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News Releases
OHA Director launches first round of regional visits with Southern Oregon as first stop - 02/16/24

February 16, 2024

Media Contact: Erica Heartquist, erica.j.heartquist@oha.oregon.gov, 503.871.8843

OHA Director launches first round of regional visits with Southern Oregon as first stop

(Medford, OR) Doctor Sejal Hathi, MD, MBA, confirmed one week ago as the new Director of Oregon Health Authority (OHA), will spend the next several months visiting all major regions in Oregon – meeting with and talking to community leaders, health care providers, Tribal leaders, local public health officials, and non-profit partners about their biggest needs from the state and the state health agency.

“I’m here with questions and I’m here to learn,” said Dr. Hathi at a sit-down meeting with medical, oral and behavioral health providers Thursday at one of La Clinica’s 30 sites in Southern Oregon. La Clinica offers integrated healthcare services to about 30,000 people across Jackson County.

This week, Dr. Hathi plans to visit Grants Pass, Medford and Klamath Falls.

“I’m taking notes. I am hearing that rural Oregonians feel ignored by OHA, and I’d like to change that. I’m appreciating that this is a region facing extraordinary workforce shortages, that is grappling with the dual drivers of scarcity and geography. And I understand the people here need both more resources and more support to care well for their families,” she said.

“We're grateful for the work Dr. Hathi is doing to understand the communities we serve and for the opportunity to share our successes and challenges with her,” said La Clinica Chief Medical Officer Chris Alftine.

Doctor Hathi is in Klamath Falls today meeting with two coordinated care organizations and the Klamath Tribes.

Doctor Hathi discussed her three most urgent priorities as OHA Director: eliminating health inequity, transforming Oregon’s behavioral health system, and expanding access to affordable health care.  But she emphasized that local input will inform and shape OHA’s priorities, strategies and focus.

“My highest priority is to listen and to learn, because I want to make sure that my vision and OHA’s strategies are grounded in the lived experiences of the communities we intend to serve, and their challenges and priorities,” said Dr. Hathi. “I can’t do that if I don’t truly listen.”

[Here is a link to the video of what Dr. Hathi said she learned during her visit to Southern Oregon]

Doctor Hathi heads to Astoria and Seaside in two weeks to hear from residents in the coastal communities of the state. A full schedule of all of Dr. Hathi’s upcoming regional listening visits will be posted on her web page.

Here are links to B-roll footage and still pictures from Dr. Sejal Hathi's Southern Oregon regional trip.

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New grant promotes home improvement options for low-income housing to qualifying organizations - 02/15/24

February 15, 2024

Media Contact: Afiq Hisham, 971-273-3374, PHD.Communications@oha.oregon.gov

New grant promotes home improvement options for low-income housing to qualifying organizations

PORTLAND, Ore.— A new funding opportunity from Oregon Health Authority (OHA) promotes safe and long-lasting homes by offering qualifying groups support toward repairing and rehabilitating low-income housing.

The first round of this funding opportunity from OHA’s Healthy Homes Grant Program (HHGP) aims to improve health and safety, maximize energy efficiency and extend usable life of both rented and owned low-income residences across Oregon.

Possible repairs include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Structural renovations for improving home access, such as wheelchair ramps.
  • Upgrades to heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.
  • Mold and mildew abatement.

Renovations can help protect people from extreme heat and cold, and keep indoor air clean from wildfire smoke, asthma triggers and allergens. Older and very young people and people with pre-existing health conditions are all at higher risk of health impacts from these hazards.

The new grant money can also help pay for mitigation efforts against radon, an invisible gas that builds up in homes and puts people’s health at risk through prolonged exposure. Because hiring qualified contractors for this work can be expensive, this grant offers additional support for these services.  

“With radon mitigation usually costing an average of $2,000 depending on the house, we recognize that hiring a contractor isn’t affordable for everyone,” said Brett Sherry, program manager for the Healthy Homes & Schools Unit at OHA’s Public Health Division. “Supporting eligible organizations through this grant – especially those serving underrepresented groups such as people of color, American Indian and Alaska Native communities – creates more options for low-income residents looking to improve their home’s safety.”

