February 17, 2012—The vote of Sen. Betsy Johnson (D-Scappoose), a crucial swing vote when the Senate decided to allow the Oregon Health Authority to move ahead with creating coordinated care organizations (CCOs) and overhauling the Oregon Health Plan’s delivery system, changed at the last moment because memos from the Department of Justice and Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) revealed serious constitutional concerns about the proposed medical liability language for Senate Bill 1580.
February 17, 2012—Legislation that would reimburse nurse practitioners at the same rate as primary care doctors failed to pass on the House floor last week as expected, and instead was sent to the Rules Committee where such bills usually die.
The motion made by Rep. Jason Conger (R-Bend) seemed to catch people off guard, yet had bipartisan support with a 33-26 vote. Conger said House Bill 4010 needed to go to the Rules Committee because he was concerned about the definition of a nurse practitioner’s “service area.”
February 9, 2012—After hours of discussions and countless meetings between closed doors, legislators appear to have finished negotiating what might be the final version of Senate Bill 1580, which, if approved, would allow the Oregon Health Authority to begin soliciting proposals for coordinated care organizations (CCOs).
That bill passed out of the budget writing Ways and Means Human Services Subcommittee unanimously late yesterday evening, after legislators scrambled to finish negotiations while lobbyists laughed, joked, and kicked back in the hallways and a hearing room.
February 9, 2012— The managed care plans that are currently providing services to Oregon Health Plan members appear to have lost their bid to create what’s known as “fast track,” legislation, giving them the ability to turn into coordinated care organizations (CCOs) by July, without having to meet all the criteria, guidelines and the certification process developed by the Oregon Health Policy Board.
February 6, 2012—The Foundation for Excellence in Mental Healthcare and its executive director Gina Nikkel are off to a running start, funding its first projects that Nikkel hopes will begin creating a more holistic understanding and way of treating mental illness.
Nikkel, who was previously executive director of the Association of Oregon County Mental Health Programs, has been participating frequently in international calls, and has racked up 4,000 minutes of phone calls in one month. “That’s two solid weeks of being on the phone,” she said.
February 3, 2012— Despite taking care of pregnant women who have some of the highest risk factors for giving birth to low-weight babies, the women seen at Douglas County’s Prenatal Clinic beat the odds – and had the lowest rate of giving birth to low-weight babies compared to the rest of Douglas
February 2, 2012—An unexpectedly heated debate transpired in the House Health Care Committee yesterday over whether the Oregon Health Insurance Exchange’s 11 staff members should be able to seek their own healthcare coverage rather than be covered by the Public Employees’ Benefit Board (PEBB), which provides benefits to state employees.
February 1, 2012—Dental care organizations are growing increasingly vocal about the future relationship they’ll have with the coordinated care organizations (CCOs) that are expected to provide healthcare to Oregon Health Plan members in July.
January 30, 2012—A group of nine healthcare providers in Douglas County are forming the state’s first coordinated care organization (CCO), calling it “the Community Health Alliance.”
The provider groups include Douglas County Independent Physician’s Association (DCIPA), Douglas County’s Health and Human Services Department, Greater Oregon Behavioral Health, Inc. (GOBHI), Mercy Medical Center, Umpqua Community Health Center, Advantage Dental, and ADAPT, which provides substance abuse and addictions treatment and recovery services.
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.