Washington becomes second state to implement health care transaction reporting requirements

Beginning January 1, 2020, certain health care transactions will be subject to mandatory reporting to the attorney general. These new reporting requirements are a result of a bill passed this legislative session, and signed into law this spring. HB 1607 attempts to provide more competition in the market. 

 

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The new law requires hospitals, hospital systems, and provider organizations who are undergoing a material change to notify the attorney general within 60 days of the transaction. A material change, according to the law, are events like mergers, acquisitions, or contractual agreements that occur between two or more of these health care entities. 

The law also applies to out-of-state mergers that will impact Washington State patients and health care entities. Reporting must occur if that out-of-state entity will acquire more than $10 million from patients that reside in Washington. No reporting is necessary if compensation is less than $10 million.  

Written notice to the AG must include: 

  • the names of the parties and their current business addresses,
  • identification of all locations where health care services are currently provided by each party, 
  • a brief description of the nature and objectives of the proposed material change, and 
  • the anticipated effective date of the proposed material change. 

With the new law, Washington becomes the second state to implement required advanced notice of these kinds of health care transactions. Connecticut was the first to establish such a law in 2014. 

The new law will require more consideration, and notice when discussing potential health care mergers and acquisitions which may impact the number of transactions that occur overall.