This funding opportunity was designed in collaboration with the Interagency Taskforce on Healthy Homes, the Rules Advisory Committee and community partners statewide. 

Details on eligibility requirements are available on HHGP’s Request for Grant Application webpage. Qualifying groups are asked to submit their ‘Intent to Apply’ by Feb. 23 at 3 p.m., before sending a complete application April 9 at 3 p.m.

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Oregon Health Authority Releases Competency Restoration Study - 02/09/24

February 9, 2024

Contact: Amber Shoebridge, Amber.Shoebridge@oha.oregon.gov

Oregon Health Authority Releases Competency Restoration Study

Portland, Ore.- The number of people who are ordered to receive competency restoration services either at Oregon State Hospital (OSH) or through a Community Mental Health Program (CMHP) has been building towards crisis levels for years in Oregon. Many of the individuals are living with a wide range of behavioral health and social service needs that extend across multiple systems.

To better characterize this need and opportunities for improvement, Oregon Health Authority (OHA) contracted with Program Design and Evaluation Services (PDES) in 2021 to build an overall picture of Oregon’s competency restoration system and population. In the final report, researchers highlight three key themes:

Legal community and clinical teams may have different definitions and measurements of competency restoration.

  • Competency restoration is a court‐based process yet the sectors responsible for implementation are behavioral health and human service providers who approach restoration using a very different lens than judges and District Attorneys. They may not be using shared language or viewing competency restoration in the same way.

Access to adequate restoration services varies across the state.

  • Some counties have more extensive service delivery infrastructure and programming, leaving them better prepared to address community restoration, though even these counties are overburdened and understaffed.

There is a lack of data transparency and information sharing across sectors.

  • One of the largest barriers to monitoring and assessing Oregon’s competency restoration process is a separation of data systems between the different agencies and organizations.

“If we are going to make a true impact on the lives of those placed under aid and assist orders, we must have all parties agree on treatment, measurements and definitions,” said David Baden, Deputy Director for Policy and Program for OHA. “To reach a common goal we need to speak the same language and we need to share information. We cannot continue to allow citizens of Oregon to get lost in the system because we are not communicating well. ”

Opportunities

The PDES report concluded with concrete opportunities for state and local systems to improve competency restoration. OHA is already pursuing and implementing many of them:

Use a cross‐sector, multi‐faceted approach

  • OHA, OSH, and Oregon Department of Disability Services (ODDS) have established a cross-agency workgroup to identify improvements for timely discharge from OSH and diversion for individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) and improve access to IDD services for individuals in competency restoration.

Support implementation of competency restoration with materials and technical assistance

  • OHA is developing a Community Restoration Program Manual to define best practices and protocols.

Address workforce capacity, development, and training

  • OHA is piloting a mentorship program that is intended to support opportunities for employees as part of their professional development.

Improve data systems and information sharing

  • OHA’s Intensive Service Unit is working in collaboration with Health Policy and Analytics and Community Outcome Management and Performance Accountability Support System (COMPASS) teams to develop more timely reporting on community restoration data.
  • OHA’s Intensive Service Unit and OSH are working with the COMPASS team to incorporate Oregon Judicial Department data into the Behavioral Health Data Warehouse.

OHA will continue to review the report to identify additional system improvements we can make to Oregon’s continuum of behavioral health care.

Get school and daycare immunizations updated before Feb. 21 - 02/08/24

February 8, 2024

Media contact: Afiq Hisham, 971-273-3374, PHD.Communications@oha.oregon.gov

Get school and daycare immunizations updated before Feb. 21

Parents and caregivers must provide schools and childcare facilities with kids’ vaccine records

​PORTLAND, Ore. – With the Feb. 21 deadline fast approaching for updating kids’ vaccinations, the Oregon Immunization Program (OIP) reminds parents and caregivers that their children may miss out on school or childcare if their records on file show missing immunizations.

The third Wednesday in February is known as School Exclusion Day. By this day, under state law, all children in public and private schools, preschools, Head Start and certified childcare facilities must submit documentation showing they are up to date on their required immunizations or have an exemption. This year, if a child’s vaccination records do not show up-to-date immunizations by Feb. 21, their school or childcare center will send them home.

