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HAPPY NEW YEAR! Wrap Up From 2017 and Moving Into 2018

Friday, January 26, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Cherish Simmons
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Beth Martin l Executive Director, OANP

Last year marked my first year as the executive director with the OANP. There is always a flurry of activity when starting a new position, and I think it's important to take the time to look at the history of a place to see growth, to understand the nuances of an organization like OANP, and to use this historical information to look for new opportunities in the future. I am stepping into big shoes left by Laura Farr, and am using every day as an opportunity to help OANP become more robust, continue to be a place that people find value, and remain true to its roots.

2017 Roundup

OANP's executive director for over a decade, Laura Farr, left to head up the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP) as their new executive director. Having her at the helm of the AANP will only benefit OANP, and all naturopathic physicians across the nation. Her successor, Beth Martin, was brought on at the beginning of November, and brings public relations and community engagement experience, and will be working hard to raise awareness for the profession in the state of Oregon.

The big news - SB 856 (affectionately called the "Omnibus Bill" passed! This bill modernizes over 120 places in statute where the law has not kept up with the evolving scope of practice of naturopathic doctors. Some of these changes include adding NDs to list of providers who can give birth control advice to any age, share medical information with parents, and treat minors for chemical dependency without parental consent, allowing NDs to sign medical forms for students who need special education plans, and to authorize administration of medicine to students in schools (and this is just the tip of the iceberg!) Click here to see all of the updated statutes.

We launched a new CE Library! This was one of the services that OANP members requested, and the OANP now offers online continuing education courses on a multitude of subject matters. Our courses are rigorously vetted and submitted for state continuing education. As an added bonus, OANP Members save 50-100% off of online courses!

CMS granted an exception for NDs who meet the threshold of providing services to Medicaid populations to qualify for the EHR incentive program for upgrading to or implementing a Meaningful Use EHR system. Each provider that qualifies is eligible for ~$65 in incentive payouts over 5 years. NUNM clinics poised to receive almost half a million for all of their providers. We believe this is the first time that CMS has officially recognized NDs as a provider in any capacity, let alone as a provider in a primary care Medicaid population.

Dr. Mitchell Bebel Stargrove was our Living Legend award winner for 2017! He was honored with the naturopathic medicine's prestigious Living Legend Award for his demonstrated leadership, commitment to excellence and outstanding contributions to the advancement of natural medicine in the state of Oregon. Thank you for all that you do for our community, Dr. Stargrove!

2018 Moving Forward

So what do we have in store for this year? The OANP Board of Directors put together a 5 year strategic plan, so the following will be on the front-burner as we move through 2018:

  • Working to pass SB 1547. This bill expands the list of health care professionals who can provide medical release to a youth athlete who is suspected of having concussion. It prescribes requirements for health care professionals to be qualified to provide medical release, and declares emergency, effective on passage.
  • Laying the groundwork for the 2019 legislative session, when we hope to tackle credentialing and pay parity.
  • Public Relations and Community Relations Plan, to help raise awareness of naturopathic medicine in the state.

Thank you! To everyone who joined or renewed their membership with the association, and who donated throughout the year. We have over 360 members, and we appreciate each and every one of you! Your support and engagement is what keeps us moving forward as a profession, and we cannot thank you enough!

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