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Hospitals Exceed Pledge to Maintain Community Benefit Spending - 03/25/19

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

HOSPITALS EXCEED PLEDGE TO MAINTAIN COMMUNITY BENEFIT SPENDING

Lake Oswego, Ore. – March 25, 2019 – Oregon’s hospitals contributed $2.3 billion in community benefit to the communities they serve in 2017, a record amount. That comes at the same time Oregon has achieved one of the highest rates of healthcare coverage in the nation at close to 95 percent.

“Oregon’s hospitals made a commitment to community benefit in 2015, knowing that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would change the landscape and reduce the number of Oregonians without coverage with the expansion of the Medicaid program,” said Andy Van Pelt, OAHHS Executive Vice President. “We are proud they have maintained that commitment.”

While much of hospitals’ community benefit contribution comes as underpayment for delivered care (for example, Medicaid reimburses hospitals for 68 percent of their cost), that is just one component. Here are some others, many of which address the social determinants of health, and their 2017 total expenditure:

  • Charity Care: $196 million
  • Community Health Improvement Programs: $43 million
  • Community Health and Clinical Research: $63 million
  • Health Professions Education: $216 million.

Roberta Duenas of Rogue River is just one of the thousands of Oregonians who have been helped by an Oregon hospital’s commitment to community benefit. Duenas, 66, said that before she became an Oregon Health Plan member, she received assistance with her bill at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center. “Without that help and then the coverage from Medicaid, I don’t know where I’d be,” she said.

Hospitals are keenly aware of the increase in charity care spending in recent years. This follows an initial drop in charity care spending during the first few years of the ACA, as more Oregonians obtained coverage.

“We know that many Oregonians struggle with healthcare access,” said Van Pelt. “Hospitals have long been part of the conversation to make improvements to our community benefit system, including simplifying the process and greater transparency.”

Van Pelt said he hopes that any statewide changes to community benefit will reflect that collaborative spirit.

In the meantime, Van Pelt said hospitals will continue their commitment to the state’s needy and to their investment in the communities they serve.

Click here to read a comprehensive report on Oregon hospitals’ community benefit activity.

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Hospitals Applaud Passage of Medicaid Funding Bill - 02/28/19

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Dave Northfield

Director of Communications

(503) 479-6032 (o), (503) 329-1989 (c)

dnorthfield@oahhs.org

 

Hospitals Applaud Passage of Medicaid Funding Bill

Lake Oswego, Ore. – February 28, 2019 – The Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems applauds the bipartisan passage of HB 2010 in the Oregon Legislature today. The bill passed the Senate after the House approved it last week. HB 2010 funds a large portion of the state’s Medicaid program, the Oregon Health Plan, for the next six years. The funding comes through various health care taxes, which include the continuation of the hospital provider tax and a health insurance premium tax.  These elements were overwhelmingly supported by Oregonians in January 2018 with the passage of Measure 101. Hospitals continue to support this approach as a foundation to fully fund the Medicaid program.

“Oregon’s hospitals applaud the passage of HB 2010 today,” said Andy Van Pelt, executive vice president of OAHHS. “Hospitals have been supporters of the Medicaid budget for 15 years. In this biennium, via the hospital provider tax, hospitals are on track to contribute nearly 28 percent of the state funds required to fully fund the Oregon Health Plan. Given that nearly one in four Oregonians relies on Medicaid for health care coverage, hospitals feel it is deeply important that our state continues its commitment to these vulnerable families and individuals.

“The funding package passed today represents a carefully negotiated set of agreements brought forward by the Governor and further refined with a core set of stakeholders over many months prior to session. Hospitals were part of that work and feel deeply invested in ensuring that this complete package passes through the Legislature. Other components of the package will come before the Legislature in coming months and hospitals will continue to advocate for their passage to fully and sustainably fund the Medicaid program in Oregon.”

The bill now goes to Governor Brown, who is expected to sign it.

 

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