“I live a rich fantasy life and have high hopes we can come to some agreement before 2017.”
Rep. Mitch Greenlick, chair of the House Health Committee, on the withdrawal of his bill to reform CCOs prior to contract renewal in 2018. Work will continue during the interim.

News of the week: 

Oregon Senate passes three-tier minimum wage bill after a six-hour debate on the floor. SB 1532 would give Oregon the highest minimum wage in the nation. Voting fell along party lines with all Democrats except Sen. Betsy Johnson, D-Scappoose, voting in favor. The bill now heads to the House for consideration and further political battle. Business groups remain strongly opposed. http://www.oregonlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2016/02/oregon_senate_passes_minimum_w.html

Wrongful death bill advances to Senate

The House passed HB 4136, which would triple the statutory cap in wrongful death cases from $500,000 to $1.5 Million. Rep. John Huffman, R-The Dalles, voted with the Democrats, Rep. Jeff Barker, D-Aloha, Rep. Lininger, D-Lake Oswego, Rep. Caddy McKeown D-Coos Bay, voted with the Republicans in the 33-26 vote. The bill now heads to the Senate, where it died in committee last session. OMA has asked members of the ‘Doc Lobby’ to meet with senators about this bill and to ask that they continue to oppose any increases to the cap.

Revenue Forecast is released; winter is coming…in the next biennium

The Oregon Revenue Forecast projects a revenue increase of $61 million for the current biennium, but the forecast is down $165 million for 2017. 

One deadline down, the next is February 23

The deadline for work sessions in the first chamber was February 11. Any bill that has not had a work session in the chamber of origin is dead in its current form. That includes the two major CCO bills…more on this later. Bills still in play must clear the second chamber no later than February 23. Exceptions exist for bills in joint committees, revenue committees or Ways and Means, the budget-writing committee. The constitutional deadline for adjournment is March 6.

Priority bills for Physicians

Senate Bill 1503 A-Eng*, repeals sunset on requirement that insurers reimburse licensed nurse practitioners and physician assistants (HB 2902, 2013)

The Oregon Nurses Association is seeking a repeal of the 2018 sunset for pay parity for primary care providers. Amendments negotiated by the OMA were added which would require the Oregon Health Policy Board and the Department of Business and Consumer Services to collect additional data on the impact of the pay parity law. The intent is to keep the conversation going on payment reform. The bill, opposed by physicians, passed the senate on Friday on a 21-4 vote. The bill is scheduled in the House Health Care Committee on February 15. Amendments supported by the Oregon Psychiatric Physicians Association and the Oregon Medical Association will require the Oregon Health Authority to look at the impact of the 2013 law on healthcare workforce development, recruitment and retention. 

HB 4194 Improvements to compatibility with PDMP and EDIE. Allows pharmacists to dispense naloxone

This bill that would streamline the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program for front line health care providers through integrated access with the Emergency Department Information Exchange, passed the House Health Care Committee. The bill also would allow pharmacists to dispense naloxone over-the-counter. Rep. Knute Buehler, R-Bend, an orthopedic surgeon, and Rep. Jennifer Williamson, D-Portland, the House Majority Leader, testified in support. The bill, which has a fiscal impact of approximately $100,000, is now in the Ways and Means Human Services Subcommittee. 

Coordinated Care Organization Reform

Major reform bills by Sen. Alan Bates  D-Medford, and Rep. Mitch Greenlick D-Portland fail to advance. Bills sponsored by Rep. Cedric Hayden, R-Cottage Grove (HB 4141) and Rep. John Davis R-Wilsonville, (HB 4107) have traction. 

SB 1531 died in committee after 6 pm on the February 11 deadline for bills to pass the first chamber. Sen. Alan Bates, a physician, had engaged the 16 CCOs on SB 1531, a bill designed to increase transparency around metrics, contracts, global budgets, required services, and reporting for CCOs. Despite multiple meetings over the last several weeks to try to reach consensus, the clock ran out. The chief reason was the bill contained an ‘evergreen’ clause which allows contract renewals for CCOs unless they don’t meet minimum standards. This provision is in response to the OHA contract dispute with Portland CCO FamilyCare last year. The bill also  would have prohibited ‘clawing back’ payments already made to CCOs. It’s possible that provisions of the bill could be placed in other CCO bills that are still in play.

One such vehicle is HB 4141. Rep. Cedric Hayden, R-Roseburg and a dentist, is the chief sponsor of this bill that would prohibit the Oregon Health Authority from retroactively changing terms of the CCO contracts unless required to do so by the Centers for Medicaid Service. His purpose in doing so is to give assurances to CCOs and to patients that disruptions will be limited unless it’s an absolute emergency. This bill passed the House floor 57-3 and now heads to the senate.

A second vehicle is HB 4107, sponsored by Rep. John Davis, R-Wilsonville which would prohibit OHA from requiring clawbacks from CCOs unless they are required to demand payment by federal law. This bill passed out of the House Health Care Committee on February 11. It may return for some additional administrative amendments.

Rep. Mitch Greenlick’s CCO bill, HB 4001, which would modify the requirements for CCOs in 2018 and 2023, was put on hold by the chair to allow more work and discussion during the interim. This bill is designed to expand community involvement and transparency in CCOs.

Mental Health

SB 1558: Prohibits disclosure of records from college or university student health centers, mental health centers or counseling offices, except to specified entities within the college or university. This bill is scheduled for a vote on the Senate floor on February 15.

HB 4075: Would replace the School Safety Hotline established by the Department of Justice with a new Department of State Police tip line for anonymous reporting of information concerning threats to schools safety. This bill is moving forward with amendments to address a more comprehensive approach. This bill includes threats such as cyberbullying or suicide threats. This bill passed out of committee and now heads to Ways and Means. 

Health Care Bills

SB 1511: Potential marijuana exposure to children from edibles. A -5 amendment was introduced by Rep. Helm that would set 10 mg/100 mg per package as the minimum serving size for edibles. This provision was strongly opposed by children’s health advocates, including OR-ACEP, concerned about pediatric exposure and accidental ingestion. It’s our understanding that these amendments will not be adopted. See testimony here: https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2016R1/Measures/Exhibits/SB1511

SB 1559: Would require licensing of retail tobacco shops. It passed out of the Senate Health Care Committee on February 11. The bill now heads to Ways and Means for further consideration. It’s not without controversy — local county health departments and tobacco prevention advocates opposed the preemption clause. 

Gun sales

HB 4147: A bill to prohibit transfer of a firearm by dealers or private parties if the Department of State Police is unable to determine if the recipient is qualified to receive a firearm. This bill is still in play but with amendments limiting the waiting period to 10 days. The bill received a work session in House Judiciary on February 11.

Rules of Session: What’s an A-Engrossed bill?

An engrossed (a final, fair copy of) bill is a bill that is printed with its amendments. If a bill is engrossed it will be printed as “SB XX, A-eng”, which means the amendments have been included. If this bill is amended more than once, it will be printed ‘B-eng' and so on.

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

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04/13/2015 Session Update

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02/13/2015 News Update

02/06/2015 Session Update

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