Kaiser Permanente and Washington workers reach deal to avoid strike

BY: - October 31, 2023

Kaiser Permanente and thousands of its Washington workers have agreed on a tentative labor contract, averting a strike planned for Wednesday had no deal been reached. Absent an agreement, about 3,000 employees at 36 locations, including nurses, social workers and medical assistants, were prepared to walk out from Nov. 1 to 8. Instead, starting Wednesday, […]

WA hospitals sue state Department of Health over expanded charity care requirements

BY: - October 18, 2023

The association representing most of Washington’s hospitals sued the state Department of Health this week over the department’s new policy that says hospitals should provide non-emergency charity care to out-of-state residents. Washington’s charity care law has long required hospitals to provide emergency care regardless of residence or immigration status and non-emergency care to residents of […]

Hospitals plead with Congress to avert $8 billion in cuts in Medicaid funding

BY: - September 17, 2023

WASHINGTON — Health care representatives from across the United States are urging Congress to halt cuts to funding that helps hospitals care for uninsured or low-income patients who rely on Medicaid. More than 250 hospitals and health systems appealed to House and Senate leadership in a letter Thursday asking the lawmakers to avert or delay a forthcoming […]

Violence against staff rises sharply at a Washington psychiatric hospital

BY: - August 25, 2023

Assaults on staff by patients surged last year at one of Washington’s state-owned psychiatric hospitals, although just two individuals were responsible for nearly 20% of the attacks, according to a new report. At Eastern State Hospital, which is located near Spokane and treats adult psychiatric patients, assaults on staff rose 63% from 2021 to 2022, […]

State completes acquisition of shuttered Tukwila psychiatric hospital

BY: - August 14, 2023

Washington will officially take over a closed Tukwila psychiatric hospital on Tuesday after spending nearly $30 million to acquire the property. The Cascade Behavioral Health Hospital purchase is expected to add 100 new beds for patients who are committed to state hospitals. Officials said this should free up beds for people in jail awaiting competency […]

Why WA is taking a new approach to caring for newborns exposed to drugs

BY: - July 5, 2023

In Washington, hospitals automatically report newborns affected by their mother’s use of drugs or alcohol during pregnancy to Child Protective Services. State guidelines then call for testing those infants every few hours using a complex scoring system to determine whether they need morphine or other medications to treat withdrawal. They’ll also often be sent to […]

Study shows sharp increases in maternal deaths over two decades

BY: - July 3, 2023

A study from the University of Washington released Monday shows maternal mortality rates more than doubled in some states between 1999 and 2019, with sharp increases for some racial and ethnic groups. Researchers touted it as the first study to provide such maternal mortality calculations for every state. Previous reports have not included rates for […]

For those unfit to make decisions, a complex path out of the hospital

BY: - June 17, 2023

The state’s already stretched hospital system is facing added strain from patients who could be discharged but are stuck waiting because they lack a state-appointed guardian. The Washington State Hospital Association estimates that roughly 10% of the state’s hospital beds are occupied by patients who have barriers to being discharged. Among them, a subset, often […]