5 Things Oregon: Q&A with Rep. Salinas, Health care bills to watch, Colin Cave, MD

DJ is taking a well-deserved vacation, so I’ll be bringing you this edition of 5 Things We’re Watching. I’m the senior reporter here at State of Reform, where I’m usually covering health care in Oregon, and a number of other states. Feel free to email me any feedback or tips on what you think we should be covering.

DJ will be back next month, but until then, here’s what we’re watching in Oregon health care!

Emily Boerger
Senior Reporter

With help from Sara Gentzler.

1. Q&A with Representative Salinas

Representative Andrea Salinas represents Oregon’s House District 38 and currently serves on the House Health Care Committee, the Energy and Environment Committee, and on the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Services. She was also the Chair of the Universal Access to Healthcare Workgroup during the 2018 interim.

I spoke with Rep. Salinas about the key health care issues and pieces of legislation in the 2019 session in this Q&A. Among the topics we discussed: drug pricing transparency, vaccination exemptions, and several bills related to universal coverage such as SB 770 and her upcoming Medicaid buy-in bill.


2. Bills to watch

With session in full swing, committees are hearing and moving many bills that might go on to impact stakeholders in health care. We rounded up a handful that we think are worth keeping an eye on for this rundown.

The bills we’re watching include: One that would help fund the Oregon Health Plan and has already passed out of Ways and Means, several that would impact tobacco-product taxes (which also fund OHP), and another that would set standards for prior authorizations.

3. Takeaways from CCO 2.0 letters of intent

Earlier this month, OHA announced they had received 24 letters of intent for the 2020-2024 CCO 2.0 contracts – enough where each county in the state would at least have one CCO. The letters of intent are in response to the released CCO RFA, which prioritizes increased value and pay performance, behavioral health, social determinants, and financial transparency.

In this pieceTom Holt, Managing Partner at The Holt Company, offers his take on these letters of intent where he says, “significant changes are afoot.” According to Holt, the LOIs indicate significant territorial expansions, potential new competitors, and the solidity of the CCO model.


4.  Video: Colin Cave, MD, Kaiser Permanente

Colin Cave, MD, is the Director of External Affairs, Government Relations, and Community Health at Northwest Permanente PC. He joins us in this edition of “What They’re Watching” to discuss the social determinants of health.

“To help the members and to get to the members in our community, we actually work through our community health department. We work with the organizations that provide services that help address the social determinants of health and the needs for transportation for community workers…We focus our grants on those organizations that can provide those needs in the community to help improve the health of both our patients and other community members.”


5. Report: CCOs lead the way in primary care spending percentage

In 2017, the state Legislature passed Senate Bill 934, requiring CCOs and health insurance carriers to allot at least 12 percent of their health care spending on primary care by 2023. A recent report out of OHA shows Coordinated Care Organizations (CCOs) leading the way in their percentage of medical spending on primary care.

The CCOs and carriers included in the report provided health coverage to 2.5 million Oregonians and spent approximately $1.5 billion on primary care out of $11 billion in total spending in 2017. Broken down, CCOs averaged 16.5 percent spending on primary care, large carriers averaged 13.4 percent, PEBB and OEBB averaged 12.2 percent, and Medicare Advantage plans averaged 10.6 percent. Read our full rundown of the report here.