“Vaccine-preventable diseases can be highly contagious, with several cases of measles recently taking place in the Pacific Northwest and across the U.S.,” said Stacy de Assis Matthews, school law coordinator in Oregon Health Authority’s (OHA) Public Health Division. “Immunizations remain the best way to stop that spread, keeping kids and school communities healthy and safe.”

Leading up to School Exclusion Day in 2023, local health departments in Oregon sent 26,688 letters to parents and caregivers informing them that they needed to submit records showing up-to-date immunizations for their children. That led to a total of 4,048 children being sent home and not being able to attend school until their families provided the necessary vaccination records.

This year, local public health authorities mailed letters to families on or before Feb. 7.

Parents and caregivers seeking immunizations for their children should contact their health care provider or local health department. They may also reach 211Info by dialing 211 over the phone, or going to 211info.org. No one can be turned away from a local health department because of their inability to pay for required vaccines. Many pharmacists can immunize children ages 7 and older – OIP encourages families to contact their neighborhood pharmacy for more details. Additional information on school immunizations can be found at the Immunization Program website. OHA’s website also features local school vaccination data and an OIP Tableau School Immunization Dashboard

People in Oregon shared their personal stories with OHA on why adults decide to vaccinate their children:

OHA invites people to join the conversation and share why they vaccinate by using ‘#ORVaccinates’ on social media.

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CMS approves Oregon State Hospital plan of correction - 02/06/24

February 6, 2024

Contact: Amber Shoebridge, Amber.Shoebridge@oha.oregon.gov

CMS approves Oregon State Hospital plan of correction

Salem, Ore.- The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has approved the Oregon State Hospital (OSH) Plan of Correction (PoC). The plan details how the hospital is responding to findings that it was deficient in areas related to the secure medical transport of justice-involved patients.

CMS surveyors visited OSH in September and October 2023 after a patient’s unauthorized leave while in secure transport restraints. At the time, OSH worked closely with CMS and successfully implemented corrective actions to remove an “immediate jeopardy” finding. The current PoC builds off of that extensive work.

Based on the CMS report, the plan is divided into the following four categories: transportation of patients, incident response, trainings and documentation. Examples of areas for improvement which OSH is addressing includes:

  • policies and procedures for staff training to ensure patient safety and security and the safety of others during justice-involved patient transport and restraint/seclusion use
  • elopement prevention to ensure the safe and appropriate care of patients
  • alternatives or less restrictive interventions to restraints and seclusion and clear documentation that other interventions were ineffective
  • improvements to quality assurance processes and management structures

“The safety of patients and employees will benefit from the ongoing refinements and additional enhancements included in the PoC,” said OSH Superintendent Dolly Matteucci. “Enhanced policies, more specific trainings, clear expectations and data driven evaluations create a foundation for individual and collective success.”   

The PoC includes policy and procedure review and updates, attestation and training, and audits. Each section will have audits that will continue in a regular cadence, culminating in annual reviews once sufficient progress has been documented.

Beginning Feb. 25, surveyors representing CMS may return to validate that OSH has successfully implemented the PoC.

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New Study Defines Gap in Statewide Behavioral Health Treatment Beds - 02/01/24

February 1, 2024

Media contact: Timothy Heider, 971-599-0459, timothy.heider@oha.oregon.gov

New Study Defines Gap in Statewide Behavioral Health Treatment Beds

SALEM, Ore. — Oregon needs nearly 3,000 adult residential mental health and substance use treatment beds to close gaps in today’s system of care and meet the state’s future demand for treatment, according to a new report released today.

Closing this gap would represent more than a 70% increase above Oregon’s current treatment capacity. According to the report, it would take more than $500 million over five years or more to close this gap. The findings will inform an ongoing funding and implementation effort that state leaders are committed to pursue, which could take several biennia to complete.

The finding is based on results from a new preliminary study that Governor Tina Kotek directed the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) to commission last year. It was produced by the Public Consulting Group (PCG), a leading public sector solutions implementation and operations improvement firm that has produced similar studies in Washington and other states.

