Governor signs Dent legislation to reduce bureaucracy at DSHS

The governor has signed Rep. Tom Dent's legislation that will eliminate some of the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) red tape to allow agency staff and mental health professionals more time to work directly with patients and clients.

House Bill 1819 will reduce documentation and paperwork requirements for behavioral health services within DSHS.

“We found providers through the Children's Mental Health Workgroup who were spending more time on paperwork than they were with clients or patients,” said Dent R-Moses Lake. “This law should improve the efficiency of the department by streamlining some of the regulations and getting rid of duplicative paperwork. It should also help with staff morale while increasing productivity.”

The bill specifically requires 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 will need to identify areas where duplicative or inefficient requirements could be eliminated or streamlined. The review must be completed by Nov. 1 of this year, and DSHS is required to take immediate steps to amend its rules, according to the results of the review.

The bill goes into effect on July 22.


Washington State House Republican Communications