It is the intent of the legislature that enrollees covered by health plans receive quality health care designed to maintain and improve their health. The purpose of chapter 5, Laws of 2000 is to ensure that health plan enrollees:
(1) Have improved access to information regarding their health plans;
(2) Have sufficient and timely access to appropriate health care services, and choice among health care providers;
(3) Are assured that health care decisions are made by appropriate medical personnel;
(4) Have access to a quick and impartial process for appealing plan decisions;
(5) Are protected from unnecessary invasions of health care privacy; and
(6) Are assured that personal health care information will be used only as necessary to obtain and pay for health care or to improve the quality of care.
[2000 c 5 § 1.]
Application—2000 c 5:
"This act applies to: Health plans as defined in RCW 48.43.005
offered, renewed, or issued by a carrier; medical assistance provided under RCW 74.09.522
; the basic health plan offered under chapter 70.47
RCW; and health benefits provided under chapter 41.05
RCW." [2000 c 5 § 19.]
Short title—2000 c 5: "This act may be known and cited as the health care patient bill of rights." [2000 c 5 § 22.]
Captions not law—2000 c 5: "Captions used in this act are not any part of the law." [2000 c 5 § 24.]
Construction—2000 c 5: "To the extent permitted by law, if any provision of this act conflicts with state or federal law, such provision must be construed in a manner most favorable to the enrollee." [2000 c 5 § 26.]
Severability—2000 c 5: "If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected." [2000 c 5 § 27.]
Application to contracts—Effective dates—2000 c 5: "(1) Except as provided in subsections (2) and (3) of this section, this act applies to contracts entered into or renewing after June 30, 2001.
(2) Sections 13, 14, 15, and 16 of this act take effect January 1, 2001.
(3) Section 29 of this act takes effect July 1, 2001." [2000 c 5 § 28.]