Business News for Bellevue and the Eastside of Lake Washington

Category Archives: Washington

Governor To Sign NFIB-Backed Health-Care Costs Bill

NFIB logoAt a bill-signing ceremony scheduled for this morning at 10:30 a.m. in his office, Gov. Jay Inslee will put his signature on a measure that NFIB led the coordination and legislative passage of: An All-Payer Claims Database (APCD) that will eventually empower everyone in Washington state to compare quality and costs among health-care providers.

“Pairing cost and quality metrics in an All-Payer Claims Database is our best hope of educating and empowering employers to identify or design health-benefits plans that meet the needs of their particular workforce, and ultimately, give families and individuals access to meaningful information to guide their health-care purchasing decisions,” said Patrick Connor, Washington state director for America’s leading small-business association, the National Federation of Independent Business.

According to a report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The Basics of All-Payer Claims Databases, “APCDs are large-scale databases that systematically collect medical claims, pharmacy claims, dental claims (typically, but not always), and eligibility and provider files from private and public payers. The first statewide APCD system was established in Maine in 2003 … Currently, more than 30
states have, are implementing, or have strong interest in APCDs.”

Senate Bill 5084, which the governor will sign into law today, had strong support among small businesses, health-care providers and patient organizations with 35 groups supporting the bill when it was initially heard in the Senate Health Care Committee and 27 groups signing in support of the House version of the bill. No group stated opposition to the bill.

SB 5084 corrects flaws in a law passed by the Legislature last year to establish an APCD. Among the problems with the existing law was that it lacked a requirement for all health insurers to submit their data. Experience in other states has shown that without a mandate, it is impossible to provide a comprehensive picture of the cost and quality of health care.

Data that would be submitted under the new law would include financial information, which would allow for analyses about health-care value—meaning quality and cost information about the cost of episodes of care, such as hospitalizations, which had not previously been broadly available.

Because the cost and availability of health care has been the No. 1 worry of small-business owners for 30 years, Connor took the lead in coordinating the activities of the Coalition for Health Care Cost Transparency. “It has been a two-year effort to enact and perfect the statutory framework authorizing a true All-Payer Claims Database for Washington state, but once it is fully up and running, employers, consumers, providers, and even policymakers should see the immense value of it in making health-care providers more competitive, the result of which will make medical coverage more affordable while improving outcomes for patients.”

AWB Institute Celebrates First Leadership Washington Graduates

The first-ever class of Leadership Washington, AWB Institute’s (AWBI) premiere program  to cultivate and educate the next generation of Washington industry leaders graduated recently. A ceremony was held at AWB’s annual Spring Meeting in Spokane. Kicked off at AWB’s Policy Summit last September and sponsored by Battelle, the class of nine Leadership Washington members met… Continue Reading

AWB presents environmental excellence, leadership awards

The Association of Washington Business has recognized five employers that are finding creative ways to incorporate environmental sustainability within their businesses with their Environmental Excellence Award. The group also honored retired U.S. Rep. Doc Hastings with its C. David Gordon Award for his many years of service, and two state business and public service leaders for… Continue Reading

Taste Washington on the Farm

Join Taste Washington on Friday, March 27 for a new experience where you will visit local farms and meet the people who grow and produce gourmet, artisanal products from the beautiful Pacific Northwest. At each unique excursion you will meet the farmers, get your boots dirty and enjoy a variety of delicious food and wine.… Continue Reading

CITC Hires New Regional Coordinator and Opens Spokane Facility

The Construction Industry Training Council of Washington (CITC) has hired Ken Hill as the Eastern Washington regional coordinator. He will be responsible for CITC’s newest facility in Spokane, Wash. CITC also has facilities in Bellevue and Vancouver, Wash. Hill graduated from CITC and became a journeyman electrician in 1993. Then, after working in the field,… Continue Reading

AWB Statement on Benefits of Aerospace in Washington

The Association of Washington Business, Washington state’s largest business organization representing small, medium and large employers, issued the following statement from AWB President Kris Johnson regarding the Legislature’s attempt, through yesterday’s introduction of House Bill 2147, to erode the state’s competitiveness by reducing successful incentives for aerospace companies: “Washington state is an aerospace hub for… Continue Reading

Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers Announces Annual Awards

The Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers announced annual awards for Grower of the Year, Industry Service, Lifetime Achievement, Restaurant Appreciation and Posters at their convention which was held in Kennewick last week. Awards were: GROWER OF THE YEAR Robert Rivera, of Goose Ridge Winery received the Erick Hanson Memorial Wine Grape Grower Award for… Continue Reading

AWB to Governor Inslee: Keep Focus on Economy

Now is the time to build on the success of Washington’s slowly improving economy by making smart investments that will result in expanded opportunity for everyone, according to Kris Johnson, president of the Association of Washington Business. Imposing a costly new cap-and-trade tax on some of the state’s best employers, raising the state’s highest-in-the-nation minimum… Continue Reading

Join Us for a March on Main Street on Small Business Saturday Nov. 29

By Jay Inslee and Patrick Connor We’re calling on all Washingtonians to join us for a March on Main Street, Saturday, November 29. The cause: A better economy, longer-than-seasonal employment opportunities and tighter-knit communities– all of which are the bedrock of a vibrant society. And all it takes to accomplish these goals is for each… Continue Reading