Chris Gray

Drug Price Transparency Clears Second Hurdle

Backers of HB 4005 were able to fight off excessive delays to a bill that would require pharmaceuticals to explain price hikes of over 10 percent per year.

The drug transparency bill passed out of a key budget subcommittee with just minor changes on a 6-2 vote Tuesday, setting up a vote in the Joint Committee on Ways & Means as early as this week.

Bill Requiring Training for Home Care Workers Advances

SEIU backs a consensus bill from the Senate Workforce Committee to set up federally funded training for its 35,000 home care workers registered with the Home Care Commission who help seniors on Medicaid stay in their homes.

The Oregon Senate unanimously voted Monday to strengthen standards for home care workers, passing a bill designed to protect many of the state’s most vulnerable seniors and developmentally disabled people who receive the

House Passes Bill to Require Insurers to Cover Hearing Implants for Kids

An infant with a cochlear implant.
Insurers will have to cover children’s cochlear implants in both ears and software upgrades if the bill that passed the House this week also gains Senate approval.

Stefan Roggendorf testified this week before the House Health Committee in a crisp plaid shirt. He’s 11 years old, a 6th grader at Lake Oswego Junior High School, a straight-A student and a lacrosse player.

Doctors and Health Plans Strike Last-Minute Deal on Uncontracted Payments

A consensus emerged pegging rates to the median from the all-payer, all-claims database, averting confusion when a new law protecting consumers from surprise billing takes effect on March 1.

Physicians and health insurers have struck a deal on the problem of payment for uncontracted providers, pegging reimbursements to the state’s All-Payer, All-Claims database, in a deal that the Senate Health Committee approved on Wednesday.

CCO Reform Bill Heads for Floor Vote and Possible Partisan Scuffle

In a tense, party-line committee vote, Democrats and Republicans accused each other of being unreasonable and unwilling to negotiate.

Rep. Mitch Greenlick shepherded his latest attempt at reform of the coordinated care organizations through the House Health Committee on Wednesday, setting up a probable partisan battle on the House floor.

Hospital Association Kills Greenlick’s Attempt to Clarify Charity Care for Patients

The spokesman for the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems said member hospitals are already giving notice to patients about financial assistance in paying medical bills, but Rep. Mitch Greenlick wanted uniform standards across the state hospital system.

The Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems has derailed a legislative attempt to make its members streamline their charity care services and provide a common form describing how to qualify for financial assistance for medical care across all hospitals.

Oregon House Sponsors Right to Healthcare Ballot Referral

The House of Representatives voted on party lines to ask voters to amend the constitution to add healthcare to the state bill of rights.

The Oregon House has voted 35-25 to refer a constitutional amendment to the voters this Nov. 6 that would acknowledge a right to affordable healthcare.

Drug Transparency Bill Clears First Hurdle

A separate bill to require health insurers to be more transparent about costs and formularies for consumers did not pass. Drugmakers, who helped spur the opioid crisis, are now profiting off the epidemic by jacking up the price of overdose treatment Naloxone.

The House Health Committee cleared the drug manufacturer transparency bill on a 8-2 vote, with Republicans Rep. Knute Buehler of Bend and Rep. Rich Vial of Wilsonville joining the Democrats in the effort to force drug companies to explain the escalating rise in drug prices.

Sen. Kruse Quits the Senate in Sexual Harassment Scandal

Finally bowing to months of public pressure, the longtime health policy leader resigned his state Senate seat, effective March 15, after four female lawmakers, along with female lobbyists and staff members, accused him of unwanted touching.

Roseburg’s Republican Sen. Jeff Kruse is out.

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