by Saul Hubbard
The Register-Guard, May 19, 2015
SALEM — Lane County area legislators are trying to put the pressure on Lane County doctors to take on more low-income Oregon Health Plan-insured patients.
The move is aimed at addressing a problem created by the rapid expansion of the rolls of OHP — the state’s Medicaid system — under the federal Affordable Care Act. In Lane County, tens of thousands of low-income residents have signed up for state-funded OHP insurance, but many doctors refuse to take them on as patients because they are too busy with their existing private-insurance patients, or because OHP payment rates to doctors are too low.
Local legislators are pushing a bill to help Trillium Community Health Plan, the private for-profit organization that runs OHP in Lane County, deal with the shortage of primary-care doctors willing to treat OHP clients.
Under House Bill 3300, which would apply exclusively in Lane County, primary care doctors would be allowed to serve public employees and teachers on state-sponsored health insurance plans only if at least 15 percent of the doctor’s total patient caseload were patients insured by OHP.