Chapter 43.370 RCW

STATEWIDE HEALTH RESOURCES STRATEGY

Sections

43.370.010Definitions.
43.370.020Office of financial managementDuties.
43.370.030Development of strategyGoals and principlesRequired elementsReportsPublic hearings.
43.370.040Department of healthCertificate of need review program.
43.370.050Requests for data and other information.
43.370.900SeverabilitySubheadings not law2007 c 259.


Definitions.

The definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter unless the context clearly requires otherwise.
(1) "Health care provider" means an individual who holds a license issued by a disciplining authority identified in RCW 18.130.040 and who practices his or her profession in a health care facility or provides a health service.
(2) "Health facility" or "facility" means hospices licensed under chapter 70.127 RCW, hospitals licensed under chapter 70.41 RCW, rural health care facilities as defined in RCW 70.175.020, psychiatric hospitals licensed under chapter 71.12 RCW, nursing homes licensed under chapter 18.51 RCW, community mental health centers licensed under chapter 71.05 or 71.24 RCW, kidney disease treatment centers, ambulatory diagnostic, treatment, or surgical facilities, drug and alcohol treatment facilities licensed under *chapter 70.96A RCW, and home health agencies licensed under chapter 70.127 RCW, and includes such facilities if owned and operated by a political subdivision, including a public hospital district, or instrumentality of the state and such other facilities as required by federal law and implementing regulations.
(3) "Health service" or "service" means that service, including primary care service, offered or provided by health care facilities and health care providers relating to the prevention, cure, or treatment of illness, injury, or disease.
(4) "Health service area" means a geographic region appropriate for effective health planning that includes a broad range of health services.
(5) "Office" means the office of financial management.
(6) "Strategy" means the statewide health resources strategy.

NOTES:

*Reviser's note: Chapter 70.96A RCW was repealed and/or recodified in its entirety pursuant to 2016 sp.s. c 29 §§ 301, 601, and 701.



Office of financial managementDuties.

(1) The office shall serve as a coordinating body for public and private efforts to improve quality in health care, promote cost-effectiveness in health care, and plan health facility and health service availability. In addition, the office shall facilitate access to health care data collected by public and private organizations as needed to conduct its planning responsibilities.
(2) The office shall:
(a) Conduct strategic health planning activities related to the preparation of the strategy, as specified in this chapter;
(b) Develop a computerized system for accessing, analyzing, and disseminating data relevant to strategic health planning responsibilities. The office may contract with an organization to create the computerized system capable of meeting the needs of the office;
(c) Have access to the information submitted as part of the health professional licensing application and renewal process, excluding social security number and background check information, whether the license is issued by the secretary of the department of health or a board or commission. The office shall also have access to information submitted to the department of health as part of the medical or health facility licensing process. Access to and use of all data shall be in accordance with state and federal confidentiality laws and ethical guidelines, and the office shall maintain the same degree of confidentiality as the department of health. For professional licensing information provided to the office, the department of health shall replace any social security number with an alternative identifier capable of linking all licensing records of an individual; and
(d) Conduct research and analysis or arrange for research and analysis projects to be conducted by public or private organizations to further the purposes of the strategy.

NOTES:

Effective date2010 1st sp.s. c 26; 2010 1st sp.s. c 7: See note following RCW 43.03.027.



Development of strategyGoals and principlesRequired elementsReportsPublic hearings.