“Too many Oregonians are struggling to get the help they need for a mental health or addiction challenge, and the state needs to lead with a strategic approach to addressing these gaps in health care,” said Governor Kotek.

“We need more resources, to be sure, but we also need better data so we can better serve Oregonians. This preliminary assessment tells us more about the gaps we need to fill to ensure Oregonians in every corner of the state can access the care they need, when they need it.”

The draft study provides a preliminary analysis of the current residential treatment capacity for people with behavioral health disorders, the number of beds needed to address unmet needs (through the fall of 2025), and cost estimates to close existing gaps among different levels of care. (The study does not estimate the need for outpatient treatment.)

Highlights of the report include:

  • Oregon currently has 4,819 residential beds to treat people with behavioral health disorders. This figure represents beds in the adult mental health and substance use residential facilities examined in this report, which includes medically monitored withdrawal management to adult treatment, foster homes, state hospitals and psychiatric hospital care and other programs. Currently planned expansions in these facilities would increase the total to 5,175.
  • Current capacity needs to grow by approximately 3,000 additional residential treatment beds over the next several years. In the preliminary report, analysts estimate that the amount of additional funding the state will need to fill the gap in treatment beds is at least $500 million over 5 years. The preliminary estimate does not include operational costs.
  • The types of treatment with the largest current gaps are:
    • Residential substance use treatment beds: Preliminary assessments demonstrating a range of 1,156- 2,169 additional beds needed (beyond its current capacity of 1,606, with 44 more beds in the process of being opened).
    • Withdrawal management beds- preliminary assessments demonstrate Oregon needs 523 additional beds (beyond its current capacity of 349 and 16 more in the pipeline.)
    • Secure residential treatment facility (SRTF) beds: Preliminary assessments demonstrating Oregon needs 171 additional beds beyond its current capacity of 546 (and 77 coming on-line.)

Over the past four years, the Oregon legislature has invested more than $1.5 billion to expand behavioral health treatment capacity to meet the need of mental health residential beds, raise provider payment rates and to stabilize the treatment workforce. Oregon’s current shortfall in capacity would be even greater without these investments.

State officials will release a final version of the report that will provide a complete analysis and a proposed funding strategy in June 2024. The final report will refine and further analyze capacity needs and cost projections to expand adult residential behavioral health capacity.

“We now have clear and reliable preliminary benchmarks to pursue a sustainable multi-year funding and program effort to ensure every person in Oregon with a serious substance use disorder or mental illness can get the care they need,” said OHA’s Behavioral Health Director Ebony Clarke.

But state officials are not waiting for completion of the studies before acting and pursuing next steps.

State officials have already identified potential funding sources for several short horizon – “shovel-ready” projects, which local providers are poised to pursue across the state. Those are defined as projects likely to come online within the next year or two that aim to address what are considered critical service gaps.

State behavioral health director Clarke said, “Our goal is to ensure that no one who needs and wants care for a mental health or substance use disorder should be turned away from lifesaving treatment.”

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Latest data shows Oregon leads in keeping people covered - 01/31/24

January 31, 2023

Media contacts:

Erica Heartquist, Oregon Health Authority, Erica.J.Heartquist@oha.oregon.gov, 503-871-8843

Jake Sunderland, Oregon Department of Human Services,  Jake.Sunderland@odhs.oregon.gov, 503-877-0170

Latest data shows Oregon leads in keeping people covered

More than one million people are keeping their Oregon Health Plan benefits due to Oregon’s efforts to expand coverage options

SALEM, Ore. — With nearly 84 percent of the state’s 1.5 million renewals complete, more than 5 out of 6 Oregonians are keeping their Oregon Health Plan (OHP) or other Medicaid benefits.

Oregon’s 85 percent renewal rate is second highest in a national comparison of state renewal rates by KFF, a nonpartisan health policy organization. KFF analysis shows Oregon also has saved more people from unnecessary paperwork than any other state via the automated renewal process. Oregon’s high renewal rates are also due to proactive efforts by the state to keep people covered.

