Oregon Health Authority
Emergency Messages as of 7:19 am, Sun. May. 28
No information currently posted.
Subscribe to receive FlashAlert messages from Oregon Health Authority.
Primary email address for a new account:

And/or follow our FlashAlerts via Twitter

About FlashAlert on Twitter:

FlashAlert utilizes the free service Twitter to distribute emergency text messages. While you are welcome to register your cell phone text message address directly into the FlashAlert system, we recommend that you simply "follow" the FlashAlert account for Oregon Health Authority by clicking on the link below and logging in to (or creating) your free Twitter account. Twitter sends messages out exceptionally fast thanks to arrangements they have made with the cell phone companies.

Click here to add Oregon Health Authority to your Twitter account or create one.


Hide this Message

Manage my existing Subscription

News Releases
Measure 110 Oversight and Accountability Council terminates grant for noncompliance with grant terms - 05/25/23

May 25, 2023

Media contact: Timothy Heider, 971-599-0459,


Measure 110 Oversight and Accountability Council terminates grant for noncompliance with grant terms

The Measure 110 Oversight and Accountability Council (OAC) voted Wednesday to terminate its grant agreement with a Klamath Falls provider found to be out of compliance with financial and data reporting requirements.

Red is the Road to Wellness in Klamath Falls was approved for more than $1.55 million in Measure 110 funding last August to provide screening and assessment services, substance use disorder treatment, peer support services, housing and supported employment services. The organization has so far received slightly more than $1.08 million.  

Detailed information on funding for the statewide service networks can be found on the Measure 110 Behavioral Health Resource Network (BHRN) dashboard.

OHA received a complaint in November that the organization provided supported employment services that did not conform to operational standards established by the OAC. Follow-up inquiries raised additional concerns.

OHA received a second complaint about supported housing services and a report of financial irregularities including allegations of “misexpended funds.”

Additionally, the organization has not submitted completed expenditure reports or data reports for the first two reporting periods in December 2022 and in March 2023.

The OAC vote empowers OHA to recover the grant funds that have been already allocated, “if it is determined that there have been misexpended funds.”

The OAC authorized OHA to negotiate with other partners in the network to fill any service gaps resulting from the grant termination. If that is not possible, OHA can contact Measure 110 providers outside of the Klamath County network to provide any missing services.

“The action taken by the OAC shows that the OAC is holding grantees accountable.  We will continue to focus on accountability in Measure 110 oversight,” said OHA Behavioral Health Director Ebony Clarke.

“OHA will continue to provide robust support and will continue to work closely with the OAC and our Measure 110 providers to ensure that the statewide networks are providing services and supports to people who seek them,” she said.


OHA encourages mpox vaccination as state marks Pride Month in June - 05/24/23

May 24, 2023

Media Contact: Jonathan Modie, 971-246-9139, PHD.Communications@oha.oregon.gov

OHA encourages mpox vaccination as state marks Pride Month in June

PORTLAND, Ore. – Oregon public health officials want to raise awareness that getting vaccinated with both doses of the mpox vaccine is the best way for people to protect themselves and their community, especially in advance of Pride and related summer gatherings and travel.

Tim Menza, M.D., Ph.D., senior health adviser for Oregon Health Authority’s (OHA) mpox response, said that while the number of mpox cases in the state has decreased dramatically since last summer, the outbreak that began in June 2022 is not over.

“There are reports of increases in cases in the United States (Chicago) and across the globe, including in France and South Korea,” Menza said.

Oregon still sees one to three mpox cases reported per month, although that’s a significant drop from the 10 to 15 cases reported per week when the outbreak peaked in early August 2022. The state’s total count of mpox cases now stands at 280 in 12 counties since the start of the outbreak, including 278 adult cases and two pediatric cases. There have been no deaths.

That the mpox outbreak is not yet over is a sentiment shared recently by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). On May 15, the agency issued a Health Alert Network (HAN) advisory, warning health care and public health partners of ongoing mpox community transmission in the United States and internationally. The HAN informs clinicians and public health agencies about the potential for new clusters or outbreaks of mpox cases, and provides resources on clinical evaluation, treatment, vaccination and testing.

