Legislative Update - 2017
It was an extremely busy and exciting Legislative Session in Salem. The OSPA Government Affairs Committee (GAC) is already making plans for 2018. For now, please click here for a look at the OSPA Legislative Successes achieved on behalf of the PA profession!
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The AAPA Legislative Action Center
CONTACT YOUR LEGISLATOR - PAs can send messages to their legislators through the AAPA Legislative Action Center. Legislators respond best when contacted directly by the people they represent. It contains links to the following:
Oregon State Legislature - Directory for the Oregon state legislature
Local Government - Local Elected Officials from Oregon
Issues and Legislation - Current alerts, bills, votes, more.
Media Guide - Media organizations in Oregon
Congressional Delegation - U.S. Senators and Representatives from OregonOSPA is represented at the Oregon State Capitol by Thorn Run Partners, a Portland-based state government affairs firm.
Elizabeth Remley has represented OSPA since 2011. She joined Thorn Run Partners' Oregon practice in 2012 and bringsconsiderable experience working with Oregon's state and local governments. Ms. Remley's previous work includes representing a major hospital and delivery network, a mid-sized health plan, and numerous land use, technology, public infrastructure and transportation clients. On behalf of her clients, she contributed to the creation of Oregon's health insurance exchange and helped establish the framework adopted to guide the state's health care transformation.
A graduate in Journalism and Economics from the University of Oregon, Ms. Remley previously worked for Oregon-based communications firm, Vox Public Relations Public Affairs. She currently volunteers as the director of communications for the nonprofit academic mentoring program Minds Matter of Portland, where she also served as a mentor for three years.
Daniel Bates joined Thorn Run Partners in 2010 after serving the City of Portland as its Director of Government Relations. Previous to his tenure at the City of Portland, Mr. Bates was an attorney and lobbyist with the legislative practice group at Patton Boggs LLP, DC's largest lobby shop.
During his career, Mr. Bates has represented large and small cities, counties, transit agencies, ports and state governments- helping his clients achieve both funding and policy goals. Navigating projects that require government relations expertise at local, state and federal levels simultaneously is a substantial component of Mr. Bates's professional portfolio.
Mr. Bates received bachelors of arts degrees in Political Science and History at Houghton College in Houghton, New York and earned his juris doctor from the University of Virginia School of Law. When he’s not in Washington, DC, Mr. Bates lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife Allison and two children.
OSPA Legislative Outcomes,
SB 1548 - PA/NP Technical Fix - A monumental piece of legislation which benefits Oregon’s Physician Assistants and the patients we serve was signed into law by Governor John Kitzhaber. Known as SB 1548, this piece of legislation involved having the OSPA Governmental Affairs Committee review 180 Oregon Statutes and identify 90 feasible sections of the Statutes where PAs were excluded from providing medical care to patients, of which 75 ended up in the final legislation, resulting in a major legislative fix to laws on the books and provide PAs with the ability to practice medicine and not have to worry about obstacles that were unintentionally preventing them from providing patient care.
HB 2902, Reimbursement Parity- Requires insurers to reimburse PAs and NPs at the same rate as physicians for the same services in primary care and mental health until 2017. Establishes a workgroup of stakeholders, including OSPA, to determine the best policy for addressing reimbursement disparity.
Financial aid for rural primary care providers: Several bills passed to support providers who practice in rural and underserved areas of Oregon, and OSPA successfully lobbied to include PAs in each program.
SB 483, Malpractice Mediation - Establishes a universal process for reporting and resolving adverse health incidents; requires providers and patients to attempt mediation before a lawsuit is filed. Does not include tort reform.
SB 604, Universal credentialing database - Requires Oregon Health Authority to set up a universal credentialing database for use by hospitals and health insurers. Includes PAs.
HB 5026, Oregon Medical Board Budget - Appropriates operating expenses for the OMB for two years. Includes agreed-upon fee schedule to pay for SB 224 implementation. Supervising physicians will pay a one-time $150 fee upon taking the test to become a supervising physician. Physician assistants will pay a one-time surcharge on their new or renewed license in the next licensing period (2014-2016). Includes a legislatively approved average 9% increase in renewal fees, which translates to a $16 increase for PA renewals.
SB 224, Updated Oregon’s PA licensing laws -This major overhaul of the governing statutes for PAs brought together the Oregon Medical Association, the Oregon Medical Board and OSPA to collaborate and compromise to make it easier for PAs to be licensed and hired in the state of Oregon.
2010 Special Session
HB 3642, This bill was brought to the special session by ZoomCare. This would allow a panel of physicians to supervise a PA as long as the PA has a supervising physician. This passed and was signed into law.
SB 575, Allowed PAs to sign for a 2-Physician Hold - This bill would allow PAs to be one of the providers in case of emergency hold a patient for psychiatric evaluation. This bill was supported by the Oregon Medical Association and the Oregon Medical Board. Several support groups for mental illness were concerned about PAs being one of the providers. This bill did not move out of committee.
OSPA Presented to the Human House Services committee a review of PA law and how PAs function in Oregon versus other states. Discussion was held on how the ability for PAs to provide medical care in Oregon can be improved.
SB 531, Amends the Oregon Medical Board (OMB) PA committee make-up to increase the number of PA members to 3 along with 2 physician members.
SB 678, Places the term and definition of "agent" in the OMB statute in order to clarify the PAs ability to work with an agent physician.
HB 2756, Allows PAs to be "attending physicians" for 60 days from 1st visit or 18 visits total and will allow 30 days of time loss. Must be certified by Department of Consumer and Business Services.
SB 641, Allows PAs to sign disability forms for fish and wildlife.
SB 676, Mandates that insurance carriers reimburse for physician services provided by a PA in all areas of practice.
SB 569, Remove sunset clause to allow physicians to supervise four PAs and allow PAs to have up to 4 supervising physicians.
SB 570, Removes the sunset clause to allow PAs to work at additional sites outside of the practice of their supervising physician.
Involved with OMA in Tort reform for malpractice.
HB 2410, Emergency responder bill-allows PAs and other licensed healthcare practitioners to respond to emergencies.