(1) The office shall develop a statewide health resources strategy. The strategy shall establish statewide health planning policies and goals related to the availability of health care facilities and services, quality of care, and cost of care. The strategy shall identify needs according to geographic regions suitable for comprehensive health planning as designated by the office.
(2) The development of the strategy shall consider the following general goals and principles:
(a) That excess capacity of health services and facilities place considerable economic burden on the public who pay for the construction and operation of these facilities as patients, health insurance purchasers, carriers, and taxpayers; and
(b) That the development and ongoing maintenance of current and accurate health care information and statistics related to cost and quality of health care, as well as projections of need for health facilities and services, are essential to effective strategic health planning.
(3) The strategy, with public input by health service areas, shall include:
(a) A health system assessment and objectives component that:
(i) Describes state and regional population demographics, health status indicators, and trends in health status and health care needs; and
(ii) Identifies key policy objectives for the state health system related to access to care, health outcomes, quality, and cost-effectiveness;
(b) A health care facilities and services plan that shall assess the demand for health care facilities and services to inform state health planning efforts and direct certificate of need determinations, for those facilities and services subject to certificate of need as provided in chapter 70.38 RCW. The plan shall include:
(i) An inventory of each geographic region's existing health care facilities and services;
(ii) Projections of need for each category of health care facility and service, including those subject to certificate of need;
(iii) Policies to guide the addition of new or expanded health care facilities and services to promote the use of quality, evidence-based, cost-effective health care delivery options, including any recommendations for criteria, standards, and methods relevant to the certificate of need review process; and
(iv) An assessment of the availability of health care providers, public health resources, transportation infrastructure, and other considerations necessary to support the needed health care facilities and services in each region;
(c) A health care data resource plan that identifies data elements necessary to properly conduct planning activities and to review certificate of need applications, including data related to inpatient and outpatient utilization and outcomes information, and financial and utilization information related to charity care, quality, and cost. The plan shall inventory existing data resources, both public and private, that store and disclose information relevant to the health planning process, including information necessary to conduct certificate of need activities pursuant to chapter 70.38 RCW. The plan shall identify any deficiencies in the inventory of existing data resources and the data necessary to conduct comprehensive health planning activities. The plan may recommend that the office be authorized to access existing data sources and conduct appropriate analyses of such data or that other agencies expand their data collection activities as statutory authority permits. The plan may identify any computing infrastructure deficiencies that impede the proper storage, transmission, and analysis of health planning data. The plan shall provide recommendations for increasing the availability of data related to health planning to provide greater community involvement in the health planning process and consistency in data used for certificate of need applications and determinations;
(d) An assessment of emerging trends in health care delivery and technology as they relate to access to health care facilities and services, quality of care, and costs of care. The assessment shall recommend any changes to the scope of health care facilities and services covered by the certificate of need program that may be warranted by these emerging trends. In addition, the assessment may recommend any changes to criteria used by the department to review certificate of need applications, as necessary;
(e) A rural health resource plan to assess the availability of health resources in rural areas of the state, assess the unmet needs of these communities, and evaluate how federal and state reimbursement policies can be modified, if necessary, to more efficiently and effectively meet the health care needs of rural communities. The plan shall consider the unique health care needs of rural communities, the adequacy of the rural health workforce, and transportation needs for accessing appropriate care.
(4) The office shall submit the initial strategy to the governor and the appropriate committees of the senate and house of representatives by January 1, 2010. Every two years the office shall submit an updated strategy. The health care facilities and services plan as it pertains to a distinct geographic planning region may be updated by individual categories on a rotating, biannual schedule.
(5) The office shall hold at least one public hearing and allow opportunity to submit written comments prior to the issuance of the initial strategy or an updated strategy. A public hearing shall be held prior to issuing a draft of an updated health care facilities and services plan, and another public hearing shall be held before final adoption of an updated health care facilities and services plan. Any hearing related to updating a health care facilities and services plan for a specific planning region shall be held in that region with sufficient notice to the public and an opportunity to comment.

NOTES:

Effective date2010 1st sp.s. c 26; 2010 1st sp.s. c 7: See note following RCW 43.03.027.



Department of healthCertificate of need review program.

The office shall submit the strategy to the department of health to direct its activities related to the certificate of need review program under chapter 70.38 RCW. As the health care facilities and services plan is updated for any specific geographic planning region, the office shall submit that plan to the department of health to direct its activities related to the certificate of need review program under chapter 70.38 RCW. The office shall not issue determinations of the merits of specific project proposals submitted by applicants for certificates of need.



Requests for data and other information.

(1) The office may respond to requests for data and other information from its computerized system for special studies and analysis consistent with requirements for confidentiality of patient, provider, and facility-specific records. The office may require requestors to pay any or all of the reasonable costs associated with such requests that might be approved.
(2) Data elements related to the identification of individual patient's, provider's, and facility's care outcomes are confidential, are exempt from RCW 42.56.030 through 42.56.570 and * 42.17.350 through 42.17.450, and are not subject to discovery by subpoena or admissible as evidence.

NOTES:

*Reviser's note: Chapter 42.17 RCW relating to "campaign finance" was recodified pursuant to 2010 c 204 § 1102, effective January 1, 2012. See Comparative Table for chapter 42.17 RCW in the Table of Disposition of Former RCW Sections.



SeverabilitySubheadings not law2007 c 259.

See notes following RCW 41.05.033.