Legislative Updates

The Oregon Health Care Association is picking sides in the May 15 Democratic primaries, giving money to veteran Sen. Rod Monroe and supporting Lane County Medical Society director Marty Wilde for an open seat in Eugene. The GOP is trying to fend off a candidate who has disparaged Jews and Muslims in its Eugene nomination.

The Oregon Health Care Association has waded into the 2018 primary season, supporting Marty Wilde, one of two Democrats battling to replace outgoing Rep.

Apr 20 2018
The law will allow a larger range of medical professions, from chiropractors to physical therapists, to approve a youth athlete to play after a head injury, if they undergo an education module. Athletic trainers were removed from the bill, despite protests from Senate President Peter Courtney.

The Legislature passed the bill expanding the provider types who can release a student athlete for play after a concussion, but not before the bill stripped athletic trainers from the list of eligible providers.

Mar 6 2018
A good economy has produced rising revenues for the state of Oregon, which allowed legislators to add almost $5 million in mental health investments.

The closeout budget bill for the 2018 session included a number of new social service items, particularly with investments in mental health.

School-based health centers won their request of $950,000 to hire more mental health therapists.

Mar 6 2018
While transparency advocates did not get everything they wanted from health insurers and pharmacy benefit managers, the drug manufacturers will have to explain steep price hikes beginning July 2019.

Sweeping bipartisan majorities last week passed into law House Bill 4005,setting up a system for the state to demand more transparency from

Mar 6 2018
air pollution smoke rising from a factory tower
Senate Bill 1541 salvages the Cleaner Air Oregon program, allowing for a compromise on health standards from what an advisory committee proposed, but still far beyond what is currently in place and stricter than Oregon’s neighbors.

The Oregon Senate unanimously passed a bill that will put tough public health standards in place for air polluters, setting new limits on chemical exhausts based on the risk of cancer and other health ailments.

Mar 2 2018
image depicting an ambulatory surgery center
An amendment to HB 4020 also restores a policy thought to be killed earlier this session -- requiring hospitals to issue copies of their financial assistance policies to patients.

The Oregon Ambulatory Surgery Center Association appears poised to get a big win in the 2018 session, as legislation allowing centers to keep patients overnight heads for passage after a years-long fight.

Mar 2 2018
A last-minute intervention by Senate President Peter Courtney made a slight amendment to the bill’s creation of public meetings for coordinated care organizations, leading to unified support from the Medicaid insurers and a 28-1 approval vote in the Senate.

The Senate has passed the coordinated care organization transparency bill with the surprise last-minute support of the Coalition for a Healthy Oregon, the group of seven CCOs that had long opposed the bill, particularly its re

Mar 2 2018
advanced directive
The legislation would allow people to appoint a healthcare representative if they become incapacitated.

A bill to rewrite Oregon’s advanced medical directive form passed the Senate Tuesday.

Republicans are worried it erodes protections for people receiving end-of-life care.

Oregon was the first state in the nation to enshrine advanced directives in its statutes.

Feb 28 2018
Oregon State Capitol
HB 4018 opens up the governance boards of the 15 CCOs that administer the Oregon Health Plan.

The Senate Health Committee cleared the CCO reform bill on party lines, setting up a vote in the full Senate to require the state’s 15 coordinated care organizations to meet more openly and spend excess reserves on reducing the social determinants of health.

Feb 28 2018
Oregon Senate Chambers
Despite unified support in the House and 12 Democratic co-sponsors in the Senate, the Senate leadership refuses to allow a vote on a ballot referral to add healthcare access to the state’s bill of rights.

Senate Democratic leaders have blocked a ballot referral from progressive House Democrats, including Rep. Mitch Greenlick of Portland, that would have declared access to healthcare a constitutional right, denying a chance for the people to vote on the measure this fall.

Feb 27 2018