Gov. Inslee to rescind 12 health sector emergency decrees related to COVID-19

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced late last month that he will rescind 12 COVID-19 emergency authority proclamations that affect the health care sector and are no longer needed in response to the pandemic. The rescissions will take effect on Oct. 27th, which will give health care providers and facilities time to transition to pre-COVID laws.

 

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All proclamations set to be rescinded relate to health care professionals and health care facilities like hospitals and long-term care facilities. They include Proclamations 20-24, 20-32, 20-36, 20-52, 20-59, 20-65, 20-66, and 20-74. Decrees 20-06, 20-10, 20-16, 20-17, and 20-18, which are incorporated in Proclamation 20-52, will also be rescinded.

The proclamations suspended various rules in order to give health care providers more flexibility during the pandemic. They include restricting visitor access to nursing homes and assisted-living facilities, restricting the practice of non-urgent medical procedures, and waiving some licensing requirements for health care workers.

The Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) have created a path to assist health care providers and facilities. DOH will provide technical assistance for facilities as they transition out of the regulations, and DSHS will provide technical assistance for long-term care facilities.

The state will also provide approximately $22 million to support the health care system in maintaining contracted health care staff and support patients transitioning to community-based services.

“Some of those funds will be used to support Harborview Medical Center in its efforts to secure community-based care for patients with complex medical and behavioral needs,” Inslee said in a media release from the governor’s office.

After the rescissions take effect, approximately 87% of all COVID-19 emergency decrees issued in Washington will have been rescinded, according to the state.