The Lund Report

In this third installment, Michael Rohwer argues that we in healthcare are creating our problems and that Complexity, far from being the enemy, is an ally. Within its natural forces lie the engines of productivity and the conductor of change.

OPINION-- I wrote previously about the unsustainable way the healthcare system is managed. Then I provided examples of how emergent behaviors grow out of complex processes to undermine our best efforts.

Mar 27 2015
The Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems appeared to outmaneuver the efforts of Sen. Elizabeth Steiner Hayward, SEIU and consumer advocates to demand the right to know what patients are being charged by getting the ranking members of the Senate Health Committee to sign onto a competing measure that does not disclose individual hospital information and provides only outdated average statewide data from the all-payer, all-claims database.

The Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems is moving aggressively to stamp out legislation that would force its members to be transparent about their prices, and the association has introduced a transparency bill that provides them with political cover while doing little to help consu

Mar 27 2015
Public health advocates on the Senate Health Committee want to protect children with a ban on candy-flavored tobacco that’s clearly targeted to minors, but their bill also seeks to ban flavored e-cigarettes, which are far and away the most popular type for adults, who say the devices help them quit smoking tobacco.

The Senate Health Committee could be poised to pass a bill that could shut down the e-cigarette vaping shops that have puffed up on the Oregon landscape and offer a product that’s built on nicotine addiction but which could be less harmful than older sources of nicotine, like tobacco cigarettes.

Mar 27 2015
The Fortune 500 company will become owner of Trillium Community Health Plan in Lane County, which serves 90,000 Medicaid members.

Oregon is about to have a major Fortune 500 company take over a Medicaid-run health plan in Lane County. The transaction, now underway, is expected to be completed by the end of September.

Mar 27 2015
Patients have become so frustrated after being denied medications they’ve filed complaints with the Oregon Medical Board.

In the past year, Tracy Carter has broken her arm, suffered a stroke, and struggled with back pain related to four herniated disks.

Mar 27 2015

New research refutes the common assumption that baby boomers are healthier than previous generations and will remain so into old age. Better education, higher income and lower smoking rates are offset by the negative impact of increasing body mass index and obesity-related health problems, according to a study in the current issue of the health policy journal Milbank Quarterly.

Mar 27 2015
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Financial analysis shows big sales by Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon, continued financial losses for Kaiser Permanente

The ranks of the privately insured continued to grow in Oregon last year.

Mar 27 2015
Many patients see a naturopath as their primary care provider and clinics such as ZoomCare use them interchangeably with nurse practitioners. But a quarter of the insurance companies charge special copayments for naturopaths or don’t allow them to bill for preventive services.

The Legislature may be stepping in to settle a dispute between health insurance companies and naturopathic physicians, who argue that the companies are misclassifying many of their providers as speciality care and subjecting patients to hire out-of-pocket fees.

Mar 25 2015
Women who are eligible for state medical assistance because they are pregnant are not covered by the coordinated care organizations, leaving them with benefits but no speciality providers to take them. This leaves them unable to get access to dentists who can fix painful root canals or other procedures more complicated than what a primary care dentist can offer.

Oregon has some of the most generous health benefits for pregnant women, borne of the policy decision that ensuring a healthy start for new citizens will be one of the best investments steering a child toward a healthy, productive life.

Mar 24 2015
Two bills, sponsored by SEIU Local 49 and the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems, could lead to a frank discussion of hospital costs for the very first time.

The Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems and SEIU Local 49 go head to head tomorrow in a hearing before the Senate Health Committee on cost transparency.

At issue is what consumers deserve to know about hospital costs, and both sides are armed with strong lobbying power.

Mar 24 2015