Members who have not received a renewal yet should:

  • Keep their address and contact information up to date.
  • Check their mail or online ONE account for their renewal letter.
  • Do what the renewal letter asks as soon as possible.

Anyone concerned they missed their letter should get help with their renewal via one of the ways to find help listed below.

Although most people are keeping coverage, approximately 180,000 people will lose or have reduced benefits and need to consider other coverage options.

  • People who do not have coverage through an employer or Medicare may be able to enroll through the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace and get financial help. Most people who enroll through HealthCare.gov qualify for financial assistance. The Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace is sending information to people who are no longer eligible for OHP benefits, advising of potential coverage options through the Marketplace. People who have recently lost OHP benefits can enroll anytime until July 31, 2024 or within 60 days of their benefits ending. For more information and ways to get help signing up for Marketplace, Medicare, or employer coverage, see “What to do if OHP is ending” below.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government allowed states to keep people on Medicaid and did not require annual eligibility renewals. This ended when the public health emergency ended, and Oregon is currently making sure everyone on OHP is still eligible.

Over the course of the pandemic, Oregon saw a 30 percent increase in Medicaid coverage, bringing the total number of OHP members to over 1.5 million people. Oregon started processing eligibility reviews on April 1, 2023.

Extended unwinding schedule

Oregon has not started renewals for over 100,000 people. Many of these renewals were affected by previously reported renewal issues. These included a federal request for more than 30 states to review automated renewal processes, and restorations of Oregon Supplemental Income Program Medical (OSIPM) benefits. Oregon is currently seeking federal approval of an amended timeline for these renewals. A May 2024 update to Oregon’s automated renewal process and federal approval of the new timeline will enable Oregon to use the new process for the remaining renewals.

Oregon is proposing to stagger those renewals over four months. Renewals letters would be sent to members in four waves between June and September. Members would still receive 90 days to respond, and 60 days’ advance notice before any termination or reduction in benefits. This would mean the final responses would be due in December 2024, and the final closures would happen in February 2025.

Oregon will share more information about these renewals after federal approval. In the meantime, data about these renewals does not appear in the Medical Redeterminations Dashboard. For consistency, data below continues to use the December total number of members affected by unwinding.

December OHP renewal data

As of Jan. 27, 2024, 1,221,363 people have completed the renewal process. This represents 83.9 percent of all OHP and Medicaid members.

  • 1,029,057 people (84.9 percent) were renewed and kept their benefits.
  • 167,082 people (13.7 percent) were found ineligible.
  • 14,924 people (1.2 percent) had a reduction in their benefits. Most of these members lost full OHP but were able to continue Medicare Savings Programs that help pay their Medicare costs.

In December, renewal letters were sent to an additional 171,781 people. 

  • 73 percent were renewed without any action needed.
  • 20 percent were asked to provide some information to renew. The most common requests are for income-related proof such as paystubs, or forms of identification such as a government identification or birth certificate.
  • 5 percent were asked to fill out a renewal form.
  • 3 percent had previously reported that they no longer met income limits or other requirements and received a notice that their benefits will end in 60 days.

Find help renewing your benefits

  1. Learn more about how to renew your Oregon Health Plan medical coverage.
  2. Call the ONE Customer Service Center at 800-699-9075. All relay calls are accepted, and help is available in multiple languages. Wait times are lowest between 7 and 8 a.m.
  3. Visit or call a local Oregon Department of Human Services office. People can find their local office at https://www.oregon.gov/odhs/Pages/office-finder.aspx.
  4. Visit a community partner for free in-person help. To find one near you visit OregonHealthCare.gov/GetHelp(English) or orhim.info/ayuda(Spanish).

The large number of OHP renewals, along with renewals of long-term services and supports, may cause greater wait times, delays, and possible interruptions to people’s OHP benefits. The fastest way members can provide an update is by going to benefits.oregon.gov and logging into their ONE online account.

