OHCA The Oregon Caregiver Fall Winter 2020

www.ohca.com FALL/WINTER 2020 The Oregon Caregiver 17 PUBLIC POLICY This spring, Oregon entered a recession induced by the pandemic. Federal aid for businesses and individuals helped buoy the state’s budget for the remainder of this biennium, but forecasters see significant economic headwinds into the 2021–2023 budget cycle. To complicate matters further, we still do not have a clear picture of the costs associated with the pandemic in human services budgets or the spending needed to help families impacted by recent wildfires. OHCA’s 2021 Policy Agenda Amid the unknowns, we know that the 2021 legislative session will be unique. Legislative leaders are contemplating how to organize a session during the pandemic, which will likely necessitate a legislative process that relies significantly on virtual engagement. OHCA’s government relations team will have a sharp focus on ensuring long term care providers have the support they need to continue to provide quality care to aging Oregonians and preventing the spread of COVID-19 in our communities. Our legislative priorities include: • Ensure inflationary cost-of- living-adjustments for Medicaid reimbursement rates for home and community-based care providers ; • Ensure full rebasing of Medicaid rates for skilled nursing facilities ; and • Pass policy innovations that will help long term care providers and state agencies be better prepared for future emergencies, including pandemics, wildfires, or other natural disasters. This includes infectious disease control and prevention technical assistance and compliance, supporting recruitment and retention of essential health care workers, advancing equity within the sector, better aligning regulatory bodies and providers, and ensuring an adequate supply of PPE is available for providers. Phil Bentley, J.D., is the Senior Vice President of Government Relations at OHCA.