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The Lund Report
President Short delivered the news in an email to agents and brokers today

October 15, 2009 -- Jared Short, president of Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon, announced today the insurer would drop its lawsuit against  the Public Employees Benefit Board for terminating its contract for the next two years.  

The enrollment loss of some 100,000 members representing $30 million in revenue comes after Regence has insured state employees for more than 20 years. Up until September, Regence had lawyers arguing in court to block PEBB's ruling.

Oct 15 2009
The Lund Report
Regence could lose its lead in Medicare Advantage members with its high cost premiums in 2010

October 15, 2009 -- Unlike its competitors, Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield is asking seniors to pay much higher premiums for their Medicare Advantage plans next year, according to filings submitted to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Oct 15 2009
The Lund Report
Part of 54 arrests in nine states, Portland demonstrators chose Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield

October 15, 2009 -- Police arrested 12 people today for trespassing outside the Portland headquarters of Regence BlueCross BlueShield. The acts of civil disobedience were met by similar direct actions in nine cities across the country organized by Healthcare Now and the Center for the Working Poor. 

Including the 12 in Portland, 54 people were arrested nationwide.

Oct 15 2009
The Lund Report
Insurer of last resort for those rejected for individual coverage plans to raise rates by 12.5 percent

October 14, 2009 -- People rejected by insurance companies because of pre-existing conditions will pay 12.5 percent more for health coverage through the high risk pool starting Jan. 1.

That decision was approved by a 7-1 vote of the Oregon Medical Insurance Board on Oct. 13. C.J. McLeod, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of ODS Health Plan, cast the only dissenting vote, preferring to raise rates by 15 percent similar to last year. “Otherwise we move backward,” he said.

Oct 14 2009
The Lund Report
Project costs are estimated at $11.6 million for the 12-bed hospital

October 14, 2009 -- Columbia County residents may not have to wait much longer to find out if they’re getting a new hospital.

A certificate of need application for the 12-bed acute care facility is under consideration by the Department of Human Services’ Office of Community Health and Health Planning. A decision is expected on Oct. 22.

Residents voted in Nov. 2004 to form a new taxing district and levy a 38-cent-per-thousand assessed value tax – which was instituted in 2005 -- to build the hospital.

 

Oct 14 2009
The Lund Report
Baucus nods to Free Choice Amendment when bills merge

Originally at WashingtonPost.com
October 13, 2009 -- If you'd asked me six months ago which Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee would prove the toughest vote on health-care reform, I'd have had a couple answers for you. Blanche Lincoln, maybe. Or Tom Carper. Or Kent Conrad.

I would not have said Ron Wyden.

Oct 13 2009
The Lund Report
Cedar Hills Hospital intends to compete as Oregon’s only private psychiatric hospital

October 12, 2009 -- Local health officials have been intrigued by the Texas-based AscendHealth Corporation’s recent opening of Cedar Hills Hospital at 10300 SW Eastridge Street in Portland. 

Oct 12 2009
The Lund Report
A building boom may be good for capacity but it threatens to supplant community mental health options

October 12, 2009 -- As private mental health hospitals spring up across the state to compete with a new Oregon State Hospital building under construction, community mental health providers are crying out for their own funding.

Leaders at the highest levels in the state’s mental health system acknowledge the strange universe that funds hospitals for the mentally ill while allowing out-patient preventative care to whither.

Oct 12 2009
The Lund Report
Newly created Health Policy Board expected to take up medical malpractice reform

Oct 6 2009
The Lund Report
Sen. Ron Wyden has become an outspoken critic of legislation so far since his amendment failed last week

October 5, 2009 -- Despite his failure to convince his colleagues to pass a free choice amendment to the $880 billion healthcare bill winding its way through Congress, Senator Ron Wyden refuses to give up the fight.

Free choice is “absolutely the key to healthcare reform,” he told physicians attending an Oregon Medical Association meeting last Saturday. Otherwise, “more than 200 million Americans working for large employers won’t have any choice of healthcare coverage.” 

Oct 5 2009

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