Signed into law by Gov Brown on 3-23-22
Emergency Clause used
Status (overview) of bill:https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2022R1/Measures/Overview/HB4004
This bill directs the Oregon Health Authority to administer a grant program to increase practitioner wages, offer retention bonuses, or recruit and hire new behavioral health staff using state or federal funds.
Personal Choice and Responsibility
This is creating a deeper hole for taxpayers. How long will we be paying for bad decisions creating a fake emergency by this administration? Grants will sunset on January 2, 2023, but most sunsets are just moved until they become permanent, once the healthcare depends on these grants to survive they become budgeted items. That’s how government and taxes keep growing out of control.
Directs OHA to contract with adult and child residential behavioral health facilities to employ nursing professionals to mitigate workforce shortages due to COVID-19 pandemic. Had the Governor not fired all the unvaxed, we wouldn’t have a shortage. Unless the vax mandate is lifted, where will nurses come from? Unless the mandate is lifted, incentives won’t solve the shortage unless it is large enough to attract from out-of-state.
House Bill 2086 (2021) directed the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) to evaluate the state’s behavioral workforce emphasizing Medicaid funding. OHA contracted with OHSU’s Center for Health Systems Effectiveness. The final report (Feb. 2022) indicates the following policies and investments may improve Oregon’s behavioral health system: increase practitioner wages and Medicaid reimbursement rates improve reimbursement parity between substance abuse disorder counselors and mental health counselors reduce administrative burden, claims delays, and denials address gaps in training and career advancement opportunities for behavioral health practitioners, including tuition reimbursement and loan repayment programs HB 4004B seeks to increase Oregon’s behavioral health workforce by directing OHA to administer a grant program to increase practitioner wages, offer retention bonuses, or recruit and hire new behavioral health staff. Specifies any increase in provider compensation or bonus is not a violation of Oregon Pay
Equity law. Authorizes the Oregon Youth Authority (OYA) to grant existing funds allocated to OYA to: local municipalities; nonprofit organizations; and individuals to ensure the adequate support of treatment needs of committed youths.