Health care staffing shortages in Oregon are forcing a slew of new proposed measures for 2023, one of which is a legislative proposal allowing chiropractors to be listed as medical providers qualified to be attending physicians in workers compensation claims.
House Bill 3150 would also “remove limits on duration of medical service and number of visits and certain areas of practice for chiropractors serving as attending physicians in cases involving injured workers,” according to Jon Campisi at BusinessInsurance.com.
The bill also allows injured workers to receive compensable medical treatment from a primary care physician or chiropractor who is not a member of a managed care organization but serves as the individual’s regular doctor.
The bill would also authorize temporary disability payments for longer durations while authorizing chiropractors to provide medical services. Another bill introduced prevents employers from forcing employees to use paid personal time off, vacation or sick days to attend doctor appointments relating to compensable injury.
The two bills were introduced on Jan. 14 of this year and, filed as emergency legislation, would take effect immediately upon passage.
“We’re experiencing a very bad workforce exodus in the public behavioral health system,” Cheryl Ramirez, executive director of the Association of Oregon Community Mental Health Programs, told the Oregon House Behavioral Health and Health Care Committee, according to The Lund Report. “It was bad already, but since COVID, it’s just multiplied. We probably could use at least double the number of workforce than we have in the public behavioral system right now.”
Some legislation introduced seeks to relax health care licensing requirements and offer financial incentives.
Becky Hultberg, president and CEO of the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems, said 75% of hospitals lost money in the third quarter of 2022.
Also this year an estimated 300,000 Oregon citizens could lose their state health insurance as coverage offered during the COVID-19 pandemic for low-income coverage comes to an end. Approximately 426,000 Oregonians will also lose supplemental food benefits expanded during the pandemic due to federal funding ending.