Healthcare bills are audited by the Washington Legislature

Olympia – Reimbursement changes for healthcare facilities that house hard-to-discharge Medicare patients and revised emergency shelter rules for homeless people for counties with more than 50,000 residents are among bills introduced at the 2023 Washington Legislature session, which started on Monday.

Below is a non-exhaustive list of healthcare-related bills. The following descriptions are abbreviated.


Sponsors: Sens. Ron Muzzall (R-Oak Harbor) and Annette Cleveland (D-Vancouver).

A law regarding payments to acute care hospitals for hard-to-discharge Medicaid patients who do not require acute care but are in hospital awaiting appropriate and timely discharge to post-acute and community facilities.


Sponsors: Representatives Mike Chapman (D-Port Angeles), Julia Reed (D-Seattle) and Debra Lekanoff (D-Bow).

To provide additional funding for the coordination and delivery of community services for people with developmental disabilities or mental health services, the county board of directors of each county in the state must collect a tax annually in the amount that would be collected at two and a half cents per thousand dollars appraised against the taxable property in the county to be used for such purposes.

The levy required by this section must: be collected by the county legislature as a separate levy separate from the regular property tax levy authorized in RCW 84.52.043(1)(b); or imposed by the county legislature as part of its levy authorized in RCW 84.52.043(1)(b).

All or a portion of the funds collected from the tax collected for purposes of this section may be remitted to the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services for appropriate federal funding to provide and coordinate community service to individuals Developmental Disabilities and Mental Health Services.

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Sponsor: Rep. Phil Fortunato (R-Auburn).

Every county and city with a population of more than 50,000 must establish and operate at least one shelter in their respective jurisdiction. Districts and each eligible city within the district’s geographic boundaries must coordinate to ensure there are enough accumulated shelters to accommodate at least the sheltered and non-sheltered portions of the district’s most recent homeless census.


Sponsors: Rep. Vandana Slatter (D-Bellevue), Chipalo Street (D-Seattle), Cindy Ryu (D-Shoreline), April Berg (D-Everett), Emily Alvarado (D-Seattle), Jamila Taylor (D-Federal Way) and Reed .

Information about an individual’s health or attempts to seek health care is among the most personal and sensitive categories of information collected. Washingtoners expect their health data to be protected by laws like the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

However, HIPAA only covers healthcare data collected by certain healthcare organizations, including most healthcare providers. Health data collected from uncovered entities, including certain apps and websites, will not enjoy the same level of protection. This law seeks to bridge the gap between consumer knowledge and industry practice by providing stronger privacy protections for the health information of all consumers in Washington.

SB 5036, HB 1027

Sponsor: Muzzle

A health care plan offered to employees, school employees, and their covered dependents under this Chapter and issued or renewed on or after January 1, 2017, must reimburse a provider for a health care service provided to a covered person through telemedicine or store-and-forward Technology is provided when :

The plan covers the healthcare service when delivered personally by the provider;

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The health service is medically necessary.

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