“We have the tools to prevent a resurgence in Oregon, including testing, vaccination, treatment, strong community partnerships and data to guide our response,” Menza emphasized. “As we gather and travel for Pride celebrations in Oregon and around the country next month, we can use these tools now to help us avoid repeating the outbreak of 2022.”

The JYNNEOS mpox vaccine is free and readily available to anyone in Oregon who wants to be vaccinated. As of May 15, 20,972 doses of JYNNEOS have been administered in Oregon, including 13,084 first doses and 7,703 second doses. Menza believes there are many more people who could benefit from vaccination who have not yet received their first dose and that there are about 5,381 people who remain eligible for a second dose but have not yet received it.

The JYNNEOS vaccine is highly effective. According to a study published Friday (May 19) in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the vaccine was found to be 75% effective for those receiving one dose and 86% effective for those who had two doses.

“People with two doses of the vaccine can feel confident in their protection, but breakthrough cases are possible, so if you've been vaccinated and notice a new spot or rash, talk to your health care provider,” Menza explained. “We are still learning how long vaccination protection lasts, but we know that vaccines make getting and spreading mpox less likely, and help make symptoms less severe.”

Mpox spreads primarily through close, skin-to-skin contact. Most often, it has occurred through intimate or sexual contact, and during contact with the lesions of an individual with mpox through a caregiving relationship, such as a parent caring for a child or an adult caretaker of another person.

Infection rates are highest among people living in Multnomah County, those ages 30 to 39, and members of the Latino and Black/African American communities. Most cases were men who reported having sex with men, and most identified as gay or bisexual men.

People who suspect they have mpox should contact their health care provider to let them know before going in to be seen. The provider may recommend testing for mpox. Those who don’t have a health care provider can call 2-1-1 or their local public health authority for help finding a clinic or health care provider.

For more information about mpox in Oregon, visit OHA’s mpox website. Vaccination clinics can also be searched by ZIP code with an mpox vaccine locator tool at https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/Monkeypox/Pages/vaccine.aspx or at https://mpoxvaxmap.org/.



Early numbers show nearly 70% of Oregonians to keep benefits in first round of renewals - 05/23/23

May 23, 2023

Media contacts:

Erica Heartquist, Oregon Health Authority,

Erica.J.Heartquist@oha.oregon.gov,  503-871-8843

Jake Sunderland, Oregon Department of Human Services,

Jake.Sunderland@odhs.oregon.gov, 503-877-0170

Early numbers show nearly 70% of Oregonians to keep benefits in first round of renewals

State to send updates third week of the month

SALEM, Ore. – The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) are committed to transparency and will be sending monthly information about medical coverage among Oregonians as the agencies continue to track the state's progress in determining eligibility for medical programs.


When the COVID-19 pandemic began, the federal government allowed states to keep people on Medicaid once they became eligible and did not require annual eligibility renewals. During this historic health emergency, the Oregon Health Plan (OHP), Oregon’s Medicaid program, grew to nearly 1.5 million people.

In April, Oregon began the process of redetermining eligibility for everyone on OHP.  While most people will continue to qualify for existing benefits, OHA is required to review eligibility for all OHP and Medicare Savings Program (MSP) members by mid-2024.

OHP redeterminations started in April

In April, Oregon began processing eligibility redeterminations for all 1.5 million members receiving OHP and other Medicaid-funded services and supports. The federal government requires Oregon to disenroll any members who are no longer eligible or fail to respond to renewal notices.

All OHP households will receive a renewal notice over the next 10 months. People are encouraged to check that their contact information is up to date so that they can be contacted by the state and receive renewal notices.

Oregon will be able to process many renewals automatically. This means that every OHP member will receive a renewal notice, and the notice will explain whether the member needs to provide additional information or take action to keep their coverage.

