Legislative Updates

The two bills require funding for a behavioral health assessment and direct hospital emergency rooms to give behavioral health patients and their supporters instructions on how to treat their condition and follow-up with outpatient treatment upon discharge.

The Senate gave its unanimous seal of approval to two measures on Thursday that will create new patient protections for people in a mental health crisis.

May 25 2017
Blind vendors and workers will get first priority for any food contracts on state and local government properties, hoping to boost employment for blind people, most of whom are left out of the workforce.

The House unanimously cleared a bill from Rep. Alissa Keny-Guyer, D-Portland, on Wednesday that will revamp the state’s vending machine program to increase jobs and business opportunities for blind people and encourage healthier snacks.

May 25 2017

The Republican overhaul of the federal health law passed by the House this month would result in slightly lower premiums and slightly fewer uninsured Americans than an earlier proposal.

May 25 2017
House Joint Resolution 32 would send voters voters a measure limiting donations from publicly financed companies to political candidates to $500 per politician. The measure was put forward the same day that Greenlick’s HB 2122 was pulled from the House floor under pressure from Medicaid providers, who have spent heavily on legislative campaigns.

Rep. Mitch Greenlick, D-Portland, has drafted a ballot referendum that would limit political donations to $500 from any organization that gets more than half of its funding from public sources.

May 23 2017
Oregon Health Authority Director Lynne Saxton said the state does have approval of the federal government for its haphazard re-enrollment process, which should be finished by the end of summer. But new deadlines from the governor merely affirm the schedule Saxton has outlined.

Democratic Gov. Kate Brown issued a press release Tuesday calling for new accountability measures into the Medicaid renewal process, but everything she suggested are things that the Oregon Health Authority is already doing.

May 23 2017
Only 15 percent of Oregon Health Plan income-based members have seamless coverage at renewal time. Rep. Cedric Hayden wants to pull enrollment from OHA and give it to DHS, and require that lapsed members be put immediately back into the CCO that was serving them.

Medicaid members must renew each year.

May 22 2017
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As they jump through a difficult re-enrollment process, 147,000 Medicaid members have been caught outside coordinated care organizations with little access to care, which could cause the state and CCOs to lose $200 million per year in Medicaid funding, mostly from federal sources.

The Oregon Health Authority’s Medicaid renewal plan is marooning recipients for weeks or months in a separate system outside the state’s coordinated care organizations, limiting members access to care and keeping funds away from the local CCOs

May 22 2017
Hospitals should use their profits to supply housing, a 15-year veteran of the street newspaper movement told more than 100 people who attended an OHSU School of Public Health event, and some 3,000 others who watched online.

Last February, Cameron Foster and her four daughters found themselves homeless. A shelter for those fleeing domestic violence served as housing for the first three months.

May 19 2017

The Justice Department on Tuesday accused giant insurer UnitedHealth Group of overcharging the federal government by more than $1 billion through its Medicare Advantage plans.

May 19 2017

If there’s anything congressional Republicans want to do more than “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act it’s defund Planned Parenthood, which provides health care to women around the country.

May 17 2017