WSR 21-15-057
[Filed July 15, 2021, 1:01 p.m.]
Original Notice.
Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 21-11-029.
Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: WAC 182-526-0195 Prehearing conferences.
Hearing Location(s): On August 24, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. The health care authority (HCA) remains closed in response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) public health emergency. Until further notice, HCA continues to hold public hearings virtually without a physical meeting place. This promotes social distancing and the safety of Washington state residents. To attend the virtual public hearing, you must register in advance After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the public hearing.
Date of Intended Adoption: Not sooner than August 25, 2021.
Submit Written Comments to: HCA Rules Coordinator, P.O. Box 42716, Olympia, WA 98504-2716, email, fax 360-586-9727, by August 24, 2021.
Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Amber Lougheed, phone 360-725-1349, fax 360-586-9727, telecommunication[s] relay service 711, email, by August 13, 2021.
Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: The agency is amending WAC 182-526-0195 to change subsection (4) to specify that the administrative law judge has discretion to grant or deny an agency or managed care organization request for a prehearing conference.
Reasons Supporting Proposal: See purpose.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 41.05.021, 41.05.160.
Statute Being Implemented: RCW 41.05.021, 41.05.160.
Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.
Agency Comments or Recommendations, if any, as to Statutory Language, Implementation, Enforcement, and Fiscal Matters: Not applicable.
Name of Proponent: HCA, governmental.
Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting: Brian Jensen, P.O. Box 42716, Olympia, WA 98504-2716, 360-725-0815; Implementation and Enforcement: Kerry Breen, P.O. Box 42700, Olympia, WA 98504-2700, 360-725-9970.
A school district fiscal impact statement is not required under RCW 28A.305.135.
A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328. RCW 34.05.328 does not apply to HCA rules unless requested by the joint administrative rules review committee or applied voluntarily.
This rule proposal, or portions of the proposal, is exempt from requirements of the Regulatory Fairness Act because the proposal:
Is exempt under RCW 19.85.025(3) as the rules adopt, amend, or repeal a procedure, practice, or requirement relating to agency hearings; or a filing or related process requirement for applying to an agency for a license or permit.
July 15, 2021
Wendy Barcus
Rules Coordinator
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 21-11-039, filed 5/12/21, effective 6/12/21)
WAC 182-526-0195Prehearing conferences.
(1) Unlike a prehearing meeting, a prehearing conference is a formal proceeding conducted on the record by an administrative law judge (ALJ) to address issues and prepare for a hearing.
(a) The ALJ must make an audio record of the prehearing conference.
(b) An ALJ may conduct the prehearing conference in person, by telephone, or in any other manner acceptable to the parties.
(2) All parties must attend the prehearing conference. If the party who requested the hearing does not attend the prehearing conference, the ALJ may enter an order of default and an order dismissing the hearing.
(3) The ALJ may require a prehearing conference. Any party may request a prehearing conference.
(4) The ALJ must grant the appellant's, and may grant the managed care organization's or the agency representative's, first request for a prehearing conference if it is filed with the office of administrative hearings (OAH) at least seven business days before the scheduled hearing date.
(5) When the ALJ grants a party's request for a prehearing conference, the ALJ must continue the previously scheduled hearing when necessary to comply with notice requirements in this section.
(6) The ALJ may grant additional requests for prehearing conferences.
(7) The office of administrative hearings (OAH) must schedule prehearing conferences for all cases which concern:
(a) Provider and vendor overpayment hearings.
(b) Estate recovery and predeath liens.
(c) Notice of violation disputes under chapter 182-51 WAC.
(d) Notice of violation disputes under chapter 182-70 WAC.
(8) During a prehearing conference the parties and the ALJ may:
(a) Simplify or clarify the issues to be decided during the hearing;
(b) Agree to the date, time, and place of the hearing;
(c) Identify any accommodation or safety issues;
(d) Agree to postpone the hearing;
(e) Allow the parties to make changes in their own documents, including the notice or the hearing request;
(f) Agree to facts and documents to be entered during the hearing;
(g) Set a deadline to exchange names and phone numbers of witnesses and documents before the hearing;
(h) Schedule additional prehearing conferences;
(i) Resolve the dispute;
(j) Consider granting a stay if authorized by law or program rule; or
(k) Rule on any procedural issues and substantive motions raised by any party.
(9) After the prehearing conference, the ALJ must enter a written order describing:
(a) The actions taken at the prehearing conference;
(b) Any changes to the documents;
(c) A statement of the issue or issues identified for the hearing;
(d) Any agreements reached; and
(e) Any ruling of the ALJ.
(10) OAH must serve the prehearing order on the parties at least fourteen calendar days before the scheduled hearing.
(11) A party may object to the prehearing order by notifying OAH in writing within ten calendar days after the mailing date of the order. The ALJ must issue a ruling on the objection within five days from the date a party files an objection.
(12) If no objection is made to the prehearing order, the order determines how the hearing is conducted, including whether the hearing will be in person or held by telephone conference or other means, unless the ALJ changes the order for good cause.
(13) The ALJ may take further appropriate actions to address other concerns raised by the parties.