Text Size:   A+ A- A   •   Text Only
Site Image

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Are mental health care and chemical dependency services a part of the Prioritized List?

Mental health care and chemical dependency lines are fully integrated and prioritized along with physical conditions.  Mental health lines are distinguished by the listing of "psychotherapy" under the treatment description.  The listing of psychotherapy represents a broad range of mental health therapies provided by different types of mental health professionals in various settings.

[Prioritized List] 

Are prescription drugs covered for all diagnoses?

The Commission considers prescription drugs to be an ancillary service. Therefore, it is the intent of the HERC that only funded condition-treatment pairs include the coverage of prescription drugs. However, the Commission has discovered that since the diagnosis is not included with a prescription, the pharmacy has no way to determine if a drug is being prescribed for a condition falling below the funding line. Within the past few years, prescribing physicians have been asked to check a box to indicate whether or not the prescription is for the treatment of a covered condition.

[Prioritized List]

Does the line descriptor contain every diagnosis?

​Each line has a description of both a condition and treatment. For some lines there is only one condition, but for others there may be many. The line descriptor contains the most frequent condition or a cluster of conditions represented by the ICD-10-CM codes. For example, cystic
fibrosis occurs by itself on line 24, but the codes on line 210, described broadly as Zoonotic Bacterial Diseases, include plague, tularemia, anthrax, brucellosis, catscratch disease and other specific diseases.

[Prioritized List]

How is the funding line established?

The 77th Oregon Legislative Assembly will review the Prioritized List included in this report.  If this report is accepted, they will establish a funding line for this list in accordance with the state budget.  Upon approval from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the benefit package represented by the services listed on or above that funding line will be reimbursed under the Medicaid Demonstration beginning no earlier than October 1, 2014.

[Prioritized List]

What about diagnostic services?

Except for rare instances, diagnostic services are always covered and do not appear on the list.  If a condition is diagnosed that appears below the funding line, the diagnostic visit and any necessary tests will be covered, but subsequent office visits and ancillary services such as home health services will not.

[Prioritized List]

What about preventive services?

The Oregon Health Plan encourages prevention and early intervention. Effective preventive services for adults and children are ranked on Line 3 and include services recommended by the U.S. Preventive
Services Task Force (“A” and “B” Recommendations), American Academy of Pediatrics (Bright Futures Guidelines), Health Resources and Services Administration (Women’s Preventive Services) and the Advisory Committee on C-4 Immunization Practives (as approved for the Oregon Immunization Program). In addition, preventive dental services are included on Line 57.

[Prioritized List]

What are ancillary services and are they covered?

Ancillary services are those goods, services, and therapies that are considered to be integral to the successful treatment of a condition.  Ancillary services are reimbursable when used in conjunction with a covered condition. 

[Prioritized List]

What are practice guidelines?

Guidelines are used to further delineate conditions where the coding system does not adequately distinguish between sub-groups that are treated differently or to indicate the most effective use of a particular treatment. See Chapter Two of the Biennial Report for further detail on new guidelines developed and existing guidelines that were modified over the last two years.  A listing of the guideline titles is provided at the end of this appendix. This includes guidelines associated with diagnostic and ancillary services that don’t appear on the Prioritized List as well as services that do appear on the list.  A full listing of the practice guidelines are posted on the Commission’s website.

[Prioritized List]

What are statements of intent? 

Statements of intent allow the Commission the ability to indicate their intent for coverage of services that cannot be easily identified by medical codes.  These statements appear later in this appendix immediately following the Prioritized List. 

[Prioritized List] 

What do the line numbers represent?

The line numbers represent the rank order of the condition-treatment pairs assigned by the Health Evidence Review Commission. Therefore the services on line item 1 are most important to provide and line item 669 the least important in terms of the benefit to be gained by the
population being served.

[Prioritized List]

What other resources are available to answer other questions I may have? 

​For questions about the Prioritized List, the methodology used to create and maintain the list or other information concerning the work of the Health Evidence Review Commission, see the Commission’s web page at: http://www.oregon.gov/oha/herc/Pages/index.aspx

For questions about plan eligibility or administration, see the home page of the Division of Medical Assistance Programs at: http://www.oregon.gov/OHA/healthplan/Pages/index.aspx

 For policy questions regarding the Oregon Health Plan or health care in general, see the website of the Office for Oregon Health Policy and Research at: http://www.oregon.gov/oha/OHPR/Pages/index.aspx 

Or contact our office at (503) 373-1985.

[Prioritized List]

Why do many diagnoses appear more than once?

A given diagnosis or condition may have a continuum of treatments including medical, surgical, or transplantation.  All transplantations for either bone marrow or solid organs have a separate line in addition to the medical/surgical treatment. These treatments of a condition may vary in their effectiveness and/or cost and therefore receive different rankings by the Health Evidence Review Commission.

[Prioritized List]