benefit plans is confidential and exempt from disclosure. (5) HCA, consulting with OIC and HBE, must report recommendations to Legislature by 12/1/22 regarding (a) the impact on QHP choice, affordability, and market stability of linking a QHP plan contracted for in section (3) with participation in health programs administered for state employees (PEBB), for school employees (SEBB), or by HCA, (b) the same impacts of linking provider participation in the networks for the section (3) plan with participation in networks of PEBB, SEBB, and HCA plans; (c) whether utilization review for the section (3) plan should align with HCA's clinical criteria.
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Providing notice about network adequacy to consumersESHB 1099 (Jinkins)Will be known as Brennen's law. Requires health carriers to post on their websites in an easily understandable format by 1/1/20: whether the carrier classifies mental health and substance abuse treatment as primary or specialty care, the number of business days within which an enrollee must have access to covered mental health and substance abuse services, what actions enrollees may take if they are unable to access care within the requisite number of days, information about how to file a complaint with the Insurance Commissioner, and any instances where the Commissioner has taken disciplinary action against the health carrier for failure to comply with network access standards. The website must also include resources for for persons experiencing a mental health crisis, and the provider directory must note whether any of their covered behavioral health or substance abuse providers are no longer accepting new patients. The Commissioner must compile an annual report on complaints received regarding consumers unable to timely access mental health/substance abuse treatment.
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Concerning notice of material changes to the operations or governance structure of participants in the health care marketplaceSHB 1607 (Caldier)Requires that 60 day notice be given to the Attorney General regarding any proposed material change (such as a merger or acquisition), involving hospitals, provider organizations or hospital systems.
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PUBLIC HEALTH
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Protecting youth from tobacco products and vapor products by increasing the minimum legal age of sale of tobacco and vapor productsEHB 1074 (Harris)Increases the age of sale for tobacco and vapor products to twenty-one.
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Concerning foundational public health services2SHB 1497 (Robinson)Defines foundational public health services, services which the governmental public health system is responsible for providing in a consistent way across communities in Washington. Requires the department to report on service delivery models, changes in capacity for governmental public health system, and progress made to improve health outcomes.
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Promoting immunity against vaccine preventable diseasesEHB 1638 (Harris)Removes the philosophical or personal exemption for the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) vaccine. Requires child day care center employees and volunteers to provide immunization records or proof of measles immunity.
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Concerning workplace violence in health care settingsSHB 1931(Leavitt)Modifies the health care workplace prevention plans, requires an annual review of incidents and the development and implementation of the prevention plan every three years. Requires health care settings to provide violence prevention training to employees, volunteers and contracted security personnel.
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Implementing the recommendations of the pesticide application safety work groupSSB 5550 (Saldana)Implements two noteworthy recommendations of the pesticide safety work group required by 2018 legislation (ESSB 6529) -- expanding training because the Department of Agriculture (DOA) lacks sufficient resources, and establishing a new pesticide application safety panel by: (1) establishing a pesticide application safety committee, co-chaired by the secretaries of the Departments of Health (DOH) and of Agriculture or their designees, and including 9 other specified government officials; (2) requiring the committee to meet by 9/30/19 and at least three times per year, and submit annual reports through 2025; (3) creating an advisory work group appointed by secretaries of DOH and DOA (and including representatives of DOA, farmworkers, migrant health centers, toxicologists, growers, and pesticide applicators) to collect information and make recommendations to the committee on topics requiring unique expertise and perspectives, meeting at the committee's request; (4) directing the committee to (a) prioritize exploring how DOA, DOH, and Labor and Industries (L&I) collect and track data and (b) also consider the feasibility and requirements of developing a shared database, including DOH's existing tools to better display multi-agency data. (5) The committee may also evaluate and make policy options for 16 other specified purposes relating to pesticide application safety.
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HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS AND FACILITIES
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Exempting certain existing ambulatory surgical facilities from certificate of needEHB 1777 (Cody)An ambulatory surgical facility in existence and operated prior to January 19, 2018 and meeting certain criteria is exempt from the certificate of need requirement if it was previously determined to be exempt by the Dept of Health (DOH) or was a single-specialty endoscopy center in existence prior to January 14, 2003, when the DOH determined that endoscopy procedures were surgeries for purposes of certificates of need. The exemption continues regardless of future changes of ownership, corporate structure, or affiliation of the group practice, as long as the use of the facility remains limited to physicians in the group practice.
