5 Things Washington: Supplemental budget, Mike Kreidler, Christopher Kodama

Sixty days of the legislative session are over, but the dust hasn’t yet settled. We review some budget language buried in the legislation for you this edition, as well as feature a few of the interesting stories from Olympia that got less mainstream coverage.

Thanks as always for reading our stuff.

DJ 5 Things Signature

1.  Notable items from the supplemental budget

If you don’t want to scan the 449-page budget document passed last week, never fear: we culled a few interesting nuggets for you.  You can scan the list here.

The list includes additional funds for pediatric care rates, for community and rural hospital payments, and even funds to get the HCA into the “predictive modeling” game. There were lots of budget notes regarding BHOs, though hardly any of those included MCOs or BH-ASOs, as if the state wasn’t in fact moving to an integrated model.

2. Podcast: Mike Kreidler, Insurance Commissioner

Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler is the most senior insurance commissioner in the United States and is one of the most well-regarded healthy policy leaders in any state in the country. He recently joined us at the 2018 State of Reform Health Policy Conference for a one-on-one discussion on the state of health policy in 2018.

In this podcast, Commissioner Kreidler discusses the 1332 waiver, association health plans, stabilization efforts, and looking for ways to reform health care. Kreidler also discusses his proposal to create a state-based reinsurance program, which ultimately failed to pass in the legislature this year. Take a listen, and be sure to subscribe!

3. Video: Dr. Christopher Kodama, MultiCare Connected Care

Dr. Christopher Kodama is the President of MultiCare Connected Care, a subsidy of the MultiCare Health System. Dr. Kodama joined MultiCare as a pediatric hospitalist in 2003, and has since then served in a variety of leadership roles. He joins us in this edition of “What They’re Watching” to discuss prioritization, changing stewardship, and establishing trusting relationships.

“One [thing I’m watching] is prioritization and a recognition that we need to be able to focus and accelerate performance on a select few priorities rather than incremental gains in a multitude of different areas. This can be really difficult because our appetite to do the right thing is large and there are a lot of different opportunities out there to do the right thing. And at the same time, there are limitations on resources, human intellectual capacity, and enough hours in the day to get that work done.”

4.  Opioid legislation stalls in Senate

In Washington State and across the nation, the opioid epidemic has dominated the news cycle and been a key issue in state legislatures. At the beginning of session, a number of opioid-related bills received committee hearings in Olympia, but few moved much further.

This is in part because many of the bills and ideas discussed during committee were rolled into Rep. Eileen Cody’s comprehensive HB 2489. Among several actions, the bill would have established new requirements for prescription drug monitoring, required continued education on opioids for physicians, and developed programs to connect peer counselors with individuals who have experienced a nonfatal overdose.

The bill passed unanimously in the House at the beginning of February and made it through Senate committees, but never went to the Senate floor for a vote. While the passed supplemental budget includes an additional $4.2 million toward fighting the opioid epidemic, the legislature failed to pass any broad, comprehensive opioid legislation during the 2018 regular session.


5.  Nine legislators retiring, and counting

So far, nine members of Washington’s legislature have announced their plans to retire. In the House, six Republicans and two Democrats have announced they will not seek re-election. They include House minority leader Dan Kristiansen and Representatives Stambaugh, Rodne, Nealey, Haler, Pike, Clibborn, and Kagi. Senator Baumgartner has also announced he will not run for re-election and will instead run for Spokane County Treasurer.

This high rate of retiring Republican Representatives is reflective of what is happening at the federal level. In the US House of Representatives, 42 Republicans have announced their plans to retire or seek other office, compared to just 18 Democrats.