OHP members encouraged to respond quickly

Although the state has taken many steps to prepare, the large number of OHP redeterminations, along with renewals of long-term services and supports, is expected to cause greater wait times, delays, and possible interruptions to people’s OHP benefits. OHP members are encouraged to respond as quickly as possible after they receive a request for information to avoid any possible delays. The fastest way members can provide an update is by going to benefits.oregon.gov and logging into their ONE account.

Members losing OHP coverage have other coverage options and will receive at least 60 days advance notice. Many people will be eligible to enroll in health plans through the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace (OHIM) with financial help. Other people may be eligible for Medicare or employer coverage.

April OHP redeterminations data

  • April was the first month Oregon began processing medical renewals, during this reporting period: 133,232 individuals, or 75,436 cases have had their OHP renewed.
  • 46,894 individuals, or 29,072 cases needed to provide more information to complete the process.
  • 13,208 required individuals to review, sign and send back their renewal packet.
  • 8,394 people were ineligible and received a 60-day notice of termination of coverage. When people are ineligible, they are referred to the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace for other options for health care coverage.

Early data for May shows 66% of people will retain benefits.

Members losing coverage should report changes to their income or household information immediately if any of the information used to make the decision is inaccurate. They also should apply for other health coverage as soon as they know their coverage ending date to prevent a gap in coverage.

Data dashboards in place for tracking progress

Two new dashboards became available in April 2023 for the public to track Oregon’s progress.

  • Medical Redeterminations Dashboard for tracking the state's progress in determining eligibility for medical programs. This dashboard is updated daily. The types of data in this dashboard will expand over the next few months.
  • ONE Customer Service Center Dashboard for monitoring the customer service experience for people calling the ONE Customer Service Center to apply for or ask for help with medical, food, cash and child care benefits. The ONE Customer Service Center Dashboard is updated every day.

Extending health coverage

To get help, people can also:

Get help finding other health coverage at OregonHealthCare.gov/GetHelp

OHA investigating 4 Salmonella infection cases linked to Papa Murphy's cookie dough - 05/23/23

May 23, 2023

Media contact: Jonathan Modie, 971-246-9139, PHD.Communications@oha.oregon.gov

OHA investigating 4 Salmonella infection cases linked to Papa Murphy’s cookie dough

PORTLAND, Ore. — Recent cases of Salmonella infection are being linked to the consumption of Papa Murphy’s cookie dough, Oregon health officials announced today.

Oregon Health Authority (OHA) epidemiologists investigated a cluster of four cases with identical strains of Salmonella bacteria. The cases range in age from 20 to 57 and reported onset of symptoms between April 1 and April 21. None of the cases were hospitalized, and there have been no deaths. The Washington State Department of Health has reported matching cases of Salmonella as well.

Eating raw cookie or S’mores Bar dough sold by Papa Murphy’s restaurants was significantly associated with contracting this strain of Salmonella. Papa Murphy’s, headquartered in Vancouver, Wash., sells uncooked or “take-and-bake” pizzas and cookie dough that are intended to be baked at home.

"People should contact a health care provider if they believe they’ve had symptoms of salmonellosis, including diarrhea, after eating raw cookie dough," said Paul Cieslak, M.D., medical director for communicable diseases and immunizations at the OHA Public Health Division. "It’s important to remember, though, that most people with salmonellosis will recover without needing medical care or antibiotics."

He added: "We recommend anyone who has any of the potentially contaminated cookie or S’mores Bar dough to discard it and wash your hands afterward." People who have eaten cookie or pizza dough but not gotten sick do not need to notify a health care provider.

OHA epidemiologists are working closely with the Washington State Department of Health, the Oregon Department of Agriculture and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to investigate the outbreak. Efforts to trace the source of the Salmonella are ongoing.

During 2013–2022 — the most recent 10-year period — Oregon averaged 459 (range, 337–585) reported cases of salmonellosis per year. Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps one to seven days after exposure. The illness usually lasts four to seven days.

