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The Health Evidence Review Commission Role:

One of the Health Evidence Review Commission’s major roles is to maintain the Prioritized List of Health Services, which is used to determine benefits under the Oregon Health Plan.  While the prioritization process happens once every two years, the HERC is constantly reviewing topics to ensure appropriate placement on the list, consider new evidence and deal with issues that arise with the implementation of the Prioritized List in the Oregon Health Plan.


Commission Process

The Health Evidence Review Commission or one of its subcommittees holds a public meeting at least once a month, with the exception of July. The commission frequently includes one or more public comment periods during meetings, at which time members of the public may offer oral and written testimony. The commission may hold public comment periods which are limited to particular topics.

The typical process involves a staff review of the evidence around the health service in question. HERC Staff presents its recommendations to the Value-based Benefits Subcommittee, which may then request further research or make a recommendation to the HERC to revise the prioritized list. Typically, VbBS and HERC meetings are on the same day, and recommendations made by the VbBS in the morning are reviewed by the HERC the same afternoon.

Interested parties can request a review of a topic of interest. HERC staff will review the information provided and determine whether an new review is warranted based on the HERC Criteria for Topic Review on the Placement of Services on the Prioritized List and HERC Policy on Acceptance of Testimony and Guidelines for Speakers & Presenters.

Note that some topics, which require a more extensive review, use the coverage guidance process. Please see our coverage guidance web page for more information about that process. One key difference is that in the coverage guidance process, recommendations by VbBS for changes to the prioritized list are not considered by the HERC on the same day as they are made by VbBS, due to a fourteen-day notice requirement.

For information about VbBS and HERC meetings, see our upcoming meetings web page. To be notified when meeting materials are posted, use our free e-subscribe service.


Public Comment During Meetings

Timing: Scheduled public comment periods will be included in the meeting agenda. The time allocated for public comment and the timing of public comment periods within the meeting agenda may change without notice. Those who wish to provide public comment should arrive early and ensure they are signed up to provide comment.

Sign up to provide comment: A sign-in sheet is available before each meeting which includes an option to sign up to offer public comment. Members of the public who arrive late or are otherwise unable to sign-in to provide public comment should notify staff during a meeting break.

Time limits: Oral comment will typically be limited to one to two minutes depending on time constraints and changes in the agenda. Due to time constraints on public comment periods, members of the public are encouraged to provide written testimony at the meeting or by e-mail.

Written testimony: A meeting attendee who wishes to offer written testimony or other written materials in addition to oral testimony should bring fifteen (15) copies of the document(s) which should be submitted to staff when called by the chair to provide public comment.

Public comments may also be submitted at anytime by e-mail to HERC.Info@state.or.us. Comments for any upcoming meeting must be submitted seven (7) days in advance of the meeting. Materials submitted by e-mail will not be printed or posted to the Internet.


Public Testimony and Topic Review Criteria

HERC Criteria for Topic Review on the Placement of Services on the Prioritized List
HERC Policy on Acceptance of Testimony and Guidelines for Speakers & Presenters

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