The Lund Report

The hospital assessment tax, used to leverage federal funding for the Oregon Health Plan, was first proposed in 2003 and has been renewed multiple times, often with heated debate. But this time, Republicans are signaling they’re on board for the new assessment.

A four-year extension of the hospital assessment tax, which is used to fund the bulk of the state Medicaid program, appears headed for swift passage this session, without any of the partisan theatrics that have dogged previous extensions of the tax.

Feb 26 2015
Given a new supermajority by voters, Senate Democrats continue to check off legislation that passed the more liberal House in 2013 but died in the Senate. SB 411 brings Oregon more in line with other states and allows injured people to use money from both parties’ auto insurance policies in case of an accident, but it will likely raise premiums slightly.

The Oregon Senate passed a bill Tuesday aimed at giving people injured in car accidents a better guarantee that their medical treatment will be covered by auto insurance policies.

Feb 26 2015
In this first-part series, the author maintains that we need to stimulate rethinking on how we view healthcare and do business, and that it’s essential to understand Complex Systems.

OPINION -- Healthcare reform has been a persistent failure. After four decades, the future of healthcare remains economically unsustainable. The physician workforce is demoralized and at the point of leaving.

Feb 24 2015

This story is part of Gallup's annual "State of the States" series, which reveals state-by-state differences on political, economic, religion a

Feb 24 2015
California became the first state to ban so-called gay conversion therapies for youth in 2012, and a New Jersey court later barred them from that state, deeming such therapy consumer fraud. As the Oregon Psychological Association testified, the evidence shows that reparative therapies are not only ineffective for gay clients, they are harmful, yet they remain in active practice by certain fringe Christian organizations and counselors.

Paul Southwick testified before the House Health Committee that he had his first dose of gay conversion therapy as a student at George Fox University, after a personal conflict over his attraction to other men led to a panic attack.

Feb 24 2015
A lack of sideboards on the dispensation of psychiatric medications for the Medicaid population has caused these drugs to be heavily over-prescribed, particularly among children. The CCOs in charge of the state Medicaid program have called for a task force to oversee the transition to managed care for these drugs.

Dr. Mark Bradshaw, a psychiatrist for All-Care Health Plan, a coordinated care organization in Medford, testified this month in Salem that southern Oregon is a national leader in the rate at which it prescribes psychiatric medications to children.

Feb 23 2015
University of Oregon faces “monumental logistical effort,” and a potential bill as high as $7 million to offer vaccinations for strain of meningococcal disease that has killed one student and hospitalized three others.

Outbreaks of meningococcal disease keep popping up on college campuses across the country and attract plenty of media attention. But what doesn’t get much coverage is how different schools decide to offer vaccinations to their students.

Feb 23 2015
Despite helping vaccine skeptics introduce legislation as a state senator, Gov. Kate Brown’s spokeswoman said she never agreed with their position, and the new governor told reporters that she would work to eliminate vaccine exemptions for children who do not have a medical reason to get one.

Gov. Kate Brown pledged her support Friday for legislation that would eliminate non-medical excuses for not vaccinating school children, a measure pushed by physician Sen. Elizabeth Steiner Hayward, D-Portland, amid a growing measles epidemic.

Feb 20 2015
Statesman Journal file
Members of the community testified that Oregon lags behind other states in its treatment of people with hearing disabilities, and the problem is particularly problematic in Oregon hospitals, which are accused of cutting corners when it comes to providing them with a qualified interpreter. HB 2419 puts the same standards in place for sign language as foreign language translators.

The House Health Committee unanimously passed a bill this week toughening standards for sign-language interpreters after deaf advocates complained that Salem Hospital and some Portland-area hospitals were hiring unqualified interpreters to cut costs.

Feb 20 2015
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These penalties and rewards are a result of a measure known as value-based purchasing which CMS introduced to encourage hospitals to improve inpatient care.

Oregon hospitals fared well under Medicare’s value-based purchasing program, based on federal data of more than 3,500 hospitals.

Feb 18 2015