Oregon legislature 2013

House Passes Bill to Help Diabetic Women; Cancer Screening Money in Flux

The Lund Report
A bill passed the House that eliminates copays for the additional costs that diabetic women face when pregnant, while the budget committee is struggling to determine how much tax money is needed to screen uninsured women for breast and cervical cancer. Both bills were initiatives of the Oregon Women’s Health and Wellness Alliance.


June 28, 2013 — The House passed a bill that will require insurance companies to cover the prenatal medical needs of diabetic women at no extra cost during pregnancy.

Senate Sends Hospital and Nursing Home Assessment Tax to Kitzhaber

The Lund Report
After weeks of filibustering, the Republicans allowed a vote on the bill that will continue funding for the Oregon Health Plan and other human services through an assessment tax on hospitals and long-term care facilities.


June 27, 2013 — The Senate passed the hospital and long-term care assessment tax Wednesday, ensuring that Oregon will be able to raise $1.4 billion from the federal government over the next two years to fund health and human services, including the state’s Medicaid program.

Marijuana Dispensaries Bill Aims to Weed Out Illegal Operations

The Lund Report
Proponents of House Bill 3460 say that pot stores will ease access to cannabis for patients while greatly improving oversight of the 15-year-old medical marijuana program, which opponents say is out-of-control.


June 26, 2013 — The House passed a bill authorizing and regulating marijuana dispensaries for medicinal use Monday, as legislators moved to bring greater daylight and easier access to a system some lawmakers call out-of-control.

Oregon to Pioneer Electronic Credentialing System to Cut Waste

The Lund Report
Sen. Alan Bates said setting up a single, mandatory credentialing system for providers to use with all insurers and hospitals will save $150 million in administrative waste and make Oregon the first state to approve such a system. Two other bills will cut paperwork for mental health providers and telemedicine.


June 25, 2013 — The Oregon House passed a bill with unanimous support Monday that supporters say could save the economy $150 million in administrative waste by crafting a single credentialing process that all insurers, hospitals and coordinated care organizations can share for thousands of healthcare providers.

Single-Payer Healthcare May Go Before Voters in 2016

The Lund Report
A previous ballot measure to create a single-payer system failed in 2002, but activists say they'd try to head that off with a better education campaign

June 20, 2013 – Supporters of a single-payer healthcare system may decide to put the issue before voters in 2016, depending on what members of the statewide coalition who were behind this year's failed single-payer bill in the Oregon Legislature decide at next week's annual meeting.

Senator Monnes Anderson Moves to Kill Rate Review Reform

The Lund Report
The Senate Health Chairwoman accused House Democrats of thwarting public participation as she continues to champion a measure drafted by Regence BlueCross BlueShield that would scuttle attempts to increase participation in the health insurance rate review process.


June 20, 2013 — The Senate voted down the rate review measure 12-18 that passed the House last week after Sen. Chip Shields, D-Portland, was unable to secure enough votes in the more conservative upper chamber.

House Votes to Regulate PBMs and Rein in Abuses to Pharmacists

The Lund Report
Pharmacy benefit managers, tasked with managing prescription drug plans, will be required to register with DCBS, follow state rules when conducting pharmacy audits and give more transparency in payments to pharmacists.


June 20, 2013 — The House unanimously passed a landmark bill regulating pharmacy benefit managers, requiring them to register with the Department of Consumer & Business Services and reining in practices on drug prices and audits that independent pharmacists testified were driving them out of business.

Regence and Ambulatory Surgery Centers Reach Compromise

The Lund Report
Regence BlueCross BlueShield and other insurance companies that don’t want to pay surgery centers directly will have to send policyholders a check that they cannot cash without the surgery centers’ signature. The centers have been forced to send patients to collection agencies after the payments for their surgeries have gone missing.


June 17, 2013 — A measure that would cramp down on an abusive payment practice to ambulatory surgical centers by Regence BlueCross BlueShield has been resurrected and attached in the House to another bill, Senate Bill 724, which passed the House on Friday.

OHSU Scholarship Bill Passes Budget Committee Over Bates’ Objections

The Lund Report
Sen. Alan Bates, an osteopathic physician and Democratic senator from Jackson County, said the bill was discriminatory because it gives money to students at Oregon Health & Science University and not the osteopathic medical school in Lebanon.


June 13, 2013 — The Committee on Ways & Means on Wednesday passed Senate Bill 2 — giving $4.9 million in scholarships to Oregon Health & Science University for doctors and other healthcare professionals who agree to serve in rural and underserved areas.


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