SB 5693

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.

As Passed House:

April 22, 2015

Title: An act relating to reducing the costs of state health care expenses for residents committed to the special commitment center operated by the department of social and health services.

Brief Description: Authorizing the department of social and health services special commitment center to seek eligibility and reimbursement for health care costs covered by federal medicare, medicaid, and veterans health benefits.

Sponsors: Senators Miloscia, Darneille, Fraser and O'Ban; by request of Department of Social and Health Services.

Brief History:

Committee Activity:

Appropriations: 3/16/15, 3/25/15 [DP].

Floor Activity:

Passed House: 4/22/15, 89-8.

Brief Summary of Bill

  • Authorizes the Department of Social and Health Services to act on behalf of a resident of the Special Commitment Center for the purposes of applying for health care benefits.


Majority Report: Do pass. Signed by 29 members: Representatives Hunter, Chair; Ormsby, Vice Chair; Chandler, Ranking Minority Member; Parker, Assistant Ranking Minority Member; Wilcox, Assistant Ranking Minority Member; Buys, Carlyle, Cody, Dent, Dunshee, Fagan, Haler, Hansen, Hudgins, Jinkins, Kagi, Lytton, MacEwen, Magendanz, Pettigrew, Sawyer, Schmick, Senn, Springer, Stokesbary, Sullivan, Tharinger, Van Werven and Walkinshaw.

Minority Report: Do not pass. Signed by 2 members: Representatives G. Hunt and Taylor.

Minority Report: Without recommendation. Signed by 1 member: Representative Condotta.

Staff: James Kettel (786-7123).


A Sexually Violent Predator (SVP) suffers from a mental abnormality, or personality disorder, and has been convicted of, or charged with, a sexually violent offense. An SVP is likely to engage in predatory acts of sexual violence if not confined to a secure facility. When it appears that a person may meet the criteria of an SVP, a prosecuting agency may file a petition to confine the person alleged as an SVP. If a person is found at trial beyond a reasonable doubt to be an SVP, then the state is authorized under the Community Protection Act of 1990 to involuntarily commit the person to a total confinement facility on McNeil Island, called the Special Commitment Center (SCC), for an indefinite period of time.

The individual is held in total confinement until: (a) the individual's condition has so changed that the individual no longer meets the definition of an SVP; or (b) the court orders the person's conditional release to a less-restrictive alternative placement. During the period of total confinement, the SCC is responsible for outpatient care, inpatient care, prescription drugs, and other medical care for residents.

Summary of Bill:

The Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) is authorized to act on behalf of a civilly committed resident of the Special Commitment Center for the purposes of applying for Medicare, Medicaid, veterans health benefits, or other health care benefits available as a result of participation in a health care exchange.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Available.

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

Staff Summary of Public Testimony:

(In support) This is a companion to House Bill 1775, which was reported out of this committee prior to fiscal cutoff. This is an agency request bill that just gives the DSHS authority to enroll residents for medical coverage. In fiscal year 2014 Medicaid approved reimbursement on $579,000 for healthcare costs. Thus far in fiscal year 2015 the SCC has applied for reimbursement on $810,000. The $810,000 in fiscal year 2015 is for only nine residents. The Department of Corrections was given similar authority to sign inmates up for Medicaid coverage a few years ago, and has saved the state a great deal of money. The expected savings from this bill has already been accounted for in the Governor's budget. Additional savings will be captured in future caseload forecasts.

(Opposed) None.

Persons Testifying: David Griffith, Department of Social and Health Services.

Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying: None.