The Oregon Senate passed SB 1580, the state’s ‘Health System Transformation’ legislation and the implementation vehicle for Coordinated Care Organizations, in a vote of 18-12 on Feb. 14.
The bill moved quickly last week from the Policy committee to the Ways and Means Human Services Subcommittee. Legislators cited a need to pass the bill quickly in order to qualify for Federal grant dollars that will help pay for CCO implementation and to achieve savings in the delivery system that will help mitigate deeper cuts to the Oregon Health Plan. The Subcommittee held two evening public hearings and adopted a set of amendments that include the creation of a Patient Safety and Defensive Medicine Workgroup among other clarifications. The Workgroup is directed to craft and propose liability reform legislation for the 2013 Legislative Session.
On Feb. 10, the Full Ways and Means committee attempted to adopt an amendment to the bill, inserting a delayed version of the Oregon Tort Claims Act (OTCA) that would have covered CCOs. The amendment was intended to act as a “backstop” to force action from the Patient Safety and Defensive Medicine Workgroup. The amendment failed and the bill was sent to the Senate floor.
During the debate on the bill, Sen. Ted Ferrioli (R-John Day) moved to amend the bill on the floor to include the OTCA amendment that had earlier failed in Ways and Means. The amendment failed on a party line vote. Following that motion, Sen. Dave Nelson (R-Pendleton) made a motion to send the bill back to Ways and Means Committee to attempt to add liability reform language. The motion failed, again on a party line vote. After the bill passed the chamber, Sen. Jeff Kruse (R-Roseburg) made an attempt to bring another liability reform bill directly to the floor for a vote. This motion also failed on a party line vote.
During the debate, members discussed a set of memos that had been authored by the Department of Justice and OHSU citing legal concerns with the planned extension of the OTCA over CCOs.
While medical liability reform language was not in the final bill passed in the Senate, the bill does call for the creation of a Governor-appointed Patient Safety and Defensive Medicine Work Group, which would develop liability reform legislation for the 2013 session.
The bill now moves to the House for a floor vote as early as this week.
Join Us for a Free CCO Discussion Webinar Next Tuesday, Feb. 21
OMA General Counsel and Vice President of Health Policy Gwen Dayton, JD, will host an honest discussion on CCOs in Oregon for physicians, PAs, practice managers and other practice staff next Tuesday, Feb. 21 from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm. Discuss the new order of health care in our state, and learn how to better position yourself and integrate your practice within a coordinated care model. This webinar is free to OMA members and their staff; pre-registration is required. Register today!