Hospitals-Rules in Progress

Rule making is the process the Department of Health uses when proposing to create, change, or delete rules in order to protect public health. To learn more, see the department’s “What is Rule Making?” webpage.

To get updates about rule-making projects and other topics, subscribe for updates by selecting "Sign up for Updates from DOH" at the bottom of the page.

Current rules in progress

Acute Care hospitals – 23-hour crisis relief centers

The Department is considering amending the Acute Care Hospital regulations in chapter 246-320 WAC to implement Second Substitute Senate Bill 2SSB 5120 (PDF) relating to 23-hour crisis relief centers, a new type of facility that will provide mental health and substance use crisis response to adults.

CR-101(PDF) - Amending the Acute Care Hospital regulations in chapter 246-320 WAC to establish rules prohibiting hospitals licensed under 70.41 RCW from discharging or transferring a patient to a 23-hour crisis relief center unless the hospital has a formal relationship with the 23-hour crisis relief center.

Acute Care hospitals – severity matrix for fines

In order to implement Second Substitute House Bill (2SHB) 1148 (PDF), the Department of Health is proposing to amend Chapter 246-320-011 WAC within the Hospital Licensing Regulations, and create a new WAC section, 246-320-013, to establish a severity matrix for civil fines for licensed acute care hospitals. Details about the proposed rule are linked below along with information about the upcoming rules hearing. 

Upcoming public rules hearing information

Public rules hearing registration information for October 11 at 10:00 a.m.

In response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the department will not provide a physical location for this hearing. This promotes social distancing and helps provide for the safety of the citizens of Washington state. A virtual public hearing, without a physical meeting space, will be held instead.

Register here for the public rules hearing Webinar 

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

You may provide comments on the proposed rule using one of the following options:

  • The Department of Health online rules comment webpage   
  • By email 
  • By mail: Washington State Department of Health, Attn: Julie Tomaro, P.O. Box 47843, Olympia, WA  98504

Past Meetings:

Psychiatric hospitals – severity matrix for fines

Late November 2021, we held a public hearing in accordance with the filing of a CR-102 where the Department of Health is proposing a change in rule to include a severity matrix for civil fines related to private psychiatric hospital enforcement in order to implement Substitute House Bill (SHB) 2426 (chapter 115, laws of 2020). Once the comments were compiled the rule package was submitted for review. As of today, the rule package has been submitted to division rule staff members for review. Once/if approved this site will be updated with more information. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

Psychiatric hospital - fee increase

The department held a stakeholder workshop on December 15, 2020, to discuss the need for a fee adjustment for psychiatric hospitals licensed under chapter 71.12 RCW as part of the implementation of legislation that passed in 2020 regarding patient safety in psychiatric hospitals, SHB 2426 (PDF).

The workshop materials include:

The department filed a CR 102 (PDF) for this proposed rule change and welcomes your comments. We invite you to leave your written comments on our Rules Comment webpage. You also are invited to attend our Public Hearing on March 11 at 2 p.m. by registering online.