What to do if your OHP is ending:

  • First, review the case summary in your letter to make sure the information used to make the decision was correct. If that information has changed, notify the state. You can call the ONE Customer Service Center at 800-699-9075 (toll-free, all relay calls accepted) or find other options to connect at benefits.oregon.gov. If the information on file for you is correct and you disagree with the decision, you can request a hearing. Learn more about hearings.
  • Explore options through an employer. If you, your spouse, or a parent are working, you may be eligible for health coverage through that employer. Talk to your manager or Human Resources department to see if you qualify. You will have a special enrollment period to enroll mid-year due to loss of OHP benefits.
  • If you have or are eligible for Medicare: For help understanding and choosing the right Medicare options, go to https://OregonHealthcare.gov/GetHelp to find an insurance agent or a counselor at the Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance Program (SHIBA). You can also call SHIBA at 800-722-4134.

If you need to sign up for Medicare for the first time, contact the Social Security Administration (SSA) at 800-772-1213 to enroll by phone or find a local office. You can also enroll in Medicare online at ssa.gov/medicare/sign-up.

  • Nearly 80 percent of Oregonians qualify for financial help through the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace. Visit https://OregonHealthCare.gov/WindowShop to answer a few quick questions, find out how much you can save and find out how much coverage may cost you. You can also call the Marketplace Transition Help Center at 833-699-6850 (toll-free, all relay calls accepted).
  • Need free local help finding other coverage? Visit https://OregonHealthCare.gov/GetHelp to find professional help near you.

The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) are committed to transparency and will continue to send monthly information about medical coverage among Oregonians as the agencies continue to track the programs. Check our ONE Eligibility Operations Dashboards for more frequent updates on medical renewal data and wait times for callers to the ONE Customer Service Center.

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Nurse Staffing Advisory Board schedules quarterly meeting - 01/26/24

Jan. 26, 2024

Media Contact: Jonathan Modie, 971-246-9139, PHD.Communications@oha.oregon.gov

Nurse Staffing Advisory Board schedules quarterly meeting

What: The Nurse Staffing Advisory Board is holding its quarterly meeting.

Agenda: Membership, program updates; 2024 legislative session; HB 2697 rulemaking update; BOLI, HB 2697; status updates; HB 2697 implementation updates; hospital staffing surveyor discusses survey activities; emerging issues in nurse staffing; public comment.

The agenda and meeting materials will be available as a meeting packet on www.healthoregon.org/nursestaffing

When: Wednesday, Jan. 31, 1 to 5 p.m.

Where: This meeting is being held remotely via Zoom. To receive login information, register for the meeting here.

Background: The Nurse Staffing Advisory Board advises the Oregon Health Authority on the administration of Oregon’s nurse staffing laws; identifies trends, opportunities and concerns related to nurse staffing; makes recommendations to the Oregon Health Authority based on those trends, opportunities and concerns; and reviews the enforcement powers and processes under Oregon’s nurse staffing laws.

Program contact: Kimberly Voelker Mailbox.nursestaffing@odhsoha.oregon.gov

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Everyone has a right to know about and use Oregon Health Authority (OHA) programs and services. OHA provides free help. Some examples of the free help OHA can provide are:

  • Sign language and spoken language interpreters
  • Written material in other languages
  • Closed captioning
  • Braille
  • Large print
  • Audio and other formats

If you need help or have questions, please contact Kimberly Voelker, MPH at 971-803-0914, 711 TTY or kimberly.n.voelker@oha.oregon.gov at least 48 hours before the meeting.


 

Open enrollment has ended for 2024 health coverage; Enrollment opportunities still available for high-quality coverage - 01/26/24

View this news release in Spanish

Jan. 26, 2024

Media contact: Amy Coven, 503-943-0164, amy.coven@oha.oregon.gov

Open enrollment has ended for 2024 health coverage; Enrollment opportunities still available for high-quality coverage

(Salem) –145,509 Oregonians enrolled in health insurance coverage, a 2.4 percent increase over last year’s enrollment numbers, the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace announced today. The open enrollment period was from Nov. 1, 2023 to Jan. 16, 2024 for 2024 health coverage.

