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2022 Legislative Session

The 2022 Legislature began as our hospitals were once again nearly buckling, this time under the weight of the Omicron variant. At the peak of the surge, the number of Oregonians in the hospital for COVID nearly matched the peak from the Delta wave in the fall of 2021. While many are now saying “I am done with COVID,” the virus is clearly not done with us. 

Here is the reality in our hospitals today:

  • Discharge delays and ED boarding are crowding out patients who need care.
  • Necessary care has been delayed in many communities as hospitals cope with the surge of acutely ill patients, and those seeking care often arrive sicker and in need of more intensive services.
  • Workforce shortages, always a problem for hospitals, are now a national crisis as burned-out staff leave their jobs by the thousands.
  • Labor and supply costs have risen dramatically, while revenue has fallen. Many hospitals are emerging from the pandemic with significant financial challenges.
  • Excessive regulation often blocks hospitals from common sense solutions
The core mission of hospitals and health systems is caring for people in their time of need, requiring us to be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. The capacity crisis created by the staffing shortage affects everyone who needs hospital care, not just COVID patients.

The legislature needs to help us find solutions to these challenges so we can fulfill that mission.

Support Our Workforce by adding licensing flexibility, administrative streamlining, and investments to build future workforce.

Provide Regulatory Relief by streamlining and focusing the health care market oversight program.

Increase Access and Enrollment in current state health insurance programs. 

Address Costs by protecting and aligning policy across state health care purchasing and regulation. 

Maintain Funding for hospital budgets, including behavioral health investments

You can view the 2022 OAHHS Session Agenda here