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Concerning psychiatric payments under medical assistance programs for certain rural hospitalsHB 1534 (Dufault)Requires an increase in the per-diem payments made to rural psychiatric hospitals that meet certain requirements to ensure continued services, without specifying the amount.
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Concerning health care provider and health care facility whistleblower protectionsSHB 1049 (Macri)Expands the definition of "whistleblower" to include a health care provider or a medical care staff at a health care facility. Provides a civil remedy to nonemployee whistleblowers who have been subject to retaliatory action. Establishes standards for the sanction process against medical staff.
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Concerning the integration of international medical graduates into Washington's health care delivery system2SSB 5846 (Saldana)Establishes the international medical graduates work group. Requires membership representing 15 prescribed stakeholders. Directs group to (a) develop strategies to reduce barriers for international graduates in obtaining pre-residency training and residencies in WA, (b) recommend the number, location, and specialties of residencies to be designated for international graduates, (c) recommend post-residency service requirements for international graduates who complete residencies; and (d) submit its report to Governor and Legislature by 12/1/19.
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PATIENT HEALTH INFORMATION, PRIVACY AND CONSENT
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Notifying purchasers of hearing instruments about uses and benefits of telecoil and bluetooth technology.ESB 5210 (Palumbo)Requires people who dispense hearing instruments to notify prospective purchasers of the uses, benefits, and limitations of current hearing technology, as defined by the Department of Health in rule. Requires the Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing to develop educational materials on the subject. Does not provide a private right of action.
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Authorization of health care decisions by an individual or authorized personEHB 1175 (Kilduff)Adds to the statutory categories of surrogate decision-makers who may give informed consent to health care for an adult who is incapacitated or incompetent. Adds grandchildren, nieces/nephews, aunts and uncles who are "familiar with the patient." Also adds other adults with certain relationship requirements and who show these are met with a declaration, with criminal penalty for false statements. Allows health care providers to rely on the declaration but does not require them to do so, and provides immunity to providers relying on the declaration. No surrogate decision-maker can exercise rights of an incapacitated person under the Death with Dignity Act. Allows an adult to execute a health care directive (regarding withholding or withdrawal of life sustaining treatment) by signing and acknowledging the directive before a notary public or other individual authorized by law to take acknowledgments, as an alternative to signing in the presence of witnesses.
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Concerning insurance communications confidentialitySSB 5889 (Dhingra)Places limitations on carrier communications for newly defined class of "sensitive health care services" that includes reproductive and behavioral health care services when obtained by a "protected individual," defined as adult dependent enrollees and minors seeking care that does not require the consent of a parent or guardian pursuant to existing state and federal law.
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REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH
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Eliminating barriers to reproductive health care for all 2SSB 5602 (Randall)Strengthens gender-identity anti-discrimination provisions in medical assistance programs and private insurance; adds student health plans to the Reproductive Parity Act; codifies the state's current practice of requiring health carriers to bill enrollees with a single invoice and to segregate into a separate account the premium attributable to abortion services for which federal funding is prohibited; requires hospitals disclose their admission, nondiscrimination, and reproductive health care policies to the Department of Health and make them publicly available on their websites; and requires the Bree Collaborative to endorse guidelines and develop specific clinical recommendations to improve sexual and reproductive health care for specified populations.
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Concerning maternal mortality reviewsSSB 5425 (Cleveland)Requires the maternal mortality review panel to include at least one tribal representative, and leaves discretion to the department to include different health care and services providers including women's health, behavioral health, and medical examiners. Panel also includes individuals or organizations that represent the populations most impacted by pregnancy-related or pregnancy-associated deaths and lack of access to maternal health services. Requires a report to DOH and the Senate and House health committees by Oct. 1, 2019 and every three years thereafter. Creates a data-sharing protocol with confidentiality protections.
