Merkley, Wyden, Bonamici, Blumenauer Demand CareOregon Board Ensure Continuity of Services for Oregon’s Medicaid Population

Merkley, Wyden, Bonamici, Blumenauer Demand CareOregon Board Ensure Continuity of Services for Oregon’s Medicaid Population

Letter comes amid questions about affiliation between CareOregon and Providence Plan Partners

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, along with Representatives Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR-1) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-3), are demanding that Medicaid enrollees continue to receive the same quality and range of care from CareOregon after the state’s largest Medicaid provider announced a new affiliation with Providence Plan Partners.

“Over the years, CareOregon has unwaveringly shared our commitment and goal of providing access to the full range of reproductive health services—including abortion—gender and trans-affirming care, and compassionate end-of-life care,” the lawmakers wrote in their letter. “We greatly appreciate CareOregon’s ability to provide these services to patients without judgment or discrimination, which has made CareOregon an essential part of Oregon’s health care landscape.”

“We appreciate CareOregon’s role in delivering care to Oregon’s most vulnerable communities, and hope that you will continue to maintain the full range of access to these services in the future. These services should be available for all, and not a lucky or wealthy few,” the lawmakers continued.

Specifically, the lawmakers requested that CareOregon engage with affected Oregonians through a public process, and legally ensure that Medicaid enrollees will be able to maintain access to the full range of health care and providers to which they have access to today—with no additional barriers.

The full text of the letter is available here and follows below.

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Dear CareOregon Board of Directors,

Thank you for your ongoing commitment to providing comprehensive, affordable health care for low-income Oregonians, and your work to meet the health care needs of nearly a quarter of Oregon’s Medicaid population.

Over the years, CareOregon has unwaveringly shared our commitment and goal of providing access to the full range of reproductive health services—including abortion—gender and trans-affirming care, and compassionate end-of-life care. We greatly appreciate CareOregon’s ability to provide these services to patients without judgement or discrimination, which has made CareOregon an essential part of Oregon’s health care landscape.

However, we write to share our concern about CareOregon’s announced affiliation with Providence Plan Partners. Specifically, we are concerned about CareOregon’s ability to ensure continued access to the full range of reproductive health care, trans-affirming, and end-of-life services and providers to the individuals they serve within Oregon’s diverse Medicaid population.

As you consider this affiliation with Providence, we write to urge you to:

1. Engage with affected communities through a public process.

2. Most importantly, secure language in any potential agreement and contract terms that explicitly ensures that all enrollees will be able to maintain access to the full range of health care and providers to which they have access to today. The quality of care readily available to current Oregon Health Plan patients must be maintained, with no additional barriers, and include direct access to the abortion providers they trust, the full range of gender-affirming care, and coverage and direct payment for end-of-life care. We strongly urge you to secure explicit language that is unambiguous in ensuring that access to such essential services and providers will be maintained.

We appreciate CareOregon’s role in delivering care to Oregon’s most vulnerable communities, and hope that you will continue to maintain the full range of access to these services in the future. These services should be available for all, and not a lucky or wealthy few.