Legislative Affairs

Legislative outreach is important for the Everett Clinic, because it enhances the organization's effectiveness in policy debates and strengthens its position as a leader in healthcare advocacy. Most importantly, it allows the Clinic to help shape healthcare policy for the benefit of its patients and community.

Washington State Legislative Affairs:

  • Health insurance exchange: The Health Insurance Exchange is a set of state-regulated healthcare plans aimed at expanding health coverage to more people. The ultimate design of the exchange will have a significant impact on the future of healthcare in Washington. The Clinic will stay informed regarding the development of the exchange and provide input regarding its structure and operations. Funding the exchange will be a key issue.

  • Evidenced-based medical imaging: There has been past discussion about limiting the ability of physicians to own imaging equipment as a way to prevent overuse of testing. The Clinic sees these limitations as unnecessary as it has been able to significantly reduce (up to 39 percent) the use of advanced imaging by making sure this technology is used only when necessary.

  • 23-hour observation unit: Keeping low-risk patients under observation with close attention, rather than admitting them to the hospital can significantly reduce the cost of care, get patients home sooner, and provide excellent outcomes. There is a need to ensure the licensing process for observation units is not made more cumbersome than necessary.

  • Shared decision making: Providing patients with information about the benefits and risks of medical procedures helps to ensure that they are active and informed participants in the decision process. The Clinic has agreed to participate in a pilot project to advance shared decision making.

  • The Boeing Outpatient Care Project: The Everett Clinic made a presentation to the state’s healthcare committee to discuss the savings associated with this project. During the pilot program with Boeing patients, the quality of care for the most complex patients was increased, while costs were reduced.

Federal Legislative Affairs
The Everett Clinic has been engaged in the healthcare reform efforts at a national level as well:

  • The Everett Clinic was asked to help draft language for the healthcare reform legislation calling for regional equity in Medicare reimbursement. The current Medicare reimbursement formula punishes Washington State, whose healthcare delivery systems are high quality and low cost, while it rewards states where doctors and hospitals prescribe additional tests and procedures. Clinic leaders worked with Washington State’s federal delegation to address this important issue in reform legislation.

  • The Everett Clinic, along with Providence Regional Medical Center Everett and Premera Blue Cross, were asked to speak at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement in Washington, DC. The Everett delegation represented one of 10 healthcare communities in the United States invited to share their experiences. The goal was to build awareness among the public and policymakers that successful models for achieving high-quality care at significantly reduced cost exist in many regions and in many forms.
  • Members of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) visited The Everett Clinic and Providence Regional Medical Center Everett to learn more about efficiency efforts in healthcare delivery. MedPAC requested a site visit because both organizations achieved outstanding results in the effort to improve healthcare quality while reducing costs. The purpose of the visit was for the MedPAC delegation to learn what makes healthcare in Everett different from other communities. MedPAC is an independent Congressional agency that advises the U.S. Congress on issues affecting the Medicare program.