2015 Legislative Agenda
Rural Health Tax Credit (SB 37 & HB 2125) $16.8 million
This $5,000 annual credit is one of the few tools rural communities have to attract and retain health care professionals. In 2011, 2009 physicians, NPs, PAs, dentists and other health care professionals used this tax credit, which is scheduled to sunset at the end of 2015.
Health Care Workforce Data Collection
A key recommendation by the OHPB’s Workforce Committee, after six-months studying Oregon’s workforce incentive programs, was legislation to better fund health care workforce data collection in order to ensure the best return on our workforce dollars.
Loan Repayment $4 million
CMS required Oregon to fund a loan repayment program in 2013 for primary care providers who serve Medicaid in rural and underserved urban areas. During the 2013-15 biennium, 26 providers received awards including 7 dentists, 9 NPs, 6 MD/DO, 2 psychiatrists and 2 PAs. Total spent as of January 2015: $2.4M.
Loan Forgiveness $1 million
This program, started by the Legislature in 2011, provides loans to students in medical and nursing school, in exchange for a commitment to work in rural Oregon. As of January 2015, 20 students had received awards including 8 MDs, 3 DOs, 4 NP/DNP, and 3 PAs. Two providers (one NP and one PA) are already practicing in rural communities. $649,000 has been awarded to date; $348,000 during the first year of the 2013-15 biennium.
Rural Malpractice Subsidy Program $8.3 million
This provides sliding scale subsidies for malpractice insurance for physicians and nurse practitioners in rural Oregon, focusing on obstetrics and primary care. Funding for this program is included in the Oregon Health Authority’s budget.
Telemedicine (SB 144)
This would change the telemedicine definition so that two-way teleconferencing with a patient would no longer have to occur between two medical facilities. Insurance would now have to pay for two-way teleconferencing visits between a health care provider and the patient, and the patient could be in their home.
Full Funding for OHP
The Governor’s budget fully funds the Oregon Health Plan with a package of funds including CCO savings, a hospital tax, General Funds and the Tobacco Settlement Funds. ORHA supports full funding of OHP.
You can find the contact information for your legislator at the Oregon State Legislature website: http://www.leg.state.or.us/findlegsltr/
Oregon Rural Health Association is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization. PO Box 11954 Portland, OR 97211