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Concerning hospital notification of availability of sexual assault evidence kit collectionHB 1016 (Caldier)Requires any hospital that does not provide sexual assault evidence kit collection, or lacks providers available to provide sexual assault evidence kit, to give notice to any individual who presents to the emergency department of the hospital requesting such service and to develop a plan by July 1, 2020 to assist individuals to obtain the service at another facility. Requires hospitals to notify patients that they can file a complaint with the Dept. of Health if they are not informed within two hours of arrival that the hospital does not provide sexual assault evidence kit collection or lacks providers available to provide sexual assault evidence kit.
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BEHAVIORAL HEALTH: MENTAL HEALTH AND SUBSTANCE USE DISORDERS
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Concerning opioid use disorder treatment, prevention, and related servicesSSB 5380 (Cleveland)Declares opioid use disorder a public health crisis and seeks to address it through a variety of means including, but not limited to: requiring health care providers who prescribe opioids to inform patients of their right to refuse an opioid prescription or order for any reason; creation of a warning about the risks of opioid use and abuse and information about safe disposal of opioids; and permitting the secretary of DOH or the secretary's designee to issue a standing order for opioid overdose reversal medication to any person at risk of opioid-related overdose or any person or entity in a position to assist a person at risk of opioid related overdose, and to require that city and county jails develop policies and practices for providing medication for the treatment of opioid use disorder.
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Concerning children's mental health2SSB 5903 (Darneille)Seeks to implement recommendations of the children's mental health workgroup from January 2019 including: increasing the training requirement for the child and adolescent psychiatry residency positions at UW and WSU from 12 to 18 months; convening an advisory group to develop funding models for various partnership access line activities including the partnership access line for moms and kids, community referral facilitation, and delivering partnership access line services to educational service districts; and requiring HCA to develop a statewide plan in consultation with others to to implement evidence-based coordinated specialty care programs that provide early identification and intervention for psychosis in licensed and certified community behavioral health agencies.
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Implementing policies related to expanding adolescent behavioral health care access as reviewed and recommended by the children's mental health work groupE2SHB 1874 (Frame)Amends RCW 71.34.020 to expand the definition of parent, expands a parent's right to action under RCW 71.34.650 to request and receive outpatient treatment for their adolescent without the adolescent's consent, and gives discretion to the person in charge of an evaluation and treatment facility to provide notice to the parents of adolescent-initiated voluntary admission for mental health treatment if the person in charge has a compelling reason to believe that such disclosure would be detrimental and documents the reasons in the adolescent's medical record. But the person in charge must consult a list of runaway children maintained by the Washington State Patrol at specified time intervals and report the condition of the adolescent to the Department of Children, Youth, and Families if the adolescent has been reported missing (consent requirement remains to provide notice to parents of voluntary admission for substance use treatment).
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Concerning the substance use disorder treatment system2SHB 1907 (Davis)Requires the Department of Health to develop a process for providers to obtain dual licensure as an evaluation and treatment facility and as a secure withdrawal management and stabilization facility. Replaces "detoxification" facility with "withdrawal management and stabilization" facility" (WMSF) in statute, clarifies that (1) secure WSMFs include facilities that provide care to voluntary individuals and individuals involuntarily detained for whom there is a likelihood of serious harm or who are gravely disabled due to the presence of a substance use disorder and (2) WSMFs must provide clinical stabilization services.
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Concerning substance use disorder professional practiceESHB 1768 (Davis)Replaces "chemical dependency" (CD) with "substance use disorder" (SUD), changes title of CD professionals to SUD professionals (SUDPs), and clarifies that holders of CD certification are considered holders of SUD certification until their current certification expires or is renewed; in the alternative, a licensed social worker, mental health counselor, or therapist can undergo 1,000 hours of supervised training. Defines co-occurring disorder specialist as enhancement granted by the Department of Health (DOH) to certain behavioral health providers certifying the practitioner to provide SUD counseling, and requires DOH in collaboration with others to conduct a review and analysis regarding the effects of the co occurring disorder specialist enhancement on increasing the number of providers qualified to provide SUD services and improving outcomes for individuals with a SUD. Prevents DOH from requiring potential SUDPs to participate in a monitoring program if they have been in recovery for a year, and from automatically denying certification based on certain convictions. Requires DOH conduct a "sunrise review" to evaluate the need for creation of a bachelor’s level behavioral health professional credential for behavioral health and substance use disorder treatment.
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Increasing behavioral health workforce by creating a reciprocity program to allow for transfer of licensesSB 5054 (O'Ban)Seeks to increase the behavioral health workforce by establishing a reciprocity program to ensure portability of behavioral health licenses and certifications including chemical dependency professional, mental health counselor, social worker, psychologists, and marriage and family therapist. Requires the Department of Health to prioritize identifying the five states that have historically had the most applicants for reciprocity with a scope of practice that is substantially equivalent to or greater than the scope of practice for the identified behavioral health licenses. Requires the department to explore options for the creation of an interstate compact for supporting license portability and report recommendations to the governor and legislature by November 1, 2020.
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Concerning fully implementing behavioral health integration for January 1, 2020E2SSB 5432 (Dhingra)Eliminates behavioral health organizations from law and divides responsibilities between behavioral health administrative service organizations (BHASOs) to administer crisis services and non-Medicaid services, and managed care organizations (MCOs) to provide behavioral health services to Medicaid enrollees. Restores behavioral health advisory boards as a source of local oversight for BHASOs. Establishes a work group to provide recommendations to the office of financial management and the legislature by Dec. 15, 2019 on (1) how to manage access to adult long-term inpatient involuntary care in the community and the state hospitals, (2) how to expand bidirectional integration through increased support for co-occurring disorder services, including recommendations related to purchasing and rates, and (3) how to manage access to children's long-term inpatient program in the community and in state hospitals.
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Providing timely competency evaluations and restoration services to persons suffering from behavioral health disordersE2SSB 5444 (Dhingra)Acknowledges the need for timely competency evaluations and restoration services to comply with Trueblood v. DSHS settlement requirements. Permits appointment of an impartial forensic navigator to assist individuals who have been referred for competency evaluations in accessing access services related to diversion and community outpatient competency restoration. Gives arresting officers discretion to refer individuals with a known mental health history who have allegedly committed any offense to diversion services; local jurisdictions can define their own standards. Clarifies eligibility for inpatient and outpatient competency restoration services with input from forensic navigators and the parties. Allows courts to consider assigning outpatient competency restoration options for nonfelony and some felony sentencing if there are programs and spaces available, limited to cases where the prosecuting attorney provides a compelling state interest for restoration and various factors are considered. Allows parties to stipulate that a defendant is unlikely to regain competency.
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Concerning community facilities needed to ensure a continuum of care for behavioral health patients2SHB 1394 (Schmick)Requires DOH to license or certify intensive behavioral health (BH) treatment facilities and mental health drop-in centers and to create a certification for mental health peer respite centers. Requires DOH to provide recommendations to the governor's office and legislature on youth short-term residential intensive BH and developmental disabilities (DD) services by Dec. 1, 2019. Requires the HCA and others to work with willing community hospitals and facilities to assess capacity to provide long-term mental health placements, to consider contracting out the services if necessary, and to set up a pilot program of a daytime mental health drop-in center with a report to the governor and legislature in 2021 regarding the success of the program. Extends the existing certificate of need exemption through June 2021 to increase capacity of hospitals to serve individuals on 90- or 180-day commitment orders.
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Concerning recovery support services2SHB 1528 (Davis)Requires HCA to establish and maintain a registry of approved recovery residences that meet specified criteria as well as to create a revolving fund for loans that can be used by recovery facilities for necessary updates to achieve certification. Prevents licensed or certified substance use disorder treatment agencies from discharging clients to a recovery residence that is not on the registry starting in 2023. Permits Behavioral Health Orgs to cover technology based substance use recovery programs.
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PRESCRIPTION DRUGS
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Concerning Prescription Drug Price TransparencyE2SHB 1224 (Robinson)Requires insurance issuers and drug manufacturers to report certain prescription drug pricing data to a data organization contracted by HCA. Requires the data organization to summarize the data and provide reports to the Legislature and the HCA, which will issue an annual report compiling the data. Establishes a reporting requirement for pharmacy benefit managers, both discounts provided and a confirmation of compliance. Requires HCA to produce an annual report to the Legislature based on the data collected. Requires manufacturers to provide advance notice to purchasers before increasing the prices of drugs. Requires benefit managers to not allow misleading or false advertising. Requires the HCA to contact agencies in Oregon and California and work on potential changes and policies related to drug pricing; Modifies reporting requirements for various entities. Requires HCA to produce a report demonstrating the costs of certain drugs across different carriers.