Although most people recover without treatment, some have severe infections. Infants, elderly people and those with weakened immune systems are more likely to develop severe illness. Salmonella may spread from the intestines to the bloodstream and then to other body sites and, in rare cases, can be deadly.

For general information, visit OHA’s salmonellosis page, or the CDC’s Salmonella page.

Other resources:

  • CDC’s Salmonella FAQ.
  • gov’s Salmonella and Food page and Salmonella page.

# # #

OHA accepting applications for Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Review Committee - 05/18/23

May 18, 2023

Media Contact: Jonathan Modie, 971-246-9139, PHD.Communications@oha.oregon.gov

OHA accepting applications for Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Review Committee

PORTLAND, Ore. – Oregon Health Authority’s Public Health Division is seeking applicants for the Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Review Committee (MMRC).

OHA invites applications from individuals who meet the criteria outlined in ORS 432.600. Applicants can find information about the Oregon MMRC, including a link to the full 2018 house bill text, at https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/HEALTHYPEOPLEFAMILIES/DATAREPORTS/Pages/Maternal-Mortality-Morbidity-Review-Committee.aspx.

Board members are appointed by the Governor and members serve terms of four years each. To apply, complete the electronic application process by June 30, 2023, at https://www.oregon.gov/gov/Pages/board-list.aspx.

Note that only completed applications will be processed and considered for appointment. The application site lists items needed to apply, including:

  • Uploaded cover letter and resume (PDF only).
  • Uploaded short, personal bio referencing applicant’s community, professional and/or lived experience related to maternal health promotion (PDF only).
  • Responses to the general application and background questions.

Those unable to complete the form electronically should contact the Executive Appointments Office at executive.appointments@oregon.gov for assistance.

For more information, email the OHA Public Health Division at MCHSection.Mailbox@odhsoha.oregon.gov or call 971-990-9893.

# # #

OHA publishes final public health assessment for Bullseye Glass Co. - 05/15/23

May 15, 2023

Media contacts: Jonathan Modie, 971-246-9139, PHD.Communications@oha.oregon.gov

OHA publishes final public health assessment for Bullseye Glass Co.

Release caps years-long effort to determine health risks related to company’s emissions

PORTLAND, Ore.—Oregon Health Authority (OHA) has published its final draft of the public health assessment on southeast Portland’s Bullseye Glass Co., capping a years-long effort to document emissions and their potential effect on the surrounding community.

OHA’s Environmental Health Assessment Program posted the final Bullseye Glass Company Public Health Assessment on its website after reviewing public comments on a draft of the report that were submitted between June 2021 and June 2022. The website also includes a link to a summary fact sheet on the key findings of the report. The assessment explains the extent and severity of emissions, and what is known about how people in the surrounding community were affected.

Work on the assessment started in March 2016, weeks after the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) released air sampling results that found elevated levels of heavy metals in the air near the site. DEQ had conducted the air monitoring in October 2015 after a U.S. Forest Service study located possible sources of cadmium emissions using tree moss samples collected around Portland between 2013 and 2015.

Among other conclusions, the assessment found long-term exposure to that air could have harmed the health of people breathing it, had steps not been taken to reduce emissions.

The assessment also found that DEQ’s October 2015 air monitoring represented too short a time to know the exact health risks for people who lived, worked and attended school in the area before Bullseye Glass reduced its emissions in February 2016.

In addition, the assessment confirmed that the contaminants posing the greatest risk around the company’s site were cadmium and arsenic, although there was insufficient information about hexavalent chromium levels prior to February 2016. Bullseye was known to use chromium in its production, but DEQ’s October 2015 air monitoring did not produce reliable results for chromium.

Bullseye’s February 2016 actions to limit emissions, including installing emissions control devices, reduced current and future cancer risk for those exposed over 50 times and non-cancer risk over 100 times.

Finally, the assessment found that exposure to the air, soil and garden produce around Bullseye Glass since February 2016 will not harm health.

Discovery of the metals in Bullseye’s emissions highlighted a gap in federal industrial air toxics rules implemented by Oregon that has since been addressed by the adoption of state rules known as Cleaner Air Oregon.

