OLYMPIA – Expanded need for respiratory therapy practitioners may soon see some relief thanks to a new law sponsored by Rep. Jamila Taylor (D-Federal Way) that was signed into law by Governor Inslee Wednesday. HB 1383 updates existing law to match recent guidance and scope of practice in the field, and allows respiratory care to be delivered through telemedicine, a critical service for rural areas. The bill received unanimous support from the Legislature and was Rep. Taylor’s first bill as a first-year legislator.
“I know the importance of respiratory therapists and practitioners because I have a family member with chronic lung disease, who is at higher risk of COVID-19 complications. There are countless families like mine, and hundreds of thousands of patients who needed and still need these highly skilled health care workers. Thank you Governor Inslee for signing this bill into law and helping families all across Washington,” said Taylor.
Services that respiratory therapy practitioners provide include anything related to respiratory care, including ventilator management. The need for qualified practitioners increased during the pandemic across the country and in Washington state, which needed to update state laws to match recent guidance and scope of practice in the field. HB 1383 updates those laws and allows respiratory care to be delivered via telemedicine.