Amanda Waldroupe

Steve Ferree Balances Business and the Need for Health Reform

The Lund Report
Although he's vice chair of Oregon’s chapter of the NFIB, which opposed President Obama’s Affordable Care Act at the national level, he understands both sides of the coin when it comes to health reform

April 12, 2012—Steve Ferree is vice-chair of Oregon’s chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). The national organization was the only group to join 26 states in opposing President Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act during arguments heard before the U.S. Supreme Court two weeks ago.

But as the owner of Gladstone-based Mr. Rooter Plumbing, a small business, and as vice-chair of the state health insurance exchange’s consumer advisory committee, he understands both sides of the coin when it comes to arguments about reforming healthcare.

Policy Board Voices Little Concern About CCO Letters of Intent

The Lund Report

April 12, 2012—A presentation about the number of organizations intending to become coordinated care organizations (CCOs) by August drew little discussion from the Oregon Health Policy Board on Tuesday.

The authority received 47 letters of intent from every county and area of the state. “We look at that as being an enthusiastic response,” Judy Mohr Peterson, the authority’s director of medical assistance programs, told the board. “We have a lot of interest.”

Deschutes County Audit Could Result in Medicaid Payback

The Lund Report
An audit conducted by Accountable Behavioral Health Alliance revealed errors in patient records by Deschutes County Health Services

April 9, 2012—An August 2011 audit performed by Accountable Behavioral Health Alliance on Deschutes County Health Services is showing how difficult it is for some organizations to meet the requirements and provide the type of care expected of coordinated care organizations (CCOs).

Portland’s Transgender Benefits Have Gone Unused

The Lund Report
Last June the Portland City Council unanimously approved the new benefit joining Multnomah County and San Francisco

April 2, 2012 – None of Portland’s city employees or family members have used the city’s transgender benefits that were approved by the city council. But that isn’t unusual, said Yvonne Deckard, director of human resources, and doesn’t mean providing those benefits are without value.

“We didn’t anticipate that there would be a large volume of claims, necessarily,” she said. “Part of it is just the uniqueness and the small population group that will access that benefit.”

Health Insurance Exchange Seeks Public Input on Specifics

The Lund Report
Exchange staff expect that getting specific feedback about particular areas of the exchange will help them craft the exchange

April 2, 2012 -- People have until April 13 to submit responses to Oregon’s health insurance exchange about the top three things they consider most important when choosing a health plan. The exchange launched this survey to get constructive feedback from the public as it begins developing the website that people will use to purchase coverage in 2014.

The exchange staff hopes the answers will guide them to understand how people search for insurance plans, distinguish plans from one another, and their priorities in choosing a plan. Thus far, 65 people have submitted comments.

Committee Creating Community Health Worker Standards Plans to Continue Meeting

The Lund Report
Committee members want to be involved in educating CCOs about community health workers, and continue creating education and training requirements

March 30, 2012—The Non-Traditional Healthcare Workforce Committee, which has been designing standards for community health workers in Oregon, believes it’s important to continue its work to oversee the development of that work force. It intends to ask the Oregon Health Policy Board for permission to become a formal advisory body.

“There’s a lot more work to do,” said Carol Cheney, the committee’s facilitator and equity manager in the Oregon Health Authority’s Office of Equity and Inclusion.

Guidelines Set for Community Health Workers to Participate in CCOs

The Lund Report
But more work needs to be done to develop the training and education programs

March 26, 2012—Community health workers who will work with coordinated care organizations (CCOs) will be expected to need 80 hours of training and education, but not be licensed, according to recommendations that a subcommittee of the Oregon Healthcare Workforce Committee expects to approve Wednesday.

The committee, called the Non-Traditional HealthCare Workforce Subcommittee, was created by the Oregon Health Policy Board to create standards and guidelines for a state-wide workforce of community health workers.

Southern Oregon Providers Work to Embed Behavioral Health into Primary Clinics

The Lund Report
The effort, initially funded by a 2006 grant, is now being extended to coordinated care organizations in southern Oregon

March 24, 2012—A quick, 15-minute appointment with a mental health counselor to talk about the effects of stress and anxiety when a person has an ulcer is radically different than a traditional hour long appointment with a counselor. But providers in southern Oregon are discovering that such appointments, which integrate mental healthcare in the same primary care setting, go a long way toward improving a patient’s health.

School District’s Achievement Compacts will Include Absenteeism

The Lund Report
Children’s advocates hope that more school-based health services will occur once more is learned about why students miss school

March 22, 2012—After intense lobbying and attending countless Oregon Education Investment Board meetings and subcommittee meetings, the Healthy Kids Learn Better Coalition got what it wanted: inclusion of absenteeism in the achievement compacts between school districts and the state, which could lead to more information about students’ health problems.

No Need for Provider Tax on Developmental Disability Programs

The Lund Report
The Legislature restored funding to these programs, erasing concern about a 4 percent cut

March 21, 2012—People who provide services to the developmentally disabled were willing to pay a provider tax out of their own pockets in order to receive federal matching dollars, but such a tax ended up being unnecessary.

They made the attempt after learning about a 4 percent reduction that would have been imposed in April, and had already seen a 6 percent cut in programs last October.

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