Cleaner Air Oregon regulates emissions based on health risks to neighbors to prevent situations like this from happening again. OHA works closely with DEQ to ensure that the standards used in the program are protective of the most vulnerable people in Oregon.

For background about the Bullseye Public Health Assessment, visit OHA’s Environmental Health Assessment Program Bullseye Glass Co. page. Learn more about Cleaner Air Oregon at the program website.


Deadline extended for Legacy Mount Hood Medical Center Family Birth Center re-opening; regulators receive corrective action plan - 05/12/23

May 12, 2023

Media contact: Jonathan Modie, 971-246-9139, PHD.Communications@oha.oregon.gov

Deadline extended for Legacy Mount Hood Medical Center Family Birth Center re-opening; regulators receive corrective action plan

PORTLAND, Ore. – Federal and state regulators have extended the deadline for Legacy Health Systems to reopen the Family Birth Center at Legacy Mount Hood Medical Center (MHMC).

Today, Legacy provided regulators with an updated plan of correction to address issues regulators identified in an April 5, 2023, letter to Legacy Health Systems, following the Family Birth Center’s closure in March. Legacy has committed to re-opening the Family Birth Center at Legacy Mount Hood Medical Center.

OHA Public Health Deputy Director Cara Biddlecom said, “We recognize the progress Legacy has made toward our shared goal to ensure that families in the Gresham area have access to safe, high-quality maternity and delivery care close to home. We will provide a thorough and timely review of Legacy’s corrective action plan to ensure that it meets federal standards and families can count on having access to comprehensive care at Legacy Mount Hood Medical Center in the future.”

OHA’s Health Facility Licensing & Certification Program conducts investigations into health care facility compliance with state requirements and federal standards on behalf of the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Health facilities that fail to comply with federal and state rules can lose certification to bill Medicare and Medicaid. The new deadline for Legacy Mount Hood Medical Center’s compliance is August 3, 2023.


State lifts COVID-19 response measures as federal emergency ends - 05/10/23

EDITORS: State leaders will be available to answer reporters’ questions during a media availability today between 11 a.m. and noon through Zoom; members of the public can view a livestream on YouTube.

May 10, 2023

Media Contacts:

State lifts COVID-19 response measures as federal emergency ends

Lifting of COVID-19 vaccine requirement for education, health care workers among other changes taking effect in coming weeks

PORTLAND, Ore. — In alignment with the federal COVID-19 public health emergency ending May 11, state health officials today announced the lifting of health-protective measures that helped reduce COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and deaths, and expanded access to services during the pandemic.

The changes affect a wide range of programs and services. Some changes are effective May 11, and others will take effect in the coming weeks. Other changes put in place during the COVID-19 emergency will continue after the end of the federal emergency.

“These changes are an acknowledgement of the progress we’ve made over the last three-plus years,” said Dean Sidelinger, M.D., M.S.Ed., health officer and state epidemiologist at OHA. “However, we know COVID-19 will remain a part of our lives for years to come, so we need to continue taking steps that prevent its spread, such as staying up to date with vaccinations. My thoughts go out to those sick with COVID-19, mourning a loved one, or still suffering with symptoms following their acute infection.”

Highlights of the changes resulting from the ending of the federal public health emergency are as follows:

Vaccination requirements

Effective Thursday (May 11), workers in health care settings will no longer be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 under state rules, OHA announced today. A similar vaccination requirement for teachers and school staff in private and public education settings will lift June 17, the end of the last week of school, to support consistency in student instruction through this school year.

Exposure, isolation guidance

A five-day period of isolation for those infected with COVID-19 also will no longer be recommended for the general population, including people in K-12 education settings. Oregon public health officials believe widespread population immunity due to vaccination and repeated infections means many COVID-19 infections are now likely asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic, and the five-day isolation period is doing little to reduce transmission.

Instead, officials say, the recommendation for the general population will be to stay home until fever free for 24 hours and symptoms are improving; avoid contact with individuals at increased risk for severe disease, including older adults and those with underlying medical conditions; and consider masking for 10 days.

