HB 2974 - DIGEST

Provides that any individual who applies for a license or temporary practice permit or holds a license or temporary practice permit and is prohibited from practicing a health care profession in another state because of an act of unprofessional conduct that is substantially equivalent to an act of unprofessional conduct prohibited by this chapter or any of the chapters specified in RCW 18.130.040 is prohibited from practicing a profession in this state until proceedings of the appropriate disciplining authority have been completed under RCW 18.130.050.

Requires the disciplining authority to initiate an investigation in every instance where the disciplining authority receives information that a health care provider has been disqualified from participating in the federal medicare program, under Title XVIII of the federal social security act, or the federal medicaid program, under Title XIX of the federal social security act.

Provides that, upon a guilty plea or conviction of a person for any felony crime involving homicide under chapter 9A.32 RCW, assault under chapter 9A.36 RCW, kidnapping under chapter 9A.40 RCW, sex offenses under chapter 9A.44 RCW, burglary or trespass under chapter 9A.52 RCW, theft or robbery under chapter 9A.56 RCW, or fraud under chapter 9A.60 RCW the prosecuting attorney shall notify the state patrol of such guilty pleas or convictions.

Provides that when the state patrol receives information that a person has pled guilty to or been convicted of one of the felony crimes under this act, the state patrol shall transmit that information to the department of health. It is the duty of the department of health to identify whether the person holds a credential issued by a disciplining authority listed under RCW 18.130.040, and provide this information to the disciplining authority that issued the credential to the person who pled guilty or was convicted of the crimes committed in this act.

Requires that, when developing its biennial budget request for appropriation of the health professions account created in RCW 43.70.320, beginning in the 2007-2009 budget and continuing in subsequent biennia, the department shall specify the number of full-time employees designated as investigators and attorneys and the costs associated with supporting their activities. The department shall also specify the additional full-time employees designated as investigators and attorneys that are required to achieve a staffing level that is able to respond promptly, competently, and appropriately to the workload associated with health professions disciplinary activities and the costs associated with supporting disciplinary activities.

Requires the joint legislative audit and review committee, in consultation with the department, to report to the legislature by December 1, 2010, with recommendations for formulas for determining appropriate staffing levels for investigators and attorneys at the department of health involved in the health professions disciplinary process to achieve prompt, competent, and appropriate responses to complaints of unprofessional conduct. The report must be based upon the department's prior experience with staff levels compared to the number of providers, complaints, investigations, and other criteria that the department finds are relevant to determining appropriate staffing levels.

Repeals RCW 18.57.174 and 18.71.0193.