On December 2, 2022, after nearly a year of negotiations, Disability Rights Washington finalized a settlement agreement with the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services and Health Care Authority to address state hospital discharge delays, and better ensure that people are not confined in expensive, institutional settings longer than necessary.

As part of the settlement, the state will create new uniform policies governing civil discharge planning at both hospitals; implement several new requirements to better ensure timely discharge planning; and commit to a presumption in discharge planning that most civil patients leaving the state hospitals can live in their own home with appropriate supports.

DRW is committed to assuring that Washington State meets is obligation under the Olmstead decision and the Americans with Disabilities Act, and does not hold people unnecessarily in institutional settings. By reaching this settlement agreement, DRW continues to work to achieve that goal.

As part of the settlement agreement, DRW collaborated with DSHS and HCA to seek feedback from stakeholders on the discharge planning processes at Eastern State Hospital and Western State Hospital and how the current system can be improved. Themes that came from the stakeholder conversations included the importance of peer support, the need for additional community services (PACT, GOSH, HARPS) and housing, and patients requesting increased communication during the discharge planning process. Recommendations from the stakeholder conversations will form a plan to help the state achieve the goals laid out in the settlement agreement. Read the stakeholder report here.

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