Six months ago, it wasn’t clear that State of Reform would still be here today. All of our content is funded through revenue from live events. And, COVID put a damper on all of those. We moved to the virtual space, trying to build a platform that could foster community, collaboration and conversation. But, it wasn’t clear that folks would support us as we did that.
So, we held our breath and pressed forward.
Since then, the Heatherington Foundation has continued to sponsor us. CareOregon has increased its sponsorship, supporting our conversations throughout the year, as well as our annual conference. Kaiser Permanente and HMA have both reaffirmed their support, too.
So, thank you to our sponsors, to you our readers, and to the folks that make State of Reform a unique social utility for the health care space!
With help from Emily Boerger
1. OHA’s $26.3 billion budget request
The Oregon Health Authority last week submitted its 3,274-page Agency Request Budget for the 2021-2023 biennium. OHA is requesting $26.3 billion in total funds for the biennium. Of that total amount, $3.8 billion would come from state General Funds. By comparison, the 2019-2021 legislatively approved budget totaled $23.48 billion including $2.7 billion GF.
The budget requests include $68.9 million GF to support public health modernization, $30 million to increase Oregon State Hospital capacity, and a proposal to increase the tax on beer, wine, and cider to generate an estimated $293 million in new revenue. The budget documents also include options for a 10% budget cut.
2. ICYMI: Topical Agenda now available!
In case you missed it, last week we released the Topical Agenda for the 2020 Oregon State of Reform Virtual Health Policy Conference coming up on October 22! It’s a set of topics pulled together from scores of hours of conversations with our Convening Panel, key stakeholders, and sponsors. We’ll be exploring politics and policy in health care, discussing the future of Medicaid, and diving deep into COVID’s impact on the economy, tele-health, and health equity.
You can view the Topical Agenda here for a sense of the conversations we have teed up, and if you have suggestions for speakers let us know! If you haven’t already registered, we’d be honored to have you join us!
3. State Health Improvement Plan released
OHA launched its new health equity-focused 2020-2024 State Health Improvement Plan (SHIP) last week. The plan, Healthier Together Oregon, identifies 62 strategies and supporting activities for improving health in Oregon, focusing primarily on the social factors that influence health.
The plan highlights five priority areas: institutional bias; adversity, trauma, and toxic stress; behavioral health; economic drivers of health such as housing and food security; and access to equitable preventive health care. The priorities were chosen in March 2019 but have since taken on new meaning…