Inside the Industry

With prescription drug prices soaring and President Donald Trump vowing to take action, an old idea is gaining fresh traction: allowing Americans to buy medicines from foreign pharmacies at far lower prices.

Mar 22 2017
House Bill 3391, the comprehensive reproductive health bill, requires abortion, vasectomies and contraceptive care be covered at no additional out-of-pocket costs to consumers, gives postpartum care to low-income unauthorized immigrants, and adds further clarity to stop insurers from discriminating against transgender individuals.

Providence Health Plan has threatened to pull out of the state health insurance market if they are forced to cover abortion services, citing First Amendment rights in an effort to block a bill that requires coverage of abortion and other reproductive health services with no additional cost-sharin

Mar 17 2017
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Of the state’s largest hospitals, 19 saw operating profits fall in the third quarter of 2016, according to an updated Lund Report analysis.

Correction: Due to a spreadsheet error, The Lund Report incorrectly reported rises in profits at a number of hospitals that, in fact, saw profits fall from the third quarter of 2015 to the third quarter of 2016.

Mar 16 2017
The hospital association argues for voluntary ER data reporting, seeking to avoid a new mandate or fees. But the state says the best way to ensure hospitals report this data -- and to help identify the misuse of emergency rooms for mental patients -- would be a statute.

The Oregon Health Authority wants Oregon hospitals to step up their data reporting to include information on emergency department visits, but the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems is fighting the legislation.

Mar 15 2017
U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader, D-Ore.
A Congressional Budget Office report released Monday shows 24 million people losing their health insurance under the healthcare plan released by House Republicans. In Oregon, disabled people and seniors could lose in-home care, cuts would limit Medicaid, and could hamstring CCO efforts.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that 24 million people would lose their health insurance coverage under “Trumpcare” by 2026, more than half of them poor people receiving Medicaid.

Mar 14 2017
As Portland Democratic Rep. Rob Nosse tries to get a comprehensive prescription drug price reform bill through the House, his counterpart in the Senate has tried a more piecemeal approach, requiring more transparency in the price of drugs and giving DCBS the ability to regulate the price and prevent steep price increases.

Sen. Elizabeth Steiner Hayward, D-Portland, has introduced two of her own pharmaceutical price reform bills into the Senate, keeping pressure on the Legislature to do something about the skyrocketing costs of prescription drugs in case similar legislation falters in the House.

Mar 10 2017
The rollout of the GOP’s plan to reduce Medicaid and Oregon’s own budget shortfall prompted barely a mention as scores of partners in Oregon’s biggest coordinated care organization burrowed into the weeds, seeking to combat challenges Health Share of Oregon’s members face from poverty, inequity and trauma.

As a pediatrician at The Children’s Clinic in 2008, Dr. R.J. Gillespie saw a happy six-month-old baby with a clearly depressed mother. By the time that baby was nine months old, he failed his developmental screening. At age two, the child was standing in a corner screaming.

Mar 8 2017
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As number of people with insurance climbs, the companies that have traditionally enrolled the most people in Oregon see membership decline. Could these health plans be losing clout?

The number of people receiving health insurance through small insurers or buying individual marketplace plans in Oregon dropped significantly in 2016, with 74,422 fewer people covered under the state’s major plans at the end of last year than a year earlier.

Mar 3 2017
Senate Bill 526 outlines a process that patients and physicians could use to get health insurers to cover medications. Insurers often balk at the price of these drugs and try to force the patient to first try a cheaper alternative.

Patient advocates and pharmaceutical companies are backing legislation that would give physicians an easier time prescribing medication and bypassing “step-therapy” protocols, which health insurers use to limit the dispensation and purchase of high-cost drugs.

Feb 22 2017
The Oregon Psychological Association is trying to resolve the problem amicably

Psychologists find themselves at odds with insurance companies over reimbursement, and, for the first time, the Oregon Psychological Association is taking a pro-active stance.

“It’s getting more and more difficult to get reimbursed when people have serious mental health issues,” Shana Koslofsky, PhD, president of the Oregon Psychological Association, told The Lund Report. 

Feb 22 2017