Legislature approves bill to give pay equity for some health care professionals

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On the Governor’s desk is House Bill 290B, which gives pay equity to nurse practitioners and physician assistants. The bill, which was a priority for AFT affiliated Oregon Nurses Association, requires private health care insurance companies to reimburse nurse practitioners and physician assistants the same rate when providing identical mental health and primary care services.

“It’s a matter of fairness. Two nurse practitioners or physician assistants who have the training, ability, and scope to do the same procedure should receive equal payment and benefits for the work done,” said Senator Alan Bates (D-Medford), who is a family physician. “This bill helps boost our health care workforce so that we can provide greater access to affordable, preventative care.”

HB 2902B was amended by the Senate to include a task force that will review compensation within the health professions and report back to the legislature in 2014. With concurrence from the House of Representatives, the bill now awaits the Governor’s signature.