Washington State

House of Representatives

Office of Program Research



Health Care & Wellness Committee

HB 1184

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.

Brief Description: Allowing licensed marriage and family therapist associates access to the University of Washington health sciences library.

Sponsors: Representatives Cody and Harris.

Brief Summary of Bill

  • Adds marriage and family therapist associates to the list of health professionals who pay a license fee for access to the Health Evidence Resource of Washington State provided by the University of Washington Health Sciences Library.

Hearing Date: 1/27/15

Staff: Robin Hammond (786-7291) and Chris Blake (786-7392).


Marriage and Family Therapist Associates.

A marriage and family therapist associate (MFTA) provides services to individuals, couples, and families for the purpose of treating mental and emotional disorders. A licensed MFTA must have a graduate degree in a mental health field, work under the supervision of an approved supervisor, and declare he or she is working toward full licensure as a marriage and family therapist.

Health Evidence Resource of Washington State.

The Health Evidence Resource of Washington State (HEAL-WA) is an online health information portal that contains evidence-based information to support patient care decisions. Clinical resources include full-text journals, electronic textbooks, medical databases, practice guides, and diagnostic tools.

The Department of Health (DOH) must charge fees to professionals licensed by the DOH. These fees are based on the cost to the department for the licensure of the activity or class of activities. License fees may include up to an additional $25 for professions with access to HEAL-WA. Individuals who are not members of one of the professions listed in statute may not have access to the HEAL-WA.

In 2007 the University of Washington Health Sciences Library created the HEAL-WA in response to legislative mandate. It was originally available to 14 health professions, and presently 22 health professions have access. Health professions that currently have access to the HEAL-WA are: physicians, physician assistants, osteopathic physicians, osteopathic physicians' assistants, naturopaths, podiatrists, chiropractors, psychologists, registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, optometrists, mental health counselors, massage therapists, clinical social workers, midwives, licensed marriage and family therapists, occupational therapists, occupational therapy assistants, dietitians, nutritionists, speech-language pathologists, and East Asian medicine practitioners. As of November 2013, 151,140 licensed healthcare providers were eligible for HEAL-WA and 20,632 licensed healthcare providers were registered with HEAL-WA.

Summary of Bill:

Marriage and family therapist associates are added to the list of health care professionals who can have online access to selected clinical resources at the University of Washington Health Sciences Library. The license fees may include up to an additional $25 for this service.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Available.

Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.