State Regulatory Issues

State regulations have a big impact on hospitals and health systems and their patients. WSHA tracks rulemaking activity throughout the state and works closely with regulatory agencies, as well as other groups, to advocate for a reasonable regulatory environment. All statewide rulemaking activity is published in the Washington State Register.

Click here to see WSHA’s Top Priority State Rules Tracker

(Updated: November 7, 2018)

There are several important regulatory issues at the top of WSHA’s priority list:

  1. Charity Care. We are actively engaged in the Department of Health’s charity care rulemaking. The second charity care rules development workshop has been scheduled for Wednesday, December 19, 2018, at 9:00 am.  Workshop location and web conferencing information is available on the Charity Care Rules website (Zosia Stanley)
  2. Opioid Prescribing. We have been, and continue to be involved with, the efforts of the various Boards and Commissions of the Department of Health to revise their respective rules regarding opioid prescribing, pursuant to ESHB 1427 (2017). The Nursing Quality Assurance Commission (NQAC) rules went into effect on November 1, 2018 (available here). The Medical Quality Assurance Commission (MQAC) rules will go into effect on January 1, 2019 (available here). The Dental Quality Assurance Commission (DQAC) is accepting comments on its supplemental proposal through November 30, 2018, and a public hearing will be held on December 7, 2018. Details are available on the DQAC’s rulemaking website. Toolkits for providers regarding opioid prescribing are available here. (Ian Corbridge)
  3. EMS and Trauma Care. We are closely following the ongoing stakeholder meetings related to revising rules governing emergency medical services (EMS) and trauma care. The next stakeholder meeting is scheduled for December 19, 2018 at 2 pm. Workshop location and web conferencing information is available on the EMS rulemaking website (Ian Corbidge).

Hospital Construction Standards Rules Project

Members may also want to note that the Department of Health is reviewing certain rules governing hospital construction standards. DOH is in the early stages of that process, namely reviewing draft rules language and proposals at workshops. The first workshop took place in October 2018. The second workshop is scheduled for early December 2018.

Upcoming dates and timeline:

  • November 21, 2018: Comments on the Report on Draft Proposals are due
  • December 5, 2018: The Second Workshop to Review Comments
  • Spring 2018: Formal Proposal Filed (CR-102)

Full details, including the draft rules language, a link to a webinar on the 2018 Facility Guideline Institute (FGI) changes (on which the revised rules will be based), and a report on draft proposals are available here.

Please contact DOH Construction Review Services Manager John Williams to receive free access to the 2018 FGI Guidelines.

Find more general information on this rulemaking on the Construction Review Services website or by joining the Construction Review listserv.

Please contact us if there is a state rulemaking activity impacting your hospital or health system that you do not see listed here. (Jaclyn Greenberg)


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