Electronic consent management

Learn about electronic consent management and how this new technology will help clients and providers exchange sensitive information securely. 

About consent management

Current gaps in consent management worsen disparities in access and coordination of care, particularly in times of crisis or urgent need. To address this challenge, the Health Care Authority launched the electronic consent management (ECM) effort. So far, HCA has convened an interagency workgroup, published a substance use disorder (SUD) data sharing guide, and met with providers to better understand their overall consent needs.

HCA is implementing a consent software solution that will manage consents governing the  exchange of health and human services-related sensitive data. It will be scalable, secure, and sustainable to meet provider needs. As a component of the Washington State Medicaid Enterprise System (MES), the procured software solution will undergo a comprehensive certification process by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to ensure that it meets stakeholder needs. It will be eligible for enhanced federal funding.

The system will also be required to undergo a rigorous Security Design Review (SDR) by the Washington State Office of Cyber Security (OCS). The first type of consent that will be managed in the system are those governing the exchange of SUD services data.

Additional types of consents to be considered in later phases could include those related to:

  • Physical and behavioral health
  • Tribal services
  • Genetic testing
  • Advance directives
  • Social determinants of health (SDOH)

Data exchange for client referrals and other follow-up after an encounter with the newly-launched 988 crisis line would also benefit from electronic consent.


The main objectives of the ECM effort are to:

  • Reduce provider administrative burden related to consent
  • Reduce the number of incomplete, noncompliant, and redundant consents
  • Break down barriers for providers who provide vital services to Washington’s most vulnerable citizens
  • Assist providers with interpretation and application of relevant statutes
  • Deploy a consent system that will be adaptable and sustainable, yet flexible throughout its lifespan

HCA thanks the providers and other stakeholders who have given valuable input into the consent initiative thus far. We are committed to further collaboration as this work continues.


HCA is planning to conduct quarterly webinars to update providers, partners, and other stakeholders regarding the electronic solution deployment, ways to assist the agency, and related activities. Information from previous webinars can be found below.

If you would like to schedule a call to learn more about this project, email the ECM team.

Dates and times Webinar materials
January 26, 2023
May 22, 2023
September 12, 2023

Frequently asked questions