Inslee signs bills authored by Rep. Irwin

The bills will establish a centralized concussion database with the DOH and expand tele-medicine under the Involuntary Treatment Act.

Rep. Morgan Irwin, R-31

Rep. Morgan Irwin, R-31

The following are two press releases from the Washington State House Republicans Communications office:

Enumclaw local and state Representative Morgan Irwin had a good week, as Gov. Jay Inslee recently signed two bills he authored into law — one about creating a concussion rate database, and the other expanding the use of tele-medicine under the Involuntary Treatment Act.

The first bill, House Bill 2731, seeks to create a centralized reporting system for data relating to concussion rates in school sports.

Under Irwin’s bill, beginning in the 2020-21 academic year, schools will report information about each head injury sustained during athletic and other activities to the Department of Health (DOH), thus creating a centralized system on data relating to concussion rates, patterns, trends and other relevant information.

“We should have the appropriate data to keep our young athletes healthy, safe, and active. Many school districts are making decisions to limit certain activities based on a small number of adverse events, not actual data I believe that by having adequate data is important to better track any trends that need to be addressed to minimize future injuries,” said Irwin. “The goal is not to fundamentally change the sports our kids are participating in, but to conduct the sports in the safest manner possible.”

House Bill 2731 will:

• Require public schools to annually report information about each diagnosed concussion sustained by a student during athletic and other activities to the Department of Health (DOH), beginning with the 2020-21 school year.

• Directs the DOH to develop a procedure on collecting student concussion information and submit an annual report to the Legislature and the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), beginning October 1, 2021.

• Irwin’s bill passed the Legislature with unanimous bipartisan support. It will go into effect later this year.

The second bill, House Bill 2099, adds video technology options for patients seeking behavioral health consults. This bill will be particularly useful for the state’s rural hospitals.

Gov. Jay Inslee signed House Bill 2099 into law recently. This bill allows a designated crisis responder (DCR) to conduct a timely civil commitment evaluation through video technology.

“My wife runs the emergency room for a critical access hospital. They have a hard time bringing DCRs out to do timely evaluations. If the DCR is not available, the person is boarded with minimal care. We can use technology as a force multiplier for the DCR workforce,” said Irwin. “The requirement for a licensed health professional to be present will give a human touch and alleviate concerns about a video evaluation being impersonal. This issue has been of interest for a long time, especially for our rural health care providers.”

In many areas in the state, when a person suffering from a mental health crisis is brought into an emergency room, there are not enough DCRs available to do an involuntary treatment screening. The person remains in the emergency room for a period of time, sometimes days, in restraints, before receiving an evaluation to determine whether a 72-hour detention will take place. Allowing for a video-based interview will provide limited DCR resources an additional option in meeting their obligations.

HB 2099 passed the Legislature with unanimous bipartisan support, and will go into effect later this year.

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