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CareOregon experiences mostly positive
state legislative session

Rose Englert, senior manager of regulatory affairs
Rose Englert

Oregon’s 77th Legislative Assembly adjourned Monday, July 8. CareOregon took an active interest in a number of bills and policy initiatives that would have significantly affected our members. We will share some of those with you over the next few weeks in this and subsequent articles in SPIRIT. We will begin with a happy outcome for House Bill 3309, known as the “Bad Actor” or “Agree or Leave” bill that I wrote about in late June.

HB 3309 would have allowed a two-thirds vote by members of a CCO board to vote one of the members off the board. If a person was voted off, the organization or provider the individual represented would have been severely penalized with much lower CCO payments for health services. While the bill was directed at just the CCO in Marion County, the proposed law could have been applied at other CCOs around the state. The bill’s unintended consequences would have included a stifling of sharing ideas and members dropping off boards out for fear of putting their organizations at risk. HB 3309 was one of the most contentious pieces of legislation in 2013. CareOregon, working with dozens of other organizations, fought hard to keep it off the books – and won!

After weeks of the bill’s opponents speaking out against it to legislators, CCO representatives and members of the media, the bill was withdrawn. The integrity of our diverse and hard-working boards remained intact, which is a good example of why lobbying efforts and public debate are so important. Had the bill passed, it would have severely compromised the spirit of collaboration and cooperation embodied by the CCOs affiliated with CareOregon.