Many thanks to our Panel convening members who met last week to help us reflect on the issues and topics that will form our agenda at 2022 Northwest Interior Health Policy Conference. We are working internally to develop a draft of our Actual Agenda, which we will publish to all of you in about a month!

Thanks for reading!

Emily Burger
Status of reforms

1. Insurers ask to increase the rate by an average of 7.16%.

Washington Office of the Insurance Commissioner released an early look on the requested rate changes for the 2023 private health insurance market. Together with breaking OIC notes that of the proposed 2,023 health insurers and county-based plans, 14 insurers have applied for a 7.16% average rate increase for the individual market.

Requested exchange rate changes range from -1.23% (Coordinated Care Corporation) to 16.10% (BridgeSpan Health Company). “More than 200,000 people in Washington State receive health coverage through our individual marketplace,” Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler said. “It is very important that they have a choice of meaningful and affordable coverage. Fourteen insurers have submitted plans for next year, and while the choice depends on where you live, our market is booming.” Proposed rate changes are currently under review, with final decisions expected in the fall.

2 Senate Committee Discusses Youth Homelessness

The Senate Committee on Social Services, Returns and Rehabilitation met last week. discuss efforts to support young people leaving public care systems such as foster care or residential mental health care. Data provided by the Department of Commerce shows that about 17% of individuals released of these care systems remain homeless for 12 months after leaving.

Establishing an effective care transition, developing community ties, and acquiring housing were identified as important measures to ensure stabilization for these people. Updates on grant funding, new legislationinitiatives and available community support available here.

3. Hospitals Violating the Price Transparency Rule

According to the latest data, approximately 6-9 months after the introduction of federal rules for transparency of hospital prices, only 5.7% of institutions were fully compliant. JAMA study. new rules require hospitals to disclose standard charges for all services on file and require them to provide a consumer-friendly display of at least 300 services available for purchase.

Of the more than 5,000 hospitals assessed, 13.9% had an accessible standard rate file, 29.4% were able to shop, and more than half had none of the price transparency requirements. Study also finds that hospitals in highly concentrated markets are less likely to be transparent. Last week, CMS Announced he imposed his first civil monetary fines on two hospitals for non-compliance.

4. Washington Poison Center reports surge in self-harm and suspected suicide.

BUT recent report from the Washington Poison Control Center found that cases of self-harm or suspected suicide increased by 37% in patients 13-17 years old from 2019 to 2021. Over the same time period, self-harm or suspected suicide increased by 58% among patients aged 6 to 12 years.

Brandon Foister, Director of Whatcom County Outpatient Services and Director of Inpatient Strategy for Compass Health, He speaks Youth mental health issues have grown at an alarming rate since the start of the COVID pandemic. “Broadly speaking, helping children rebuild their community and sense of community to provide them with a network of support will be an integral part of our work as a state and country to address the mental health challenges facing our youth. Foster said.

5. The Department of Health prepares for the summer heat

Even though we’ve had unseasonably cold weather for the past few months, DOH preparing to speak heat-related health problems that can occur in the summer. Last year, a heat wave from June 26 to July 2 resulted in 157 deaths and numerous other injuries.

In preparation for a potential heat wave, state officials are working on several initiatives, including creating a map of the location of cooling centers across the state. The Ministry of Health also provides assistance in Home Energy Assistance Program and sponsors an AmeriCorps member to work with Gonzaga on his Beat the heat initiative in Spokane.

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