Two more Oregonians have died from COVID-19, and another 84 new cases were reported by the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) on Tuesday, March 31. A total of 18 have died from the coronavirus in the state and 690 have been diagnosed.
The COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Benton (3), Clackamas (10), Douglas (1), Hood River (1), Jackson (1), Klamath (1), Lane (4), Lincoln (1), Linn (1), Malheur (1), Marion (18), Multnomah (16), Polk (3), Umatilla (1), Wallowa (1), Wasco (2), Washington (18), and Yamhill (2).
Three cases of COVID-19 coronavirus were confirmed in Tillamook County in the past week. County officials expect the number to go up.
Oregon’s seventeenth COVID-19 death is a 90-year-old man in Yamhill County, who tested positive on March 25 and died on March 29, 2020 at Providence Newberg Medical Center. He had underlying medical conditions.
Oregon’s eighteenth COVID-19 death is an 88-year-old woman in Benton County, who tested positive on March 26 and died March 30 at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Corvallis. She had underlying medical conditions.
OHA gains flexibility Medicaid program
The Oregon Health Authority has received flexibility from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to remove barriers for Oregonians to qualify for, enroll in, and stay enrolled in the Oregon Health Plan (OHP). Oregon has also received flexibility for providers to provide care to members as the state responds to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly one in four Oregonians currently receives health coverage through OHP.
“The COVID-19 pandemic requires us to act quickly to support the needs of our communities,” said Patrick Allen, OHA director. “This added flexibility in our Medicaid program is going to allow us to more quickly get people access to health care and expand our health system to meet the challenges of this public health emergency.”
The key areas of flexibility that Oregon will gain from this waiver include:
All members who are currently enrolled in the Oregon Health Plan will not lose coverage during this crisis. This includes coverage that is only state-funded (i.e. Cover all Kids).
Individuals can sign up for OHP without having to verify their income (submit a pay stub) with their application. They will be able to self-attest, which will help Oregonians get access to OHP coverage more quickly.
Federal stimulus payments and increased unemployment payments will not affect OHP eligibility. They will not be counted during the application process or when members report a change in their household.
Oregon will have additional flexibility to add to its healthcare workforce, provide treatment in temporary sites, and for paying providers during this public health emergency.
Additional information and guidance related to COVID-19 for coordinated care organizations (CCOs) and providers serving OHP members is available on the OHA website. A fact sheet for OHP members about their coverage and COVID-19 can be downloaded on the OHP website in English and in Spanish.
Oregon Health Authority reports new cases once a day on its website: www.healthoregon.org/coronavirus.