Once the Legislature approves the business plan setting in motion coordinated care organizations, the state’s on its way to reduce costs and improve health

January 30, 2012 -- Discussions are under way with federal officials to provide Oregon with another $2.5 billion in Medicaid funds over the next five years to help transform its healthcare system and also approve the necessary waivers to implement the new plan.   

Jan 30 2012
House Bill 4123 would require the Oregon Health Authority to publish a list of high priority chemicals used in children’s products

 January 27, 2012 -- Protecting young children from harmful chemical exposures is a top priority of Rep. Alissa Keny-Guyer (D-Portland).

“If we have the data, we can do better planning to reduce our exposures to chemicals that have been shown to cause birth defects, learning disabilities and childhood cancers,” she said. “It’s important for the state to protect its citizens.”

Jan 27 2012
Patients will no longer have to give specific informed consent for an HIV test

January 30, 2012 -- New HIV screening rules coming before the February session represent a complete turnaround in the strategy of advocates for people suffering from the 30-year-old virus causing immune system deficiency.

To protect HIV patients from discrimination, state lawmakers in the 1990s passed a series of laws that now require special forms for consenting to an HIV test and extra layers of bureaucracy for transferring HIV-related patient data. Under proposed legislation, patients would no longer have to give specific informed consent for an HIV test.

Jan 27 2012
Oregon Insurance Division approves Regence request to reduce premium increase

 January 27, 2012 -- Today, Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon received notice that the Oregon Insurance Division has approved a request by the company to reduce a scheduled premium increase to small business customers in 2012.

Jan 27 2012
Oregon’s outpatient surgery centers are behind other healthcare organizations in reporting medical errors and infections

January 27, 2012 -- Oregon ambulatory surgery centers want to be an integral part of any newly formed Coordinated Care Organization. But some question just how transparent the 86 freestanding outpatient centers in the state are when it comes to reporting quality.

Jan 27 2012
Limiting Overtime, Overall Hours Considered Key to Patient Safety

January 27, 2012 -- A newly published study finds that state-mandated caps on nurses’ mandatory overtime hours are working, reducing overtime hours for newly registered nurses in the affected states. Past research has demonstrated that fatigue caused by long hours without sufficient rest between shifts can lead to mistakes that imperil both patients and nurses.

Jan 27 2012
January 26, 2012 -- PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center (PHSW) and OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital have joined forces to ensure critically ill newborns and infants in the region receive the highest quality, most advanced medical treatment close to home. 
Jan 26 2012

January 26, 2012 -- With more discussion of budget cuts, lawmakers have begun floating policy proposals that would substantially reshape or cut back on health programs critical to vulnerable Latinos, such as Medicare and Medicaid.  According to a statistical brief released today by NCLR (National Council of La Raza), the Medicare program provides health coverage for not only Latino seniors, but also more than one million disabled and seriously ill Hispanic children and working-age adults. 

Jan 26 2012
Best practices toolkit for health care organizations

January 26, 2012 -- Kaiser Permanente announced today the Kaiser Permanente HIV Challenge to help health care providers nationwide improve health equity for people living with HIV by increasing access to HIV care and improving health outcomes.

Jan 26 2012
The Legislature is expected to begin reviewing that plan when it starts meeting next Wednesday

January 25, 2012—Diana Bianco, a consultant with Artemis Consulting, was met with an almost deafening silence after she asked the Oregon Health Policy Board’s members if there were any more suggestions or changes they wanted to make to the business plan that sets the course for the Oregon Health Plan’s transformation.

“My work here is done,” said Bianco, who’s been working with the policy board to develop the business plan.

Jan 25 2012