Washington introduced a number of price transparency and cost control bills aimed at tackling prescription drug costs in the 2018 legislative term. Notably, the legislature passed a bill to promote telemedicine in the state. SB 6399 would establish a telemedicine payment parity pilot program to provide parity in reimbursement for certain health care services and requires certain health care professionals to complete telemedicine training.
In the 2017 legislative term, Washington actively built upon its legislation promoting price transparency by continuing to pass legislation related to the creation of the state’s APCD. The state legislature passed SB 5084 in 2015, which established an APCD in the state. The database, named HealthCareCompare (WAHCC), was launched in July 2018. The site will aggregate health care claims information of over 4 million Washington residents to present informative cost comparisons for consumer, as well as statistical reports and data access for health care industry insiders.
The State Database
The Source tracks state activities impacting healthcare price and competition in both legislation and litigation in a searchable database to help stakeholders at the state level understand their legal and regulatory environment as they make efforts to improve access, quality, and efficiency, and reduce costs in healthcare. We currently cover bills from the 2017-2018 legislative term and key statutes from each state. Search the database for specific bills, statutes or cases by using keyword, key issue category, and/or jurisdiction.
LEGISLATIVE CALENDARWashington’s most recent legislative session ran from 1/8/2018 – 3/8/2018. Bills from 2017 were carried over to 2018 for the 2017-2018 legislative term.
2017 – 2019 BUDGETWashington enacts budgets on a two-year cycle, beginning July 1 of each odd-numbered year. Washington’s new Biennial Budget will take effect on July 1, 2017 and is valid through June 30, 2019. To view Washington’s Department of Health and Human Services 2017-2019 Budget, visit page 25.
REGULATION & ENFORCEMENT
- Washington was one of 16 states to file an amicus brief supporting the FTC’s winning position in the Ninth Circuit appeal of St. Luke’s Health Care Sys. v. FTC, No. 14-35173 (March 7, 2014), decided February 10, 2015. The States’ brief stated that the acceleration of health care costs due to the growth of large health care provider systems had become a matter of grave concern for the states.