School testing

Diagnostic testing resources for students and staff with symptoms or exposure to COVID-19 in schools will remain available through July 31, 2024. iHealth self-tests will remain available for K-12 schools to request and distribute to their school communities until current stock is depleted. Weekly opt-in “screening” testing for K-12 students and staff without COVID-19 symptoms will end July 31 as funding for the effort wraps up.

The endings of the vaccination, isolation and some testing measures are among a spate of impending changes over the coming weeks as Oregon, and the nation, continue the long, careful transition out of the pandemic. A number of “flexibilities” put in place during the pandemic will remain in effect.

The following are among the COVID-era activities and requirements that will continue after May 11:

  • An extension of a 90-day “reasonable opportunity period” for non-citizens to verify citizenship or immigration status to 180 days so they can enroll in Oregon Health Plan (OHP).
  • A requirement that OHP providers, including coordinated care organizations, continue to cover COVID-19 vaccinations and treatment without cost sharing, and that commercial health insurers cover vaccinations without cost sharing. In Oregon, vaccinations are covered no matter where someone gets a shot. Oregonians should contact their health care provider about where they can get vaccinated.
  • A requirement that Oregon health care providers be reimbursed for language interpreter services (spoken or signed) provided during an office visit.
  • A requirement that OHP providers offer access to telehealth services.
  • In addition, state officials are currently implementing previously announced changes in access to Medicaid coverage and other human services programs administered by the state and federal governments.

The following are among many other changes taking effect May 11:

COVID-19 reporting

  • A change in how OHA monitors COVID-19. Epidemiologists will transition to a more sustainable and effective model that focuses on measures that indicate transmission, and continue monitoring for severe outcomes, including hospitalizations and death. Case data, which is based on individual laboratory test reporting and is heavily biased, will be retired. The changes align with CDC recommendations and mirror how influenza is monitored.
  • A change in how OHA reports COVID-19 data. Epidemiologists will streamline data reporting to a smaller number of dashboards updated weekly. Data visualizations will include graphs showing statewide percent positivity, wastewater levels and trends, distribution of variants, hospitalization rates and capacity, death counts, emergency department visit and vaccination trends. Dashboards with case counts and county data will be archived.

Health coverage, supports

  • The end of extended health coverage, services and supports for people with disabilities and older adults, and extra food benefits that were provided during federal emergency. Continuous coverage for Medicaid also is ending. Oregon began a “redetermination” process April 1 to help people renew their OHP membership and other Medicaid benefits, and stay on the plan, and is encouraging members to keep mailing addresses, phone numbers and email addresses current to ensure they receive information about their benefits in the coming months. More information about the renewals process and options for updating contact information is at oregon.gov/oha/phe. Those with questions can reach out to the ONE Customer Service Center at 800-699-9075 (TTY 711) from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Pacific Time, Monday through Friday.

New OHA report reveals payer and provider performance under the state's cost growth target - 05/09/23

May 9, 2023

Media Contact: Amy Bacher, 503-405-5403, amy.bacher2@oha.oregon.gov

New OHA report reveals payer and provider performance under the state’s cost growth target

Data highlight opportunities to improve health care affordability

PORTLAND, Ore. – Today Oregon Health Authority (OHA) released its first report on cost growth trends for health insurance plans and large provider organizations across the state. The report provides insight into health care spending growth across the commercial, Medicaid and Medicare markets for 29 payers and 51 provider organizations. Payers and provider organizations were more likely to meet the cost growth target for their Medicaid line of business (and Medicaid patients) compared to commercial and Medicare Advantage.

Overall, health care costs grew 3.5% between 2020-2021, just above the cost growth target of 3.4%. Cost growth was primarily due to increased utilization of health care services as people resumed care they may have postponed in the first part of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The cost growth program was created to show us system trends and shine a light on the work that needs to be done to allow for more equitable access and affordable health care,” said Dave Baden, OHA’s interim director. “Now that we have this data and understand more about the impacts of COVID-19 on health care utilization and cost growth, we have even more reason to come to the table to find solutions.”

