43.370.020  <<  43.370.030 >>   43.370.040

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.


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