Republished from Rep. Mari Leavitt’s website.
As flu season is upon us, we all are thinking about how to avoid getting sick during the colder season. All of our families need affordable, high-quality health care.
Because this issue is so important, I wanted to give you a quick update on major reforms that passed this session.
At the end of this e-newsletter, I hope to hear directly from you with a short survey about your experiences with our health care system. What works and what needs to be fixed?
Ending surprise hospital bills
Even if you have health insurance and do everything right, you can get hit with a surprise medical bill mailed weeks or months after medical treatment or a hospital visit.
You may have seen a story in the news such as this one, where a LaCenter mom received a $112,000 bill after her hospital assured her visit was in-network.
I’m proud to have voted for a landmark reform (House Bill 1065) to help end surprise bills like these.
The leading cause of bankruptcy in America is medical debt. And it happens to everybody, even if you have health coverage. One of the biggest problems with medical debt is people often have no clue about the debt they are accumulating until they are already in a deep hole.
The good news is that House Bill 1531 offers a solution to address this serious problem.
Children’s mental health
Every child deserves a chance at a healthy, productive life, and a new law (HB 1876/SB 5903) is designed to help treat mental illness in children to help give them that chance. This law implements the recommendations of the Children’s Mental Health Workgroup, including:
- Developing a funding model for Partnership Access Line, a program for primary care providers to consult with mental health professionals
- Directing school districts to use a professional learning day for training in behavioral health topics
- Expanding UW and WSU residencies in child and adolescent psychiatry
- Requiring a statewide plan for early identification and intervention for psychosis
- Establishing mental health consultants in each early learning region to support child care providers
Prescription Drug Cost Transparency
This is another case where the health care market isn’t a true free market, where you can compare prices and shop around for the medicines your doctor prescribes.
House Bill 1224 is a major step toward price transparency, with pharmacies, health carriers and other groups now required to report certain prescription drug price data to the state Health Care Authority. We’re starting with three groups: most prescribed drugs, the costliest drugs and the 25 drugs with the largest spending increases each year.
What do you think?
I’m interested in your own family’s experiences with health care—and your thoughts about how to improve this vital system.
Please click here to take a quick 28th District survey about health care.
You can also reach me by email (firstname.lastname@example.org), regular mail or the toll-free Hotline (800-562-6000).
It’s an honor and a privilege to serve as your representative from the beautiful 28th District. I hope to hear from you soon!Print This Post