“You’re all that’s standing between us and adjournment today.”
Rep. Greenlick tells a presenter testifying on a bill that his time at the table will be brief.

The Big Deal this Week: OR-ACEP ACTION ALERT 

TELL YOUR REPRESENTATIVE TO VOTE NO ON HB 2339, A BALANCE BILLING BAN THAT BENEFITS INSURERS AT THE EXPENSE OF EVERYONE ELSE.

HB 2339 is scheduled for a vote on Tuesday, April 11. This bill is great for insurers, but not for patients and their doctors. Here’s why:

    •    While the patient protections are good, access to care may be compromised, especially in rural areas. Forcing out-of-network providers to accept below market rates may mean specialists will stop taking emergency call.

    •    Medicare is not the right benchmarking standard because it was never intended for this purpose or even to cover provider costs— it exists as a backstop for the disabled and elderly. It also doesn’t keep pace with inflation.

    •    There is no transparency. Insurers develop their formularies for reimbursing ER doctors in private. There’s no way for emergency physicians to check to see if they’re getting paid the same as in-network providers.

    •    Using artificially low rates for determining out-of-network reimbursement gives insurers enormous leverage at the contracting table.

    •    Consider that emergency physicians in Oregon, pursuant to the EMTALA mandate, do most of the indigent medical care and two-thirds of the Medicaid acute care in emergency departments. As such they have little to no operating margins and cannot significantly discount their commercial rates. This reimbursement scheme would destabilize the emergency department safety net.

There is a better solution which ends surprise billing and closes the surprise insurance coverage gap, which is the real issue. Tie reimbursements to a non-profit, non-conflicted, independent database of billed charges, such as FAIR HEALTH.

Tell your representative to Vote NO on HB 2339.  There is a better solution to improve patient protections, create greater transparency, ensure access to our state's health safety net and fairly reimburse physicians. 

FIND YOUR LEGISLATOR HERE.

News of the Week

Merkley pulls all-nighter on Senate Floor as Gorsuch filibuster begins

Oregon Live

Bill Would Require Emergency Rooms To Adopt Mental Health Discharge Plans

Lund Report

A separate bill from Rep. Alissa Keny-Guyer would require CCOs and insurers to cover a behavioral health assessment in a crisis as well as its treatment recommendations.

Kotek Backs Proposal to Lower Hospital Payments through Public Employee Health Insurance

Lund Report

The House Speaker, backed by Rep. Greg Smith, R-Heppner, says the state could save $30 million a year in overpayments to hospitals, which are now as high as 672 percent of Medicare.

Kennemer Wants to Allow Specialized Psychologists to Prescribe Medication

Lund Report

In 2010, Gov. Ted Kulongoski vetoed a bill to allow psychologists to prescribe drugs, but now that several states have taken the lead, the retired psychologist from Canby is pushing the legislation again, which he believes would expand mental healthcare access.

Steiner Hayward Wants Insurers to Increase Primary Care Investments

Lund Report

SB 934 would mandate insurers and CCOs pay at least 14.4 percent toward primary care, and would punish CCOs if they don’t make improvement. Meanwhile, FamilyCare claims the state is now actually penalizing it for “wasting” money on primary care.

Deadlines: 

April 18 – Deadline for Committees to Hold Work Sessions on First Chamber Measures 

This is the last day for policy committees to move measures introduced in their chamber (i.e. Senate bills in the Senate, House bills in the House) out of committee. The deadline does not apply to Ways & Means, Revenue, Rules, and other joint committees. 

Health-Related Bill hearings and other activities

PH (Public Hearing) WS (Work Session and committee vote)

Monday, April 10

HB 2306, HB 2308, OHA Aid and Assist Bills (WS)

SB 2387 Price thresholds on RX(WS)

HB 2524 OHA Loans to hospitals for primary care residencies WS

HB 3135 OHP coverage of long-acting, reversible contraceptives post-labor/delivery

Tuesday, April 11

HB 3262 Psychotropic medications WS

SB 2 Distracted driving WS

HB 2597 Distracted driving WS

HB 2644 Vitamin K PH/WS

Wednesday, April 12

SB 48 Continuing education for suicide risk WS

SB 860 DCBS investigations for mental health parity WS

SB 944 DHS study on behavioral health services WS

HB 2300 Cost of mental health drugs for OHP patients WS

HB 2302 CCO reports on total medical costs allowed to primary care WS

HB 2408 SBHC investments/access to trauma-informed approaches WS

HB 2897 Prohibits denial of reimbursement for covered services b/c provided by OON provider WS

HB 3085 Health Care WorkForce Fund WS

HB 3440 Opioid Task Force/Guidelines WS

Thursday, April 13

SB 49 Aid and Assist WS

SB 215 Rare disease registry and orders WS 

HB 2620 Assault on hospital workers WS

SB 233 CCO reform WS

SB 793 RX price reporting WS

SB 808 Newborn Screening WS

SB 1054 Certificate of Need for psychiatric hospitals PH/WS

Friday, April 14

HB 2518 PDMP/Naloxone reporting WS

HB 2836 Study of integrated and coordinated health care for OHP PH/WS

HB 3090 ED release guidelines WS

HB 3091 Continuity of care for patients in behavioral health crisis WS

HB 3261 Provider incentives/uniform application for programs WS

HB 3355 Psychologist prescribing WS

HB 3391 Reproductive health equity WS

HB 3418 Ties provider reimbursement for PEBB members to Medicare WS

Monday, April 17

SB 868 Extreme risk protection orders PH/WS

SB 833 Referral to peer-support services WS *amendments forthcoming

HB 3063 Housing for people with mental illness WS

Tuesday, April 18

HB 2129 Wrongful death PH/WS

HB 270 Opioid RX Limits WS

SB 914 Prohibits mandating immunizations as condition of employment WS

SB 934 Investments in Primary Care WS

Thing to Know: What is OLIS?

OLIS is the acronym for the Oregon Legislative Information System. This handy website allows anyone to look up the status of a particular bill. You can also use it to find out who the chief and regular sponsor and to read meeting materials and amendments. https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2017R1/2017-01-09

 

Questions about the Legislative Process? Contact Katy King: KatyKing01@gmail.com

For more information about the legislative process, please contact Katy King.

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