A bill from House representative Mitch Greenlick passed June 20 will have a long and dramatic affect on healthcare in Oregon by deleting the various impaired professional programs and creating a single measurable bureaucracy within the Department of Human Services.
“Impaired professional programs” are inside baseball for staff associated with state licensing boards who are charged with the task of moving members who are actively using illegal drugs or alcohol to excess into treatment or out of their professions.
Matching HB 2345 is HB 2118, which commands all licensed health care professionals to report other health care professionals who are ‘impaired’ to their licensing boards. The bill defines ‘impaired’ as “an inability to practice with reasonable competence and safety due to the habitual or excessive use of drugs or alcohol, other chemical dependency or a mental health condition.” HB 2118 is sitting in Ways & Means, which it will likely pass. The bill does not define ‘competence.’