Christopher David Gray

Autism Bill for OHSU and PEBB Spiked as Health Plans Agree to Pay for Coverage

Image by Ranken Jordan Pediatric Bridge Hospital
Pressure from OHSU and the governor’s office dooms a bill that would have created statutory requirements that self-insured health plans cover applied behavior analysis for children diagnosed with autism. OHSU and PEBB have instead announced they will voluntarily comply with the spirit of the bill drafted by Sen. Shields.

The Senate Health Committee killed legislation last week that would have required self-insured plans to cover applied behavior analysis for children diagnosed with autism under plans offered by the Public Employees Benef

OHSU Faces Cautious Support and Skepticism at Capitol for $200 Million Request

Oregon Health & Science University wants to make the most of a generous donation from Phil Knight and invest $1.5 billion toward a nationally recognized cancer research center, but it’s asking the state to borrow $200 million on its behalf.

Oregon Health & Science University brought its heavyweights to the Capitol on Friday with a request that the state pitch in $200 million worth of general obligation bonds to help Oregon invest in a “cancer-curing economy.”

SEIU Ballot Measures Bypass Legislature Sluggish on Hospital Reform

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Political organizers for the Service Employees International Union are taking five sweeping measures directly to the voters after years of the Legislature thwarting their efforts in favor of the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems. Meanwhile, the Office of the Inspector General is wading into hospital executive compensation.

The Legislature may have convened for its 2014 session, but some of the biggest healthcare policy decisions of the year will not be made by the people’s representatives, but directly by the people, as the Service Employees International Union is vying for five ballot measures in the Nov.

SEIU Ballot Measures Bypass Legislature Sluggish on Hospital Reform

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Political organizers for the Service Employees International Union are taking five sweeping measures directly to the voters after years of the Legislature thwarting their efforts in favor of the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems. Meanwhile, the Office of the Inspector General is wading into hospital executive compensation.

The Legislature may have convened for its 2014 session, but some of the biggest healthcare policy decisions of the year will not be made by the people’s representatives, but

Cover Oregon Bill Passes Health Committee with Few Alterations

The Lund Report
The committee’s Republican members failed to make major amendments to House Bill 4154 which included shutting down the insurance exchange and expediting an audit from the Secretary of State. Meanwhile, money from a lapsed premium tax should be able to cover the three-month extension of the high-risk pool.

The House Health Committee unanimously passed a bill Wednesday that seeks to mitigate the problems consumers have faced in obtaining health insurance because of the disastrous rollout of the state insurance exchange, Cover Oregon.

Dembrow Wants to Stop Employers from Cutting Hours Due to Obamacare

The Lund Report
Senate Bill 1543 died in committee, but it would have prevented employers from reducing employee hours below 30 to avoid giving them health coverage, as required by the Affordable Care Act. Meanwhile, a bill expanding Oregon’s successful Home Care Commission from Medicaid to the general population and the bill requiring disclosure of toxic chemicals in children’s products passed the Senate Health Committee.

Sen. Michael Dembrow, D-Portland, pushed a bill that would fix a serious negative and unintended consequence of the Affordable Care Act -- large corporations scaling back employee hours to avoid providing them with health insurance.

Hospitals, Along with Providence and Regence, Stop Bill Requiring Telemedicine Payments

The Lund Report
Portland clinic chain ZoomCare pushed a bill with the Telehealth Alliance of Oregon to require private insurance companies to pay for Skype diagnoses, but the hospital association succeeded in delaying the bill for another session. If the law were enacted, its members could end up with fewer emergency room visits, and a significant loss of revenue.

Update: This article was updated on Feb. 12 to reflect the legislative developments in SB 1560.

House Clears Way for Electronic Prescriptions of Powerful Drugs

The Lund Report
Advocates of House Bill 4013 say that allowing doctors to prescribe Schedule II drugs electronically will make life easier for practitioners and pharmacists while cutting down on prescription forgeries.

The House unanimously passed its first healthcare bill of the 2014 session Thursday, a bipartisan measure that will allow physicians and nurse practitioners to file electronic prescriptions of Schedule II drugs, simplify

Democratic Plans Extend Open Enrollment, Offer Subsidies Outside Exchange

The Lund Report
The governing Democrats debated their plans to fix Cover Oregon with rival Republicans, who had their own ideas of what to do about the health insurance exchange debacle that has cast doubt on the state’s ability to deliver affordable healthcare as promised.

The House Health Committee debated Democratic plans to salvage the Cover Oregon insurance exchange yesterday, hearing several items that would require approval from the federal government to help Oregonians benefit from Obamacare who have been frustrated by the catastrophic rollout of the insurance exchange.

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