Christopher David Gray

Steiner Hayward Wants to Let Parents Take Kids Out of OHP and onto Cover Oregon

The Lund Report
Senate Bill 1526 would order the state to seek a federal waiver to let Oregon redirect money from coordinated care organizations to private insurance companies and help bail out Cover Oregon by allowing it to collect a commission.

Sen. Elizabeth Steiner Hayward, D-Portland, released a bill Tuesday that could allow parents who qualify for Cover Oregon subsidies to take their kids out of the Oregon Health Plan and instead buy subsidized insurance on the exchange for them.

Senator Accuses Dentistry Board of Racking up Violations in Money Grab

The Lund Report
Sen. Fred Girod, R-Stayton, has proposed a bill that would mandate that dentists test the cleanliness of their equipment weekly, but forgive dentists who have been disciplined and fined by the board for overlooking a rule ordered by the Board of Dentistry.

The Legislature’s only dentist and the director of the Board of Dentistry traded barbs in a hearing of the Senate Health Committee, with Sen.

Health Committee Approves Basic Health Plan Study on First Day of Session

The Lund Report
House Bill 4109 would cost an estimated $60,000 and task the Oregon Health Authority with studying the concept of a state-run health plan for working-class Oregonians who don’t qualify for Medicaid. It is opposed by Rep. Jason Conger, who didn’t want to restrict options.

The drive toward a Basic Health Plan for working-class Oregonians leaped over its first hurdle, as House Bill 4109 passed out of the House Health Committee 7-1 on the first day of the 2014 session.

State Agencies Face Cuts While Senior Citizens Anticipate Windfall

The Lund Report
The Department of Human Services may come up short on the budget initially proposed last year, but the reduction in the senior medical tax could free up funds to help many of the state’s most vulnerable senior citizens.

Potential cuts to the budgets of the Department of Human Services and the Oregon Health Authority have social welfare advocates anxiously anticipating the legislative session, while advocates for senior citizens are lobb

Parrish and Shields Want Lawmakers Insured Through Cover Oregon

The Lund Report
In other bills, Democrats want better quality controls for future state contracts while Rep. Keny-Guyer is pushing bills to better protect children from radon at school and hazardous chemicals in their toys.

In a short but busy February legislative session, state legislators would get their insurance through Cover Oregon under one proposed bill while legislators have introduced a second bill designed to prevent future government debacles like the one that befell this fall’s rollout of the state healt

OHSU Prescribes ABA for Autistic Kids, but Keeps Treatment from Employees

The Lund Report
President Joe Robertson said OHSU will comply voluntarily with proposed legislation from Sen. Chip Shields that mandates the medical school’s self-insured plan provide coverage in 2015. A second part of the bill corrects an oversight in an earlier autism bill and brings OHSU, OEBB and PEBB under the 2005 Oregon Mental Health Parity Act.

Editor's Note: This article was corrected from an earlier version. Only the self-insured plans offered by OHSU and PEBB are exempt from the autism law passed last year.

 

Wyden Wants Kitzhaber’s Reforms Applied to Medicare

The Lund Report
Oregon’s senior U.S. senator explained at a Sunday townhall that legislation released last week would offer global payments to primary care homes that pledge to care for the chronic illnesses of Medicare clients.

Teams of doctors, physician assistants, nurses and community health workers would be encouraged to work more closely to treat chronically sick Medicare patients under a bipartisan proposal being pushed in Congress by U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon.

Goldberg Cites Progress in Fixing Cover Oregon as Republicans Increase Cries to Pull Plug

The Lund Report
Rep. Jason Conger, R-Bend, calls for state to shut down Cover Oregon and offer subsidies for consumers outside the exchange, but director Bruce Goldberg said many of the errors that have kept the website down were eliminated in the past week.

Acting Cover Oregon Director Dr. Bruce Goldberg hinted to the House Health Committee on Wednesday that Cover Oregon could go completely online by February, even as Rep. Jason Conger of Bend, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, told the director that the state should shut the whole exchange down.

Malpractice Reform Requires Qualified Mediators

The Lund Report
The early discussion and resolution program, created to foster transparency with patients and avoid lawsuits, is designed to work without mediators in the first round of discussions, but if a mediator is needed, the state may have as few as six currently available. A task force came across the problem, which the Oregon Patient Safety Commission expects to correct, as it worked on enacting the law on July 1.

The state could have a shortage of mediators on hand in July as the Oregon Patient Safety Commission launches Oregon’s innovative plan to resolve medical errors without lawsuits.

Kitzhaber Hires Cover Oregon Examiner as Doubts Build on Fate of Exchange

The Lund Report
The governor reiterated enrollment numbers, noting that 170,000 Oregonians now have some form of affordable healthcare coverage, despite the Cover Oregon debacle. But Rep. Jim Thompson said the troubles aren’t over for the exchange’s viability, and the Medicaid expansion is not without growing pains.

Gov. John Kitzhaber told reporters Thursday that the state has hired an independent examiner to critically analyze the mistakes of contractor Oracle Corp and the state in rolling out Cover Oregon, while he and other Democratic officials have skirted discussion of whether the insurance exchange can survive its botched roll out.

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