The Oregon Legislature passed five dozen new laws affecting healthcare policy that were covered in The Lund Report, making significant gains in public health, consumer protection, workers’ health benefits and mental health policy.
by Chris Gray, for The Lund Report
July 15, 2015
You win some, and you lose some, as the story goes, and Oregon’s 2015 legislative session was no different.
The Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems walked away as one of the biggest winners, crushing a price transparency bill that would have exposed its members to competition, while the Legislature limited its efforts to increase transparency to a $250,000 tax-funded website that will publish historic statewide averages of hospital price information from the all-payer, all-claims database.
But the hospitals, in turn, lost a battle to the Oregon Nurses Association, and will no longer be able to turn a blind eye to their nurse staffing committees, whose recommendations will now have the force of law. The ONA couldn’t pass a bill to require nurses at blood drives -- after a big win in the House, the Red Cross lobbied to send that bill to a quiet defeat in the Senate. A bill to give nurse practitioners the privilege of performing vasectomies was similarly snipped.
The decision to cut the vasectomy bill was also a rare setback for Planned Parenthood, which had a highly productive session, winning passage of bills that increase patient privacy around health insurance information and make a woman’s access to birth control nearly unfettered.
Here’s a rundown of the many bills covered in The Lund Report in this year’s session, with a comprehensive compilation of the significant healthcare legislation that went the distance in the 2015 session. A separate article will look at the bills that fell short: