Medicaid funding package advances

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

oregon health update banner

Issues and actions in Oregon health today

Feb. 14, 2019

Medicaid funding package advances in Legislature

The House Health Care Committee passed HB 2010 Feb. 7. That bill contains two of the four components of the Governor’s Medicaid funding proposal, the hospital and insurer assessments.

OHA Director Patrick Allen and Jeremy Vandehey, Health Policy and Analytics Division director, discussed the Governor's six-year plan for sustainable funding for the Oregon Health Plan before the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Services and the House Health Care Committee earlier that day. They focused on the Oregon Health Plan financing overview and provider taxes, one of OHP's major revenue sources.


Katrina Hedberg, MD, State Health Officer, Dana Hargunani, MD, Chief Medical Officer, and Jeffrey Rhoades, the Governor's marijuana policy advisor, testify on HB 2257.

A new paradigm: House Bill 2257 would shift strategies to address opioids, substance use

State health experts testified before the House Health Care Committee on HB 2257, Governor Brown’s opioid bill, which fundamentally changes Oregon’s understanding of substance use disorder – and approach to treating it.

Governor Brown opened the testimony. "This comprehensive legislation will once and for all declare substance use disorder to be a chronic illness in Oregon," she said. "Frankly, this declaration is long overdue. In March of last year I signed an executive order declaring addiction to be a public health crisis in Oregon. I took this step because addiction recovery is an issue that unites every one of us – we've all been impacted." Watch the testimony on HB 2257 here.

Among other actions, the bill would:

  • Expand medication-assisted treatment.
  • Support pilot programs to provide treatment for pregnant women with substance use disorders (including opioid dependence).
  • Direct the Health Evidence Review Commission to examine barriers to public payment for substance use treatment.

Recent legislative highlights

Senate Bill 526, home visits

On Monday, January 28, OHA Director Patrick Allen and Cate Wilcox, manager of the Public Health Division's Maternal and Child Health Section, testified before the Senate Health Care Committee about SB 526, to move forward universal home visiting for newborns in Oregon.

  • The idea behind home visits is to offer families and their newborns an opportunity for a healthy beginning at what can be a stressful time.
  • Director Allen emphasized that although the bill has been referred to as "universal home visiting," participation would be voluntary, not mandatory. Watch the testimony on SB 526 here.

Oregon Health Authority 101

On the first day of session, Tuesday, January 22, OPA Director Patrick Allen presented an "OHA 101" to the House Health Committee. His testimony described the roles OHA's functions have played in Oregon's efforts to increase health coverage, transform health care delivery, and reduce health care costs. Watch Director Allen’s presentation here.

dotted line for divider

OHA legislative priorities

During the 2019 legislative session, OHA's overall priorities are to:

  • Close the funding gap in the state health budget and put Medicaid on a sustainable six-year funding path.
  • Support the transformation of health care delivery and reduce the cost of care through CCO 2.0.
  • Help more Oregonians get the mental health and addiction treatment they need, in the right place at the right time.
  • Help more families give their children a healthier start in life.
  • Modernize public health to protect people against disease outbreaks, emergencies, and environmental health problems.
dotted line for divider

Miss the monthly OHA Stakeholder Meeting? Presentation is online

The Oregon Health Authority's monthly stakeholder webinar was held yesterday.

A PowerPoint presentation and a recording of the meeting are available on the OHA Government Relations webpage. Look for them under "Monthly Stakeholder Meetings."

meeting presentation graphic