Update from Olympia – week 1

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

The 2020 legislative session began this week, and one of my bills is already off to a fast start. SB 5887, which would prohibit health providers from requiring certain treatment visits to meet medical-necessity standards if a doctor determines the visits are medically necessary, was passed by the full Senate almost unanimously on day 3. Late in the 2019 session the Senate and House hit a stalemate on the bill so our vote sent it to the House again. It’s early enough in this 60-day session to work out the differences and get this important policy into law.

Knowing how important health-care coverage is to families across our state, I’m co-sponsoring another bill on that topic this session – one that deals with regulation of health benefit managers. These entities have had an increasing negative impact on patient health and access to care, oftentimes denying what physicians have prescribed for their patients. SB 5601 seeks to regulate benefit managers, requiring licensing and reporting provisions. The Office of the Insurance Commissioner would also have oversight authority over benefit managers.

Planning to write to me? Read this first

I’ve updated the “Contact Me” page of my website to account for a December 2019 ruling from the state Supreme Court that each legislative office is an “agency” subject to the general disclosure requirements of the state’s Public Records Act. This means anything you send my office in paper or electronic form may be considered a public record that is available for viewing upon request.

I am still here to help you with questions or concerns (about laws, regulations, or interaction with other government agencies) but want you to be aware of the change, as sensitive information shared about yourself or a family member could be considered “public”. This ruling also has my office working towards becoming paperless – if you are coming to Olympia and want to meet with me this session, consider emailing your information ahead of time. Also, you can always contact my office by phone as an alternative to writing.


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