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Oregon Bill Would Give Private Payers Access to Home Care Registry

March 13, 2014

The Oregon legislature has passed a bill allowing private payers to hire home care workers from a statewide registry run by the state government.

Currently, the registry is accessible only to elders and people with disabilities who receive Medicaid-funded home care.

If signed into law, the existing registry, which is maintained by the Oregon Home Care Commission, would be expanded so that more home care workers could be hired to meet the anticipated demand.

The commission would have to establish a program allowing private payers to use the registry, which would include special payment rates for these non-Medicaid consumers.

Additionally, a subcommittee of the commission would be established to set classifications for home care workers based on their skill level and the types of services they can provide.

The bill passed the state Senate on March 5 by a vote of 22 to 8, and passed the House two days later by a 43 to 14 vote. All the legislators casting votes against the bill were Republicans.

If signed by Gov. John Kitzhaber (D), the bill is required to take full effect by July 2016.

— by Matthew Ozga

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