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2023 WSMA Regulatory Priorities

2023 WSMA Regulatory Priorities

Bills that are signed into law often require rulemaking for implementation. Your policy team monitors and engages on rules impacting the house of medicine. While this work often takes place during the interim months (the months outside of the state legislative session), a number of rulemakings are still in progress.

HB = House Bill; SB = Senate Bill

Rulemakings In Progress

Balance billing reconciliation

HB 1688, which seeks to align Washington state’s Balance Billing Protection Act with the federal No Surprises Act.

Naturopaths and non-surgical cosmetic procedures

Rulemaking is set to expand naturopaths’ scope of practice to include nonsurgical cosmetic procedures – specifically the use of botulinum toxin – without stipulating additional education requirements or training.

Audio-only telemedicine

Rulemaking that redefines what constitutes an “established relationship” for the purposes of insurance coverage for audio-only telemedicine services.

Confidentiality and the Washington Physicians Health Program

SB 5496, which modernizes language pertaining to the Washington Physicians Health Program to ensure confidentiality for those who access the program for reasons outside of substance use disorder.

Prescription drug affordability

SB 5532: Establishes a prescription drug affordability board at the Health Care Authority.

Rulemakings Concluded

The WSMA’s policy department worked on a number of rulemakings that wrapped up in 2022.

Suicide prevention

HB 1477: Rulemaking was initiated to adopt reporting requirements regarding access to next- day services to ensure enrollees are receiving vital services for the prevention of suicide.

Health equity continuing education

SB 5229: Rulemaking was required to create model rules establishing minimum standards for health equity continuing education programs for health professions licensed under Title 18 RCW.

Medical assistants

HB 1378: Rulemaking addressed seven sections of medical assistant rules, including supervision requirements.

International medical graduates

SB 6551: Rulemaking was initiated to create an exceptional qualification waiver for international medical graduates pursuing a full medical license, as well as the creation of a time-limited clinical experience license.

Ambient heat exposure

This rulemaking updated the regulations on occupational health exposure hazards from high ambient temperatures in all industries, including outdoor and indoor exposures.

WSMA Member Support Available

Do you have questions about how changes from the state legislative session will apply to your practice? Are you frustrated by administrative burden or a particular state or federal regulation? The WSMA Policy Department is here to help. As a WSMA member, you have access to policy experts who can assist with your questions and provide information on the latest health care policies and proposals. Your questions and feedback help us shape our policy agenda in partnership with the House of Delegates, our legislative team, and state and federal agencies, and may lead to direct WSMA-led action before the state to address issues facing physicians.

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