Miriam Widman

Healthcare Workers Face Challenges with Obesity

Mary Lou Hennrich, who runs the Oregon Health Policy Institute, is convinced that by changing company policies, employers can help their workers lose weight

January 2, 2012 -- It’s the little things that you don’t notice that make a difference when it comes to weight gain and company policies can do a lot to help employees lose weight, says Mary Lou Hennrich, the founding head of CareOregon who now runs the Oregon Public Health Institute.

New Public Health Center to Help CCOs

Behind-the-scenes work is key to promoting public health, according to its director Dr. Tom Eversole

Dec. 19, 2012 -- The new Center for Public Health Practice (CPHP) should be viewed as part of the “operating system” that keeps the machinery of public health running, its new director told The Lund Report.

Dr. Tom Eversole, a veterinarian-turned public health professional, heads the new organization, which is designed to support public health in six sectors, with a special emphasis on communicable diseases, including epidemiology, laboratory testing and immunization.

Culturally Appropriate Care Vital to CCO’s Success

Lillian Shirley, the director of Multnomah County’s Public Health Department, believes it’s critical to understand where a patient is coming from

November 20, 2012 -- Oregon’s new coordinated care organizations should make important public health goals such as reducing diabetes and obesity top priorities, but they must realize that culturally appropriate care is essential if their messages are to be heard, a top public health official told The Lund Report.

Healthcare Leaders Stress Need for Diversity Among CCOs

Since racial and ethnic minorities represent a disproportionate share of the uninsured, there was a call for CCOs to become more inclusive

November 8, 2012 -- As the state’s coordinated care organizations ramp up, healthcare experts agree that a major advance CCOs can bring to the table is the ability to custom-design healthcare priorities based on the needs of a specific community.

But that won’t necessarily be easy, experts speaking at a conference last week agreed.

Public Education Employees Shed Thousands of Pounds

Medical costs related to obesity in adults in Oregon amounted to $ 1.6 billion in 2006, according to the Oregon Health Authority

October 22, 2012 -- Oregon public education employees have lost nearly 200,000 pounds in a 20-month period that began in October 2010 after the state added free Weight Watchers classes as a benefit, an administrator for the Oregon Educators Benefit Board (OEBB) told The Lund Report.

Joan M. Kapowich, who also administers the Public Employees’ Benefit Board, said those workers lost over 175,000 pounds since the free weight loss classes became part of their benefits in 2009.

Coordinated Care Organizations Could Advance Public Health Priorities

After doing some strategic planning, the state’s public health director, Dr. Mel Kohn, sets out his six top priorities

September 26, 2012 -- The new coordinated care organizations provide enormous opportunities to further the state’s public health agenda, but the new organizations are more likely to be successful in counties with strong existing public health departments, the state’s top public health officer told The Lund Report.

Critics Charge Providence Rate Hike Request Based on Incomplete Data

If the 15.7 percent rate hike is approved, some people plan to drop coverage
August 8, 2012 -- Providence Health Plans has not provided sufficient justification for its proposed 15.7 percent rate increase for individual members, and the Insurance Division should not approve it until more information is known, a healthcare analyst for the OSPIRG Foundation said.

Germany Stems Healthcare Costs by Imposing New Requirements on Drug Companies

If a pharmaceutical company wants to introduce a new drug, they must show that it offers additional value compared to drugs currently on the market

BERLIN – June 28, 2012 -- Now that the Supreme Court has upheld President Obama’s healthcare plan, pharmaceutical companies, patients and healthcare experts in Europe are waiting to see how a new cost reducing drug price mechanism affects them.

Requiring citizens to have healthcare has long been a staple of European health insurance programs. But now governments and insurers are trying to stem the cost of exorbitantly expensive new drugs.

Germans May Complain But Still Have Better Care Than The U.S.

Frequently German hospitals have three or four beds per room, but don’t have long waits for surgery

March 26, 2012 – BERLIN -- German healthcare experts, responding to comments made to an initial article in Tthe Lund Report, rejected some of the complaints, but acknowledged that their system isn’t perfect.

Long waits and crowded hospital rooms are not the norm, they say.

Germans Confused Over U.S. Healthcare Debate

Their public healthcare system reached a record surplus of $5.28 billion last year and is one of the oldest systems in Europe

March 14, 2012 -- BERLIN -- As the Republican presidential candidates try to outdo each other over criticizing the Obama administration’s healthcare plan, several German healthcare officials who watch the debate in the United States are in disbelief as to why the American public doesn’t want a national plan.

Their reactions come as the German public healthcare system reached a record € 4 billion ($ 5.28 billion) surplus for 2011.

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