Diane Lund-Muzikant

Drug Monitoring Program Passes Despite ACLU

At the last minute, Oregon lawmakers passed a bill to track prescriptions of controlled substances over objections from the ACLU

July 1, 2009 -- People who doctor shop for painkillers such as Oxycodone could have a difficult time getting multiple prescriptions once state officials set up a drug monitoring database. With the death of pop star Michael Jackson, this issue has dominated the headlines.

Health Net Readies Premium Increase

On the heels of legislation aimed at reducing costs, Health Net says new laws will increase premiums

June 22, 2009 -- Governor Ted Kulongoski has yet to sign into law a provider tax (House Bill 2116) that will allow another 80,000 children and 35,000 low-income adults to become insured. Nevertheless, Health Net of Oregon plans to charge higher rates to compensate for the 1 percent premium tax.

Legislature Takes Up Prescription Monitoring Program

A bill to track prescriptions of controlled substances faces heated opposition from the ACLU as it has in past sessions

June 17, 2009 -- People addicted to pain medications know the ropes. They go from one doctor to the next and end up with multiple prescriptions for such painkillers as Oxycodone or Vicodon.

PhRMA, Families USA Praise Merkley, Wyden

Oregon Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley
Reformers and drug companies team up to praise Oregon senators in the lead up to a Congressional health reform bill

June 17, 2009 -- Strange bedfellows. That’s how Ron Pollack describes his recent collaboration with the pharmaceutical trade group, better known as the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers of America.

Psychologists Prescribing Rights Headed for Work Group

A bill to give psychologists the right to prescribe prescription drugs requires a work group to iron out differences

June 17, 2009 --Psychologists took a step forward in their ability to prescribe drugs on Monday (June 15) when the House agreed to set up a work group to iron out differences with the psychiatric community (House Bill 2702).

Tailored Coaching Can Control Chronic Disease

UofO researchers compared patients receiving standard disease management to a more tailored approach
June 17, 2009 -- People with chronic health conditions who receive coaching tailored to their level of health activities showed significant improvements in clinical outcomes, and experienced fewer hospitalizations and visits to the emergency room than those coached using traditional methods, according to a study published in the June issue of The American Journal of Managed Care.

Provencher Not Interested in Running Regence

Ken Provencher
Rumors swirl over who will succeed Regence of Oregon president Bart McMullan

June 16, 2009 -- Rumors have been circulating that Ken Provencher, president of PacificSource Health Plans, may be eyeing the job held by Dr. Bart McMullan, who retires as president of Regence BlueCross BlueShield on July 1.

Counties Embark on Mental Health Pilot Project

Two or three counties will experiment with integrating mental and physical health organizations

June 10, 2009 -- A shock wave hit the mental health community when lawmakers talked about changing the playing field. Since February 1, 1994, when the Oregon Health Plan rolled off the block, Oregon’s counties have sat at the control tower of mental health services.

Insurers Post Modest Gains Amid Record Unemployment

Enrollment dropped 2 percent in the first quarter of 2009
June 10, 2009 -- Job losses only had a slight impact on the enrollment numbers of commercial health plans during the first three months of the year. Slightly over 1.8 million Oregonians had health insurance on March 31.


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