Rep. Tom Dent’s legislation to reduce bureaucracy at DSHS clears House

A bill that would require the state Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) to reduce documentation and paperwork requirements for behavioral health services passed off the House floor on Wednesday. House Bill 1819, prime sponsored by Rep. Tom Dent, passed with a 98-0 vote and now heads to the state Senate for consideration.

“This legislation is about cutting down on the bureaucracy in an important state agency and reducing unnecessary and time-consuming paperwork,” said Dent, R-Moses Lake. “This would allow agency staff and mental health professionals to spend more time working directly with patients and clients. That's the bottom line.”

The bill would specifically require DSHS to review its rules, policies and procedures related to documentation and paperwork requirements for behavioral health services with regard to individual assessments. The review would need to identify areas where duplicative or inefficient requirements could be eliminated or streamlined. The review would need to be completed by Nov. 1 of this year, and DSHS would be required to take immediate steps to amend its rules according to the results of the review.

House Bill 1819 began in the House Early Learning and Human Services Committee, where Dent is the ranking minority member. The measure passed there and then in the House Appropriations Committee before advancing to the House floor. The 2017 legislative session is scheduled to end April 23.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov