ESSB 5153

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

C 230 L 13

Synopsis as Enacted

Brief Description: Concerning transfers of clients between regional support networks.

Sponsors: Senate Committee on Human Services & Corrections (originally sponsored by Senators Kohl-Welles, Carrell, Darneille, Pearson and Schlicher).

Senate Committee on Human Services & Corrections

House Committee on Health Care & Wellness

Background: Adults and children in Washington who qualify for publicly-funded mental health services and have severe mental health needs are served by regional support networks (RSNs). An RSN is a locally-administered network of treatment providers which contracts with the state of Washington to provide outpatient, residential, and crisis mental health services within a defined geographic region. Washington is divided into 11 geographically distinct RSNs, which range in size from a single county to a group of up to ten counties.

RSNs receive a share of designated Medicaid and non-Medicaid funds based on a capitated reimbursement plan which provides funding based on the RSN's share of the state population. Each RSN assumes financial responsibility for providing services to all eligible persons within the RSN's geographic region. A client receiving services in one RSN may request to transfer services to a different RSN, either because the client has moved away from the region covered by the original RSN, or because the client wishes to move and is seeking advance approval. Advance approval may be required, for example, for a client receiving residential care who wishes to move to a residential care facility within the borders of a different RSN. Neither currently formulated RSN contracts nor state law specifies procedures for approving requests for transfers between RSNs. As a consequence, transfer requests are negotiated between the RSNs on an ad hoc basis, and an RSN may choose to not cooperate with a proposed transfer or to make acceptance of the transfer conditional on receipt of payments or guarantees from the referring RSN.

Summary: The RSNs must jointly develop a uniform transfer agreement to govern the transfer of clients between RSNs. The uniform transfer agreement must be submitted to the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) by September 1, 2013. DSHS must establish guidelines to implement the agreement by December 1, 2013, and may modify the agreement as necessary to avoid impacts on state administrative systems.

Votes on Final Passage:







(House amended)




(Senate concurred)


July 28, 2013.