Salem’s Back at it Again

Next Monday the House and Senate interim committees on Health Care and Human Services are scheduled to meet

September 12, 2013 – Legislators come back to Salem next week – after leaving town in July – but not much action is anticipated this time around.

As typical, the interim legislative committees are convening, and healthcare will be front and center Monday afternoon when both the House and Senate members get together for a joint meeting.

One notable absence from that meeting will be Rep. Mitch Greenlick (D-Portland, who co-chairs the interim House Health Care Committee – he’ll participate by phone from Stanford University where he’s teaching a class and doesn’t expect to return home until November.

And, the meeting agenda looks pretty sparse with no time allotted for public testimony – only invited testimony. Here’s what’s on tap when the joint committee gets underway at 2 p.m. next Monday:

  • Bruce Goldberg, director of the Oregon Health Authority, gives an update on the status of coordinated care organizations,
  • Rocky King, executive director of Cover Oregon, gives an update on the health insurance exchange,
  • Dr. Robert Lowe, professor at Oregon Health & Science University talks about emergency department utilization,
  • Legislators will hear a presentation on e-prescribing of Schedule II Drugs from Rob Bovett of Lincoln County, Gary Schnabel, executive director of the Oregon Board of Pharmacy and Bill Cross, lobbyist for the Oregon State Pharmacy Association,
  • Another presentation on the Basic Health Option from John Mullin with the Oregon Law Center, Janet Bauer with the Oregon Center for Public Policy and Alberto Moreno with the Oregon Latino Health Coalition,
  • Dr. Katrina Hedberg, state epidemiologist with the Oregon Health Authority, talks about healthcare acquired infections, and
  • Karen Wheeler, MA, policy administrator with Addictions and Mental Health for the Oregon Health Authority, discusses alcohol and drug treatment programs.

Also, when it comes to healthcare policy, the Senate Committee on General Government, Consumer and Small Business Protection hears about the insurance rate review process from Joel Ario with Manatt Consulting, Bruce Goldberg and Laura Cali, the state’s insurance commissioner

The Senate Rules Committee is also expected to approve several executive appointments including:

  • Mary Jaeger, long term care ombudsperson,
  • Robert Bovett, Peter Kerns and Abigail Sears to the Alcohol and Drug Policy Commission,
  • Mark King to the Home Care Commission,
  • Sybil Hedrik to the Occupational Therapy Licensing Board,
  • Maria Pope and Marilyn Saathoff to the Oregon Health & Science University Board of Directors,
  • Terry Smith to the Oregon Medical Board,
  • Jessica Lynch to the Oregon Board of Optometry, and
  • Judy Uherbelau to the Psychiatric Security Review Board.

Diane Lund-Muzikant can be reached at [email protected].

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