The deadline for Washington bills to pass out of their original chamber passed last week, so most bills that didn’t receive a floor vote will no longer be considered this session.
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Several health-related bills passed their house of origin, and are now awaiting votes in the opposite chamber. The following bills passed in the Senate and now await a vote in the House:
Several bills that would supplement the state’s nursing workforce are still alive, including Senate Bill 5582, which would reduce barriers and expand educational opportunities to increase the state’s nurse workforce.
SB 5499 would enter Washington into the Nurse Licensure Compact, which expedites licensure for RNs and LPNs who are already licensed in another state. Washington is one of only 13 states that is not a member of the compact.
SB 5236 would improve nurse and healthcare worker safety and patient care by establishing minimum staffing standards in hospitals.
SB 5263 would create a workgroup consisting of various health agencies to provide advice and recommendations to an advisory board to develop a comprehensive regulatory framework for a regulated psilocybin system in the state.
SB 5453 would make Washington the 41st state to ban female genital mutilation.
Senate Joint Memorial 8006 would petition the federal government to create a universal healthcare program, or partner with the state to implement a single-payer health system.
SB 5242 would prohibit cost-sharing for the coverage of abortion services.
SB 5120 would direct the Department of Health (DOH) to license or certify 23-hour crisis relief centers, a new type of crisis diversion facility directed to serve people regardless of behavioral health acuity.
SB 5189 would establish the profession of behavioral health support specialist, and require the Health Care Authority to ensure that behavioral health support specialist services are covered by the state Medicaid program by Jan. 1st, 2025.
SB 5036 would improve telemedicine access by extending the date by six months for which an interactive remote appointment between a patient and a healthcare provider may substitute for an in-person appointment for the purposes of reimbursement to a healthcare provider using audio-only telemedicine.
SB 5050 would require physicians and osteopathic physicians to provide specific information regarding risks, symptoms, and complications before conducting breast implant surgery.
SB 5396 would prohibit health plans that provide coverage for supplemental and diagnostic breast examinations from imposing cost sharing on the examinations.
SB 5632 would require the Health Benefit Exchange to administer a healthcare premium assistance program for employees who lose employer-provided healthcare coverage as a result of a labor dispute.
SB 5729 would remove the expiration date on the $35 cost-sharing cap for insulin.
The following bills passed in the House and now await votes in the Senate:
House Bill 1357 would modernize the prior authorization process for health insurance, aiming to curb wait times for procedures and prescription drugs.
HB 1745 would increase diversity in clinical trials. It would require the University of Washington, Washington State University, and any hospital or state agency that receives National Institutes of Health funding for drug and medical device clinical trials to offer information in a language other than English to provide culturally-specific recruitment materials, and to provide electronic consent when available.
HB 1134 would strengthen the 988 hotline and behavioral health services in the state. It would establish an endorsement for mobile rapid response crisis teams and community-based crisis teams that meet staffing, vehicle, and training standards, as well as a performance payment program to support them.
HB 1155 would protect sensitive patient information by addressing the collection, sharing, and selling of consumer health data. It would establish consumer rights of access, withdraw consent, and deletion regarding consumer health data.
HB 1082 would permit physical therapists and occupational therapists to share an ownership interest in a healthcare practice with other healthcare professionals, rather than only within their scope of practice.
HB 1069 would enact the Counseling Compact in the state. The compact allows professional counselors licensed and resigning in a compact member state to practice in other compact member states without the need for multiple licenses.
HB 1039 would allow physical therapists to perform intramuscular needling after being issued an intramuscular needling endorsement by the Secretary of Health.
HB 1222 would require non-grandfathered, large group health plans to provide coverage for hearing instruments.
HB 1287 would remove the state requirement that a dental hygienist in another state or Canadian province be actively practicing in order to qualify for a limited license in Washington.
HB 1247 would establish music therapists as a new health profession requiring licensure to practice in Washington. It would create the Music Therapy Advisory Committee within the DOH.
HB 1265 would modify the property tax exemption for property that is owned by a nonprofit and used as an adult family home for developmentally disabled individuals to ensure that the exemption may be claimed whether the services are provided by a nonprofit or another licensed provider.
HB 1469 would protect residents who seek, provide, or facilitate abortion or gender-affirming care from out-of-state investigations and prosecutions.
HB 1340 would prevent medical licensing boards from retaliating against clinicians for providing reproductive health services and gender-affirming care.