Honoring the diversity of people living in Oregon
To advance health equity, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) established a strategic goal to eliminate health inequities by 2030. A critical component to meeting this goal is ensuring meaningful access to services for everyone in Oregon, regardless of:
- Their race, ethnicity, language or disability (REALD); or
- Their sexual orientation or gender identity (SOGI).
REALD and SOGI both help to reveal the diversity of the people living in Oregon. This helps us:
- Identify and address health disparities, and
- Support data justice in communities most affected by health disparities.
What is data justice?
Data justice supports communities using data to elevate their voice and reveal the systemic inequities they experience.
- As noted in the following overview developed in partnership with the Coalition of Communities of Color, communities perform data justice, not governments.
- However, governments can support data justice by making changes that recognize and value community-led approaches to data.
Learn more in the data justice overview (March 2022)
For OHA, REALD and SOGI are two changes that support data justice, with a focus on data equity. This requires the understanding that data are not neutral or objective; instead, they are the products of unequal social relations. This context is essential for conducting accurate, ethical analysis (D'ignazio and Klein, 2020).
What is REALD?
REALD is an effort to increase and standardize race, ethnicity, language, and disability data collection across the Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) and OHA.
Learn more about REALD
What is SOGI?
SOGI is an effort to increase and standardize sexual orientation and gender identity data collection across ODHS and OHA. OHA has drafted recommendations with proposed questions to use when collecting SOGI data.
Review OHA's draft SOGI data recommendations
House Bill 3159 implementation
In 2021, the Oregon legislature passed
House Bill 3159. This law requires OHA to:
- Add SOGI questions to the current data collection standards in OHA Oregon Administrative Rules,
- Build a data collection system for both REALD and SOGI,
- Develop and implement reporting requirements (including rulemaking) for provider and health plan reporting, and
- Create a grant program to help community partners and community-based organizations serving underrepresented populations report this data.
In early 2022, OHA will form a Rules Advisory Committee to advise on the rule changes to incorporate SOGI data collection standards.
Please visit the OEI Rulemaking page to keep informed when RACs are scheduled.
REALD and SOGI Data Collection Requirements in HB 3159
HB 3159 directs OHA to create a robust, secure, and efficient system of data collection, storage and reporting for REALD and SOGI data to support OHA’s vision of eliminating health inequities by 2030.
OHA plans to have this new system active no sooner than late 2024.
Once this system is active:
- Providers and insurers will need to submit REALD and SOGI data at least annually regardless of type of encounter.
- Providers and health plans will be able to query the registry for information on their patients.
- Patients will also be able to add and update information in the registry directly.
HB 3159 Phases and TImelines (Subject to Change)
- Staffing REALD and SOGI Team (Nov. 2021 – Aug. 2022)
- Updating REALD
Oregon Administrative Rules to include SOGI (Aug. – Oct. 2022)
- Planning for REALD and SOGI data collection system, including design of the eventual HB 3159 data registry (front end) and repository (back end) (2022-2023).
- Future Rules Advisory Committees for HB 3159 specific to the registry and how providers need to submit the data (TBD, likely late 2023/early 2024).
- Building and pilot of the HB 3159 registry (front end) and repository (back end) (2025).