Representative Moore-Green is focused on access to care and mental health policy in 2021

Representative Raquel Moore-Green says she is focused on setting the foundation for assessing Oregon’s resources to address mental health issues in her role as the Vice-Chair of the House Committee on Behavioral Health and as a member of the House Health Committee this session.

 

Get the latest state-specific policy intelligence for the health care sector delivered to your inbox.

 

She says that her chief concern in health policy this session is assessing what resources are available, then closing gaps in care. 

“Setting the foundation for properly assessing the state’s resources to address the mental health issues that have persisted for many years and have only been exacerbated by COVID-19. This spans the gamut from workforce, workforce preparedness, to system capacity. Both in our public sector – our state hospital, community corrections – and private sector.”

To help accomplish this goal of increasing the state’s capacity to treat behavioral and mental health issues, she is co-sponsoring HB 2313 with bi-partisan support. 

This bill requires the Director of the Oregon Health Authority to work with the Alcohol and Drug Policy Commission to take statewide inventory of services available to prevent and treat substance use disorders (SUDs) and to support individuals in recovery from SUDs. 

Moore-Green – who is the first Republican of Puerto Rican heritage elected to the Oregon House of Representatives –  said that Oregon is a diverse state with a rural and urban divide with regards to what types of care you have access to, so taking an inventory of the services available statewide is important to ensuring equitable access to services.

“Oregon’s a diverse state geographically and culturally with large varieties of rural/urban divide with regards to where you live and what you have access to. The metro/tri area has great access to integrated care for physical, mental and oral health care but it needs to be equitable. This type of Health Care can be hard to deliver outside of the I5 corridor, equitable access is an issue.”

The representative is also sponsoring HB 2421, which would establish the Oregon Kidney Disease Prevention and Education Task Force and establishes an emergency related to kidney disease.

Research on COVID-19 and kidney disease from the National Kidney Foundation shows that not only are people who are on dialysis or have had transplants more likely to contract Covid, but Covid can also cause a loss of kidney function in patients with the virus. Data from the beginning of the pandemic in Wuhan and New York showed that an estimated 14–30% of COVID-19 patients lose kidney function, with many ICU patients requiring dialysis. Patients who have had the virus also have higher mortality rates for kidney transplants.

Moore-Green is also sponsoring HB 3036, which removes the requirement that physician assistants practice under a supervising physician. The House Committee on Health Care heard testimony on this bill on Thursday. 

Also sponsored by Moore-Green is HB 2423, which will prohibit coordinated care organizations (CCOs) from pooling restricted reserves, capital or surplus with affiliated CCOs to satisfy financial requirements in ORS 414.572, which establishes the qualification requirements and eligibility for CCOs.