Chris Gray

Bipartisan Support for Drug Price Transparency Shows Limits of PhRMA’s Clout

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

Dembrow Cheers Bill to Regulate Air Pollution for Public Health

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.

House Passes Bill to Expand Hours at Outpatient Surgery Centers

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.

Coalition for a Healthy Oregon Backs CCO Transparency Bill

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

CCO Reform Bill Faces Last-Minute Hurdle

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.

Senate Democratic Leaders Kill Hope Amendment

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.

House Overwhelmingly Passes Six-Year Extension to Nursing Home Tax

The Oregon Health Care Association lobbied to for an early vote to extend the tax to 2026, providing stability to their businesses and the state. The tax raises about $70 million a year for vulnerable seniors.

The Oregon House of Representatives voted 53 to 3 to renew the tax on nursing home facilities by six years, extending the tax through 2026.

Bill Expanding Concussion Release Law Faces Resistance in House

Senate Bill 1547 passed the Senate unanimously despite a lengthy list of opponents, including the Oregon Medical Association. It adds a training regimen for non-physicians if they wish to be authorized to approve a youth athlete to return to play after a head injury.

A proposed change to the law allowing youth athletes to be returned to play after a concussion passed the House Health Committee on Friday after a heated debate in the committee on Wednesday that delayed the vote.

CCO Legislation Demanding More Accountability Passes in House

Five Democrats opposed the bill, while two Republicans supported the measure -- Rep. Julie Parrish of West Linn and Rep. Jeff Helfrich of Hood River. Chances of passage in the Senate may be narrower.

Legislation to increase transparency and accountability for coordinated care organizations has passed the Oregon House of Representatives on a narrow 32-26 vote, with five Democrats joining all but two Republicans presen


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