The Art of Communication News

Larkins Vacura Kayser Spotlights Key 2023 Health Legislation

October 4, 2023

The recently-concluded Oregon 2023 legislative session included the passage of a number of important health-related bills.

Some of the most significant bills include:

• HB 2002, which further protects access to reproductive health services in the wake of Dobbs. This bill creates an enforceable right to make decisions about one’s own reproductive health and prohibits liability for the exercise of those rights. It also enshrines access to gender-affirming care by prohibiting health benefit plans from excluding coverage of medically-necessary gender-affirming treatments and by requiring inclusion of gender-affirming treatment in the Oregon Health Plan. The bill prohibits adverse actions by malpractice insurers against health care providers for providing lawful reproductive or gender-affirming health care.

• HB 2697, which creates new paradigms for staffing plans. This bill requires hospitals to establish professional and technical staffing committees and service staffing committees, consisting of equal numbers of managers and staff, which must develop written staffing plans taking key criteria (such as hospital census, patient acuity, staff feedback, etc.) into account. The bill also sets parameters for nurse staffing plans by identifying direct care registered nurse:patient ratios by unit, such as a 1:2 ratio in the intensive care unit and a 1:4 ratio in the oncology unit.

On October 20, 2023, LVK partner Tania Manners and Jennifer Baker, State Government Affairs Director (Northwest Region) at Cigna Healthcare, will lead a Continuing Legal Education seminar covering these and other key health-related bills as part of the Oregon State Bar Healthcare Law Section’s Annual CLE event in Portland. To learn more about this informative program and to register for the event, please visit