“I don't feel like I was thrown into the deep end of the pool - I dove in.”
Governor Kate Brown describes her first 60 days in office in her State of the State address

News of the week: Deadline Day

April 21 was the deadline for bills in the first chamber to have a work session. Given the deadline, a number of bills were sent to the Rules Committee, which stays open until the Legislature adjourns. This gives legislators and lobbyists more time to seek consensus on their bills. The Ways and Means and Revenue Committees also stay open until sine die. Bills with a fiscal impact or bills that generate revenue are sent to these committees. 


Status of some of the major health policy bills in Salem


Wrongful death cap (SB 409). The House Judiciary Committee adopted the -3 amendments, which raise the cap for non-economic damages to $1.5M, indexed for inflation. The bill was sent to the Rules Committee because the votes weren’t there on the House floor. Senators Bates, Steiner Hayward, Monroe, Hass, Beyer, Johnson, Monnes Anderson and Roblan are the votes to watch. These Democratic senators reportedly do not support the bill as introduced. 

Immunizations policy (SB 895) The Senate Education Committee adopted the -5 amendments put forward by Sen. Elizabeth Steiner Hayward, the chief sponsor of the bill. The bill would retain the existing provision in law which allows parents to watch an educational video or get a signature from their health care provider prior to receiving an exemption from the school law vaccination requirements. SB 805 requires schools to post vaccination rates. The bill goes to the Senate floor for a vote but will also be routed to Ways and Means to address the fiscal impact to schools. 

Price Transparency (SB 900) Requires the OHA to post average prices of certain health care procedures by hospital, using All Payer All Claims database. This bill was backed by the Oregon Association of Hospital and Health Systems. 



SB 442 Repeals non-medical exemptions from the school immunization law.


Price Transparency (consumer advocate version) Senate Bill 891 would require health care facilities to post online and on location the prices of the most common inpatient and outpatient procedures, broken down by major payers. It would also require health care providers to disclose estimates for procedures on a patient's request. Senator Monnes Anderson, the chair of the Senate Health Care committee, told members there wasn’t enough time to work out the issues in the bill. OCEP provided testimony to alert legislators to a potential EMTALA violation should the bill pass.


Status of OCEP Priority One Bills

HB 2302 Out of Network Provider notification. This bill died without a hearing. The OMA would like to convene a workgroup over the interim to discuss next steps and to evaluate the progress of a similar law in New York state. OCEP opposed this bill. 

HB 3502, the mental health care improvement bill developed by the OAHHS workgroup, which included OCEP, has been pulled at the request of the OAHHS. Instead, a workgroup will be formed over the interim to address larger mental health system reform. OCEP supported this bill.

SB 132A Expands crime of assault to include physical injury to hospital health care providers. This bill died in House Judiciary. OCEP testified in support.

SB 409 Wrongful death cap. This bill is now in Rules. OCEP submitted a statement for the record in opposition to this bill. 

SB 835 requires emergency departments to refer for primary care people who present with non-urgent conditions. This bill, which was introduced by Sen. Bates on behalf of CCOs was slated for a hearing twice but the senator agreed to pull it after hearing of objections from OCEP and other organizations. This issue and a discussion may surface again during the interim.


Other OCEP bills of interest

SB 186 epi-pen dispensers OCEP opposed this bill, which would have created a legal mechanism for dispensing epinephrine from public dispensers. This bill died in committee.

SB 495 eliminates the exception to safety belt laws that allows person not to use a safety belt if all seating positions in the vehicle are occupied. The bill was sponsored by Sen. Bates. OCEP testified in support.

SB 874, the adrenal insufficiency bill, was amended to requires the Oregon Health Authority to compile educational information and disseminate it to hospitals. OCEP testified in opposition to the original bill, which would legislate medical practice in emergency departments. The chair of the Senate Health Care Committee asked OCEP and other stakeholders to work on amendment language. 

SB 459 and HB 3402, speed increase bills were scheduled for work sessions. OCEP testified in opposition to SB 459 on April 15 and HB 3402 on April 3. Both bills are headed for the rules committees in their respective chambers. These bills may be used as bargaining chips in order to garner Republican support for the transportation package.

SB 626A, prescription drug monitoring. The amended bill which was supported by OCEP, died in committee. If proponents decided to move the bill, SB 71A, which requires pharmacies to report information to the PDMP within 72 hours, may be the vehicle.

SB 840 A Licensed Independent Practitioners OCEP was part of the workgroup which recommended LIPs, such as nurse practitioners, would be able to initiate or approve involuntary holds for persons who are in hospital or non hospital facilities for civil commitment purposes. OCEP testified in support.


Thing to Know: 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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