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Regulating and reporting of utilization management in prescription drug benefitsESHB 1879 (Jinkins)Requires that when insurance carriers require that prescription drugs be prior authorized, (1) they have a protocol using criteria that are evidence based and continually updated, (2) the data is released for public review in some manner, and (3) guidelines are continually updated as needed. Requires a carrier that does not cover a particular drug to provide a clear, readily accessible, and convenient process for requesting an exception, including having the materials available on their website. Specifies criteria, timelines, and process for considering exceptions and requires providing information on appeal rights. Requires an insurance company to allow a stabilized patient to stay on a drug while utilization management is addressed, including through the exception and appeals process. Requires a company to cover an emergency dosage of a patient's medication if necessary while the exception appeals process is ongoing.
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Concerning Nonresident PharmaciesHB 1412 (Thai)Updates existing statute to require that out-of-state pharmacies submit a report issued within two years before application or renewal from an inspection program that WA's Pharmacy Quality Assurance Commission has approved as having standards substantially equivalent to its own.
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OTHER HEALTH CARE ACCESS RELATED BILLS
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Concerning medical debtSHB 1531 (Jinkins)Lowers prejudgment interest rate to 9%. Amends the prohibited practices section of the Collection Agency Act to prohibit or require a variety of practices with respect to medical debt. Prohibits sale or assignment of medical debt to a collection agency until at least 120 days after the initial billing statement. The first written notice to debtors must explain their right to request account number, date of last payment, and an itemized statement of the debt. Itemized statements must include detailed information about the creditor, date and type of service, amount of principal, adjustments to and payments on the bill, interest and fees, whether found eligible for charity care and if so, amount due after reductions are applied.
For claims involving hospital debt, at the time of the first written notice for collection of hospital debt, a collection agency must include a notice that the debtor may be eligible for charity care from the hospital together with the hospital's contact information. The collection agency may not collect or attempt to collect a claim relating to hospital debt while an application or appeal for charity care is pending.
If a debtor has entered into a voluntary payment agreement, the debtor must give notice if they want the payment plan discontinued. If no notice is given, the payment plan may continue. Properly executed post judgment writs, including writs of garnishment and execution, are not required to be ceased and second or subsequent requests for information already provided do not require the cessation of collection efforts. A collection agency may not report adverse information to a consumer credit agency or credit bureau until at least 180 days after the original obligation was received by the collection agency for collection.
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Concerning law enforcement de escalation trainingSHB 1064 (Goodman)Modifies Initiative 940, passed in 2018 by popular vote, to require that the Criminal Justice Training Commission consult additional law enforcement organizations in developing curriculum for annual training requirements, and consider including less lethal alternatives in the required deescalation training. Changes the criminal liability standard for use of deadly force, provides for independent investigations of deadly force incidents, and modifies guidelines for rendering of first aid.
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Nondiscrimination in access to organ transplantsSSB 5405 (Padden)Prohibits health care providers from denying organ transplant services to an individual with a disability solely on the basis of the individual's disability. Disability can be taken into account only when medically significant. Inability to comply with post-transplant medical requirements independently cannot be deemed medically significant if the person has the necessary support system to provide reasonable assurance that she or he will comply with post-transplant medical requirements.
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All payer claims databaseESSB 5741 (Keiser)Transfers authority of the statewide, all-payer health care claims database (APCD) from the Office of Financial Management (OFM) to the Washington State Health Care Authority (HCA) on January 1, 2020. Requires HCA to convene a state agency coordinating structure, to assess and improve APCD performance. Modifies the procurement process for selecting a lead organization to coordinate and manage the APCD. Specifies elements to be considered in selecting a lead organization. provisions regarding data ownership and retention, purpose of state agency coordinating structure, and evaluation. Permits tribal agencies and the Health Benefit Exchange to access and use data from the APCD not containing direct patient identifiers.
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Northwest Health Law Advocates | 206.325.6464 | nohla@nohla.org
July 14, 2019
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