ESB 5305

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 252 L 13

Synopsis as Enacted

Brief Description: Requiring hospitals to report when providing treatment for bullet wounds, gunshot wounds, and stab wounds to all patients.

Sponsors: Senators Becker, Schlicher, Kline, Dammeier, Delvin, Ericksen, Parlette and Carrell.

Senate Committee on Health Care

House Committee on Health Care & Wellness

Background: The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and state law generally limit disclosure of a patient’s health care information, if a patient has not authorized disclosure. However, both HIPAA and state law permit disclosure of health care information without a patient’s authorization under some circumstances. If a state law permits such disclosure, a patient’s authorization is not required under HIPAA.

Washington State law requires hospitals to report bullet, gunshot, and stab wounds to law enforcement as soon as reasonably possible if a patient is unconscious or unable to make such a report. Information to be reported includes: the name, residence, sex, and age of the patient, whether the patient has received a bullet, gunshot, or stab wound, and the name of the health care provider providing treatment.

Summary: Hospitals must report bullet, gunshot, or stab wounds to law enforcement as soon as reasonably possible when the hospital is providing treatment for such an injury. This requirement must consider the patient's emergency care needs but is mandated whether or not the patient is unconscious. If the patient states that his or her injury is the result of domestic violence, the hospital must follow its procedures for informing the patient of resources to assure safety of the patient and the patient's family.

Votes on Final Passage:







(House amended)




(Senate concurred)


July 28, 2013.