In 2019, the Oregon Legislature established the Sustainable Health Care Cost Growth Target Program, which is designed to prevent health care costs from growing faster than wages, inflation and other economic indicators. In collaboration among large provider organizations, hospitals and health insurance plans, employers, and consumer/patient advocates, the program sets a statewide target for the annual per-person growth rate of total health care spending. The program is flexible by design and accounts for the impact of COVID-19 and historically high inflation.

Accountability measures for payers and providers exceeding the target cost growth rate will be phased in with a multi-year approach. Performance improvement plans (PIPs) for entities exceeding the cost growth will begin in 2025. No payers or provider organizations will be subject to a PIP based on the data in this report.

A few key trends from the 2020 - 2021 report include:

  • Overall cost growth was greatest in the commercial market. Statewide, total health care expenditures grew 12.1% in the commercial market, compared to 6.5% growth in the Medicare market and a 2.1% decrease in the Medicaid market. Payers and provider organizations were more likely to meet the cost growth target for their Medicaid line of business.
  • Primary cost drivers include an increase in hospital outpatient and professional services utilization, as people resumed care they may have delayed in the first part of the COVID-19 pandemic. Because they had previously delayed care, many patients had increased needs or were sicker when they did access care, leading to higher costs.
  • There was also a shift in care sites. Due to capacity issues, patients received care in higher cost locations. For example, limited primary care availability meant that more patients sought care in urgent care settings. Patients had longer hospital inpatient stays when skilled nursing facility beds were not available.
  • Retail pharmacy spending grew in all markets. Statewide, retail pharmacy spending grew 3.6% between 2020-2021, even after pharmacy rebates were taken into account. Pharmacy rebates account for around $1 billion per year in Oregon. Statewide, about 23% of spending for retail pharmacy was returned to payers and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) through rebates.

On May 2, the Sustainable Health Care Cost Growth Target Program released a report with health care spending trends from 2018 to 2020. A May 17 public hearing will cover data from both reports. More information is available online.

Oregon Health Authority issues first psilocybin service center license, psilocybin services to become available soon - 05/05/23

May 5, 2023 

Contact: Afiq Hisham, 971-273-3374, PHD.Communications@oha.oregon.gov 

Oregon Health Authority issues first psilocybin service center license, psilocybin services to become available soon

PORTLAND, Ore. – This week, Oregon Health Authority (OHA) licensed the state’s first psilocybin service center as part of the regulatory framework created by M109, the Oregon Psilocybin Services Act. OHA issued the license to EPIC Healing Eugene.

“We want to congratulate Cathy Jonas of EPIC Healing Eugene on being the first licensed service center in the state,” says Oregon Psilocybin Services (OPS) Section Manager Angie Allbee. “This is such a historic moment as psilocybin services will soon become available in Oregon, and we appreciate the strong commitment to client safety and access as service center doors prepare to open.”

Under the statewide model, clients 21 years of age or older may access psilocybin services. While they won’t need prescriptions or referrals from healthcare providers, clients must first complete a preparation session with a licensed facilitator. If they meet the criteria to move forward, they may participate in an administration session at a licensed service center, where they may consume psilocybin products in the presence of a trained and licensed facilitator. Afterwards, clients may choose to join optional integration sessions, which offer opportunities to be connected to community resources and peer support networks for additional support.

Once licensed, service centers can employ and/or contract with licensed facilitators who are trained in providing preparation, administration, and integration sessions to clients.

Service centers will sell psilocybin products that were produced by licensed manufacturers and tested by licensed laboratories. To date, OPS has issued three manufacturer licenses, one laboratory license, five facilitator licenses, and 84 worker permits. OPS expects to issue more licenses and worker permits in the coming months.  

While OPS has now issued all four license types, it may take time for licensees to set up operations. Each licensed service center, and the licensed facilitators who work for or with them, will set their own costs while managing their operations and communications.

