From Rep. Tom Campbell’s Press Release of Feb. 22, 2007
Negligent health care provider bill advances to House floor
(Olympia) Legislation to give the state Dept. of Health authority over health care providers who demonstrate negligence, incompetence or criminal actions with patients advances to the House floor, having passed both the House Appropriations and the Health & Wellness committees.
Rep. Tom Campbell (R-Roy), who sponsored the bill (SHB 1103), said if it passes the legislature and is signed into law, the discipline responsibility for health care providers will shift from the health care profession to the state Dept. of Health. “This measure shifts oversight from health care professionals to the state that licenses the practitioners,” Campbell said.
The major provisions of the bill require background checks of health care providers and shifts authority from the profession-run boards to the Dept.of Health to investigate complaints, make charging decisions, and conduct emergency license suspensions. The bill also creates sanctioning guidelines for all boards and commissions that will provide predictable and appropriate sanctions.
Campbell said the current system allows the profession to oversee the conduct of their peers in the health care field even though the state that is responsible to license them to practice.
“This bill shifts the status quo and places responsibility to review the competence of health care providers to the agency that licenses them,” he said. “It says the state demands transparency in the health care system so consumers can know the capability of their providers.”
The Appropriations Committee voted 23 to 11 to send the bill to the House floor. Campbell said his bill won the support of all 22 Democrats on the committee along with the yes vote of Rep. Maureen Walsh, (R-16th District).
Campbell said he expects the bill to be scheduled for debate on the House floor next week.
“The strong vote the bill got from the Health & Wellness Committee (9 yeas/4 nays) and this vote in Appropriations Committee gives us great momentum to get it passed by the full House,” Campbell said. “Now, we’ll work to gain this momentum in the Senate.”