PORTLAND, OR -- Oregon’s largest hospital association is celebrating passage of Measure 101, which includes a charge to large hospitals for the state’s Medicaid expansion. The “large hospitals” provision applies to St. Charles Bend (pictured), but not hospitals in Redmond, Madras or Prineville; nor does it impact urgent care or doctor’s offices.
"Hospitals have had an assessment to help pay for Medicaid going on 15 years now; this isn’t a new budget item for hospitals in our state, and it’s not a new concept for those hospitals, "Philip Schmidt, with the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems
, tells KBND News, "This is something that they can account for, and find ways to manage, without raising the cost of care significantly to the patient who comes through the doors." He doesn't believe hospital managers are worried, says hospital managers aren’t concerned, "To the contrary; I think that most folks are feeling a sense of relief that they and the vulnerable patients that they serve are going to be able to count on the state funding and the federal funding, frankly, that comes from Measure 101."
While Measure 101 also imposes a 1.5% tax on health insurance premiums, which is expected to be passed along to consumers, Schmidt doesn't think the hospital assessment will effect patient billing. "I doubt that any patient in Oregon is going to see any sort of impact on their hospital bill. Because, the taxes and the assessments that Measure 101 places on hospitals in the state are offset by the savings that having people with insurance and keeping people out of the emergency room provides to those very same hospitals."
The OAHHS represents all of the state's 62 community hospitals, including St. Charles in Bend, Redmond, Prineville and Madras. Click HERE
to read a full statement issued by the organization immediately after the January 23 Special Election. Representatives from St. Charles Health System were unavailable for comment.