Providing Information to Patients

Health care providers may not be limited in providing medically accurate information to their patients.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is House Bill 1608 Health Care Providers--Providing Information to Patients?

This law, chapter 102, Laws of 2020, prohibits health care entities from limiting health care providers' ability to give medically accurate information to their patients if a provider is acting in good faith, within the provider's scope of practice, education, training, and experience, including specialty areas of practice and board certification, and within the accepted standard of care. This includes information related to the Death with Dignity Act (RCW 70.245).

What is a health care entity?

Health care entities are those who supervise, control, grant privileges to, direct the practice of, or restrict the practice of health care providers.

What information is protected by this law?

The information that a health care entity may not limit includes information regarding diagnosis, prognosis, recommended treatment, treatment alternatives, and potential risks. The health care entity may not restrict information regarding relevant community resources, and how to access those resources to obtain the care of the patient's choice.

Health care entities may not limit the provision of information regarding the Death with Dignity Act, resources in the community related to Death with Dignity, and access to those resources.

How does this law protect health care providers?

Health care entities may not limit the provision of this information. Health care entities may not discharge, demote, suspend, discipline, or otherwise discriminate against health care providers for providing to their patients medically accurate information within scope as described, or information relating to the Death with Dignity Act.

When did this law take effect?

June 11, 2020.

What is required of health care entities?

Health care entities must provide a copy of information regarding this law at the time of hire, contracting, or privileging health care providers and staff. This information must also be provided yearly thereafter. Information regarding this chapter is on the Washington State Department of Health website.