According to the Oregon Health Insurance Survey, approximately 95 percent of Oregonians are enrolled in some type of health coverage. Still, the Marketplace is working diligently to help eliminate disparities and connect all Oregonians to the health coverage that best meets their needs and budget.

The Marketplace offers high-quality health coverage that meets the basic needs of Oregonians, and covers much more. All Marketplace plans include:

  • Robust coverage for no cost preventive benefits,
  • Chiropractic and acupuncture care,
  • Emergency services and urgent care,
  • Reproductive health benefits,
  • Mental and behavioral health, and
  • Gender-affirming care.

People who missed the open enrollment deadline may still have an opportunity to get health coverage through the Marketplace if they experienced a qualifying life event such as moving, involuntarily losing health coverage, having or adopting a child, marriage, a change in citizenship, and being released from incarceration. Enrolled Tribal members, Alaska natives, and people who have lower income can enroll in health coverage at any time throughout the year.

The Marketplace is also offering a special enrollment opportunity for nearly 80,000 individuals who are losing Oregon Health Plan benefits as part of the COVID-19 public health emergency unwinding and are likely Marketplace-eligible. The Marketplace is working closely with the Oregon Health Plan to connect these people to coverage through the Marketplace.

Oregonians can preview plans and savings available to them by answering a few short questions at OregonHealthCare.gov. The website is also the best place to find a health insurance expert who can give free one-on-one help with the application and enrollment process by phone, email, or in person. Visit OregonHealthCare.gov today to get started.

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The Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace, a part of state government, helps people get health insurance when they do not have job-based coverage, and do not qualify for the Oregon Health Plan or another program. The Marketplace is the state-level partner to HealthCare.gov. For more information, go to OregonHealthCare.gov.


 

First Hospital Community Benefit Spending Floor Data Released - 01/24/24

January 24, 2024

Media Contact: Erica Heartquist, erica.j.heartquist@oha.oregon.gov, 503.871.8843

First Hospital Community Benefit Spending Floor Data Released

The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) released its first ever hospital community benefit spending floor data for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2022. The data shows how much individual hospitals and health systems spent on community benefit in comparison to their individually assigned spending floors. The data show 92% of hospitals and health systems in the state met or exceeded their spending floor.

Oregon House Bill 3076 created the hospital community benefit spending floor program in Oregon, the first of its kind in the nation. In lieu of paying income or property taxes, Oregon nonprofit hospitals are expected to provide support to their communities over and above direct medical care, which is called Community Benefit.

The new program was designed to set spending floors and the minimum amount of money that a hospital or health system is expected to spend on Community Benefit within a fiscal year, as well as collect and report on related data.

“The program is the first in the nation to set individual community benefit spending floors for individual hospitals or hospital systems within a state. OHA worked with Oregon hospitals, patient advocates and national experts to develop the spending floor formula and the data collection aspects of the program, which will help advance transparency and public awareness,” said Trilby de Jung, Deputy Director of Health Policy and Analytics at Oregon Health Authority. “We appreciate the energy our partners brought to the table to launch this important work, particularly since the legislative timeline called for collaboration on the heels of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The spending floor formula draws upon hospitals’ previous community benefit spending to predict the floor for future spending. The floor is made up of hospital unreimbursed care and direct spending on programs, community organizations and other activities in hospitals’ communities.

The total community benefit spending was more than1.5 times the total spending floor in its first year. The total statewide spending floor for FY 2022 was $1,386,260,083 and total hospital community benefit spending statewide was $2,198,600,815.

Statewide, hospitals met their spending floors largely through unreimbursed care, which accounted for 80% of all community benefit spending. Direct spending in communities made up the remaining 20% of total community benefit spending.

Here is the link to the report:

https://www.oregon.gov/oha/HPA/ANALYTICS/HospitalReporting/FY22%20Community%20Benefit%20Report.pdf

Here is a link to the dashboard:

https://visual-data.dhsoha.state.or.us/t/OHA/views/CommunityBenefitDashboard/Dash-Welcome?%3Aembed=y&%3AisGuestRedirectFromVizportal=y

OHA will publish a new report in February that takes a closer look at the notable programs, activities and investments hospitals made to benefit their local communities.

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