Chris Gray

Bates Pushes Back on Money Request from the Oregon Health Authority

The Health Authority claimed a $14.6 million shortfall but will likely get $9 million in new funding. The Legislature also appears poised to release $3.4 million for seniors, fully funding Oregon Project Independence and giving a lift to paratransit services. Sen. Alan Bates is also seen as a candidate for the head of the Oregon Health Authority, although he has made no such announcement.

The Oregon Health Authority came asking the Legislature’s Emergency Board for an additional $14.6 million in general fund money to fill as many as 40 new positions, but will likely go back to work with just $9 million in new state money after pushback from Sen. Alan Bates, D-Medford.

Oregon to Get Help from Kentucky on Enrollment Website for Medicaid

The Oregon state government has cut the rest of its losses with Oracle and decided to implement Kentucky’s system for Medicaid signups, after another stumble to salvage the $240 million spent on technology from Oracle.

Kentucky, long the butt of many a joke, was the surprising success story during the rollout of the Affordable Care Act.

Policy Expert Berwick Praises Oregon’s Coordinated Care Reforms

The former administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid was the keynote speaker at the annual CCO Summit in Portland, and the model is spreading to public employees, the private sector and other states.

Gov. John Kitzhaber received an assist Wednesday in his efforts to transform the healthcare delivery system from national health policy mogul Dr.

Policy Board to Put Forward Tool to Encourage Team-Based Care

The Health Policy Board has been without a quorum since October so it couldn’t take any action Tuesday, but it has several ideas that are ready to put before the Legislature.

The Oregon Health Policy Board appears poised to recommend a series of small, incremental reform bills to the Legislature, if only the board could get a quorum of its members to show up for its meetings.

Projected Savings on Medical Care Bolsters Governor Kitzhaber's Budget

Meanwhile, overall state funding to the Oregon Health Authority and the Department of Human Services grows by double-digit leaps. Labor rule changes for homecare workers will make up about 10 percent of the growth in state funding of DHS.

A growing economy allowed Gov. John Kitzhaber to release a budget Monday that calls for big increases to state funding for both the Department of Human Services and the Oregon Health Authority, whose budgets will grow by double-digit percentages.

Q&A: Kafoury Tackles New Problems with Tobacco and Mental Health

The new chair of the Multnomah County Commission, Deborah Kafoury, sat down with The Lund Report recently to discuss improving ongoing, recalcitrant problems with mental health and how to fend off the latest ways that tobacco is getting into the hands of children.

TLR: So I’ve read that Oregon is one of only nine states that haven’t yet banned e-cigarettes for minors.

Multnomah County Commissioners Suggest Raising Tobacco Age to 21

A state undercover inspection found that a 16-year-old was able to buy tobacco products 31 percent of the time in Multnomah County outlets, as the county and state do not require a license to sell tobacco. The illegal sales rate in King County, Wash., is one-half to one-fifth the rate of Multnomah County.

A pair of Multnomah County commissioners floated the idea of raising the age to buy cigarettes and other tobacco products in the county to 21, which a county staffer confirmed is within the county’s discretion.

Virginia Garcia Buckles at Assuming Washington County Public Health Services

The county has proposed ending its medical public health services, including vaccinations, family planning and STD screening in order to focus on education and epidemiology. But the handoff could strain safety net clinics already overwhelmed by the healthcare expansion.

Washington County has plans to unload its public health medical services, including vaccinations, family planning and venereal disease screening onto the safety net clinics, but a director of one of the private safety-net clinics is balking at shifting the role to his clinic.

Autism Advocates Optimistic Insurance Division Will Assist with Older Claims

A bulletin issued last week from Insurance Commissioner Laura Cali made clear that insurance companies have to pay for applied behavior analysis treatment, but only back to the date of a class-action ruling in August.

A bulletin from the Oregon Insurance Division has decreed that coverage of a controversial but popular treatment for autism is the clear law of the land, following a landmark ruling from a federal district court judge this summer.

San Francisco Researcher Says Silver Fluoride Can Stop Cavities Without a Drill

Jeremy Horst, a dentist researching at the University of California San Francisco, advocates for a low-cost compound that can be applied to teeth like ointment and more effectively stop cavities than traditional drilling methods. The treatment recently won FDA approval after a public health campaign led by a professor at the University of Washington School of Dentistry.

Jeremy Horst, a researcher and dentist practicing his trade at Alameda Pediatric Dentistry in California, had a patient whose mouth was full of cavities.

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