Cathy Siegner

OHA Falls Short of Meeting Needs for Autistic Child

Christie Riehl has been battling with the state agency to help her daughter who’s fallen between the gaps.

Christie Riehl has been navigating Oregon's healthcare bureaucracy for several years now, using what she called "polite persistence" to get coverage for her daughter's dual diagnosis of developmental disability and autism.

Oregon Woman Assails 'Alarming Gaps' in Care Coordination Between OHA and Other State Agencies

Citing a state statute requiring coordination of care, a Salem family has petitioned the Oregon Court of Appeals over the Oregon Health Authority's denial of full travel reimbursement for their daughter's treatment out of state.

Christie Riehl has been navigating Oregon's healthcare bureaucracy for years now, using what she called "polite persistence" to get coverage for her daughter's dual diagnosis of developmental disability and autism.

Q&A with the Oregon Health Authority

OHA's Alissa Robbins responds to 10 questions from Diane Lund of The Lund Report

1. OHA implemented some significant restructuring within the past few months. What were your goals with taking that action? How would you evaluate progress toward those goals at this point?

Federal Investigation Underway into Senior Advisory Council

Bill Gentile blew the whistle after being removed as chair.

After being removed as chair of the Senior Advisory Council for Elders, Bill Gentile’s concerns prompted a state investigation. Then, the Administration for Community Living (the federal agency overseeing funding through the Older Americans Act) reviewed the results, and requested a deeper look. That inquiry is now taking place from Salem into what Gentile describes as potential conflicts of interest, lack of diversity, and other issues possibly counter to federal statutes.

Feds Want Deeper State Investigation Into Charges of Conflict of Interest, Lack of Diversity Involving Senior Advisory Council

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Former council chair says Elders in Action is too cozy with funding sources and that Multnomah County should more closely monitor vendors to make sure low-income seniors get needed healthcare and transportation services.

Until May of this year, Bill Gentile was the elected chair of the statutorily mandated Senior Advisory Council for Elders in Action (EiA), a Portland non-profit advocacy group. That's when he was asked by the group's executive director, Barbara Bernstein, to step down.

Medicare Rule Change Would Reimburse Providers for End-of-Life Discussions, Federal Legislation Waiting in the Wings

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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid will decide by Nov. 1 if it will pay for consultations between healthcare providers and Medicare recipients about the type of care they want, or don't want, as they near the end of life.

In an announcement July 8, 2015, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services proposed reimbursing healthcare providers for face-to-face discussions held with beneficiaries 65 and

U.S. Supreme Court Decision on Subsidized Insurance Premiums Nervously Awaited

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If the high court sides with the plaintiffs in King v. Burwell, the impact will be felt in Oregon, where nearly 80,000 people currently receive government-subsidized insurance premiums under the Affordable Care Act.

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to issue its decision later this month in King v. Burwell, the case challenging whether the federal government can legally subsidize insurance premiums for low- and middle-income people who qualify for coverage under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).

E. Coli Testing Bill May Have to Wait Until 2017 Session

Rep. David Gomberg's HB 3540 requiring mandatory E. coli testing for patients younger than 18 who have specific symptoms for more than four consecutive days got a sympathetic hearing Wednesday before the House Committee on Health Care, but it's too late in the session to pass in its current form.

Legislation requiring Oregon healthcare workers to screen patients younger than 18 “who present for four or more consecutive days of unexplained diarrhea” for pathogenic E. coli bacteria is unlikely to pass because the bill was requested too late in the session.

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