Legislative advocacy is critical in our changing political landscape. Jefferson Healthcare prioritizes advocacy efforts by visiting our state officials in Olympia regularly to discuss issues which directly impact our residents and visit Washington DC to meet with federal officials. Our legislative priorities for 2020 follow the Washington State Hospital Association’s agenda. Focusing on difficult to discharge patients, ensuring the financial sustainability of rural hospitals and supporting access for all services, such as reproductive healthcare, are important both practically and philosophically to Jefferson Healthcare.
2020 Legislative Priorities
Ensure Medicaid patients get the post-acute care they need for timely discharge from the hospital.
At Jefferson Healthcare, we consistently have patients who are difficult to place after they no longer require inpatient hospitalization. These patients can stay for months at a time, and not only is this not the most appropriate place for them to receive care, this also reduces our bed capacity for patients, which is limited during times line flu season. We support legislation that helps get these patients discharged in a timely and appropriate manner.
Support federal rural payment models that promote flexibility and place-based decision making.
Jefferson Healthcare is fully supportive of transforming healthcare into a quality and cost-conscious model. However, any ‘solution’ which treats every community as the same is not one that we are in favor of. We support programs that are optional, flexible, and take into account the specific needs of the community.
Support Title X family planning services.
Our partners in Jefferson County such as Jefferson County Public Health rely heavily on Title X dollars to support their reproductive health clinic, which is the only clinic outside of our medical group that offers birth control, cervical cancer screening, and critical women’s services such as chlamydia testing and mammograms to vulnerable women in our community. We are fully supportive of ensuring that women have options and would like to support these budgets asks on behalf of our community partners.
Support bills that promote the social determinants of health.
Lastly, Jefferson Healthcare is moving more intentionally into supporting the social determinants of health. There are a number of bills which fall into this category, such as tax credits for working families and expanding Apple Health for postpartum women up to a year after delivery. We are supportive of these bills and tie them directly to our population health work.
JH Advocacy Team in Olympia
Critical Access Hospital Modernization Act
Utilizing Critical Access Hospital Infrastructure to Expand Critical Services to Rural Communities
In 2018, Jefferson Healthcare began discussing how to sustainably expand service lines to include things not included on the Medicare Cost Report, which is a federal designation that determines how Jefferson Healthcare is paid as a Critical Access Hospital. Starting with a series of key informant interviews, it was decided that in order to provide all needed services to our community Jefferson Healthcare had to change the legislation around how we are paid. This work led into the Critical Access Hospital Modernization Act, which has the potential to change the landscape for all critical access hospitals across the country.Show More