Chris Gray

Long-Term Care Group Endorses Candidates in Contested Primaries

The Oregon Health Care Association is picking sides in the May 15 Democratic primaries, giving money to veteran Sen. Rod Monroe and supporting Lane County Medical Society director Marty Wilde for an open seat in Eugene. The GOP is trying to fend off a candidate who has disparaged Jews and Muslims in its Eugene nomination.

The Oregon Health Care Association has waded into the 2018 primary season, supporting Marty Wilde, one of two Democrats battling to replace outgoing Rep.

New Insurance Commissioner Excited to Work in Progressive Oregon

Andrew Stolfi, who was hired in December, plans to reassess the state’s geographic insurance rating system, with an eye to increasing access in rural Oregon. He previously worked at an international insurance body in Switzerland and before that led the Illinois Department of Insurance.

Andrew Stolfi, Oregon’s newest insurance commissioner, started far afield from insurance, finance and health plans.

Allen Leads OHA Toward Health Reforms as Agency Dysfunction Subsides

The former director of the Department of Consumer & Business Services balked at the idea that there was any secret plan to crush defunct CCO FamilyCare. He also said neither he nor Gov. Brown have any interest in enacting Medicaid work requirements desired by conservative states.

Oregon Health Authority Director Pat Allen came on the job seven months ago amid a furor over the treatment of one of the state’s largest Medicaid plans, the last in a string of problems that doomed his successor.

OEBB Cuts Drug Benefit, Increases Dental Fees to Keep Costs Down

The board tried to avoid cuts to teachers’ health benefits by encouraging them to shift to coordinated care, by cutting administrative costs and by offering more catastrophic plans, but some small benefit cuts were enacted for the next school year.

The Oregon Educators Benefit Board approved a list of creative solutions to keep the health benefits for the state’s teachers below the caps mandated by the Legislature.

Concussion Release Law Passes Amid Heated Debate

The law will allow a larger range of medical professions, from chiropractors to physical therapists, to approve a youth athlete to play after a head injury, if they undergo an education module. Athletic trainers were removed from the bill, despite protests from Senate President Peter Courtney.

The Legislature passed the bill expanding the provider types who can release a student athlete for play after a concussion, but not before the bill stripped athletic trainers from the list of eligible providers.

Lawmakers Increase Mental Health Investments

A good economy has produced rising revenues for the state of Oregon, which allowed legislators to add almost $5 million in mental health investments.

The closeout budget bill for the 2018 session included a number of new social service items, particularly with investments in mental health.

School-based health centers won their request of $950,000 to hire more mental health therapists.

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