Anyone interested in accessing psilocybin services can learn more by going to the Access Psilocybin Services webpage, which includes:

  • The OPS Licensee Directory – This directory contains details from OPS licensees who consented to have their information published.
  • Links to required client intake documents – Clients must review and complete these with a licensed facilitator before participating in an administration session.

More information about psilocybin services is available on the OPS Fact Sheet. Additional details on research and other information on psilocybin is listed on OPS’s Scientific Literature Review and Cultural and Anthropological Information page. 

OPS’s role involves licensing psilocybin facilitators, manufacturers, service centers and laboratories, while ensuring that those licensees and their workers comply with state law.  

OPS encourages the public to visit the OPS website for more information, and to sign up for the distribution list to get the latest updates.  


New OHA report details health care spending trends - 05/02/23

This is an updated news release to include the link to Oregon's 2022 Annual Cost Growth Trends Report.

May 2, 2023

Media Contact: Amy Bacher, 503-405-5403, amy.bacher2@oha.oregon.gov

New OHA report details health care spending trends

Oregon’s Sustainable Health Care Cost Growth Target Program analyzed 2018-2020 data

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) today published Oregon’s 2022 Annual Cost Growth Trends Report, which presents data on health care spending and health care cost growth in the state between 2018 and 2020.

Data confirm health care costs grew between 2018 and 2019 before dropping between 2019 and 2020 due to COVID-related changes in use of health care. Medicaid experienced the lowest rate of cost growth compared to Medicare and the commercial market.

“The findings released from today’s report provides invaluable insight into the key cost drivers of health care in our state,” said Dave Baden, OHA’s interim director. “With this data, OHA, policymakers and health system providers have an opportunity to come together to address growing affordability concerns across public and private markets.” 

In 2019, the Oregon Legislature established the Sustainable Health Care Cost Growth Target Program, which is designed to prevent health care costs from growing faster than wages, inflation, and other economic indicators. In collaboration among large provider organizations, hospitals and health insurance plans, the program sets a statewide target for the annual per-person growth rate of total health care spending.

A few key trends from the 2018-2020 report include:

  • Health care spending grew for all health care markets between 2018 and 2019, but it grew more in the commercial market than Medicaid or Medicare. Total health care expenditures grew the most for the commercial market between 2018 and 2019 (4.5%) and declined the least for the commercial market between 2019 and 2020 (1.6%). In comparison, spending for the Medicare market grew by 3.3% and declined 5.5% in the same time periods.
  • Health care spending grew between 2018 and 2019, then fell slightly between 2019 and 2020, primarily due to fewer people accessing health care in the first part of the COVID-19 pandemic. On a per-person, per-year basis, health care spending grew 3.6% between 2018 and 2019, then declined 1.2% between 2019 and 2020.
  • Medicaid exhibited the lowest cost growth. Between 2018-2019, Medicaid had a cost growth of 3.3%, thus meeting the target 3.4%. While overall Medicaid spending declined between 2019-2020, Medicaid increased non-claims spending by 10%, which reflects Medicaid's progress with value-based payment arrangements, as well as dollars being pushed out to support providers in the first part of the pandemic.
  • Retail pharmacy spending increased consistently: While spending declined in many categories between 2019 and 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, retail pharmacy spending increased 3.2% even after pharmacy rebates were taken into consideration. Retail pharmacy has been consistently identified as a primary driver of health care cost growth in Oregon.
  • High cost is a barrier to health care for Oregonians: In 2020, spending on health care and health insurance represented 23% of all household spending in Oregon. High costs cause people in Oregon to delay health care, especially working-age adults. A national poll found that 38% of adults reported delaying care in 2022 due to costs.

On May 9, the Sustainable Health Care Cost Growth Target Program will release a report with health care spending trends from 2020 to 2021. The report will compare the actual growth of health care costs to the target for both commercial and state markets, as well as payer and provider organizations. A May 17 public hearing will cover data from the two reports. More information is available online.