W. Scott Jorgensen

Kaiser Becomes First Health Insurer to Cover Autism Treatment

Paul Terdal, the father of two autistic boys, has worked behind the scenes to convince health insurers to cover Applied Behavioral Analysis therapy

November 13, 2012 -- Advocates scored a major victory when Kaiser Permanente announced it would provide coverage of Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) therapy for autism and neurodevelopmental disorders.

“What we see is Kaiser actively issuing approvals under a new policy,” said Paul Terdal, the father of two autistic boys. “I can’t overstress my appreciation for Kaiser.”

Disclosure Approach Could Limit Malpractice Claims

A workgroup is focused on coming up with recommendations on tort reform that will head to the 2013 legislature

August 17, 2012 -- Lawmakers are expected to take up tort reform when the Oregon Legislature convenes next February.

To get those discussions moving, a Patient Safety and Defensive Medicine Workgroup is developing draft legislation that includes issues such as confidentiality, mediation, dispute resolution, litigation, discovery and patient safety.

Humaucracy Health Offers Primary Care Alternative

Nurse home visits part of business model

August 15, 2012 -- David Walker fondly remembers when he was growing up in Philadelphia, the doctor who delivered him used to make house calls and walk around the neighborhood.

“That’s impossible to even imagine now,” Walker said.

Coalition Seeks to Improve Latino Healthcare Access

Prenatal care, other policy issues are the focus of advocacy efforts

July 31, 2012 -- With healthcare reform well under way at the federal and state level, Alberto Moreno, executive director of the Oregon Latino Health Coalition, believes the system needs to serve the needs of the Latino community.

“We found that there was a vacuum of Latino health advocates in decision-making in the state process,” Moreno said. “We knew there wasn’t anyone who was actively helping to inform state policy that impacted the half a million Latinos in Oregon. That became our calling.”

Curry County Focuses on Low Birth Weight Babies

A program run jointly by the Curry County Health Department and AllCare Health Plans, Inc., will work with pregnant women on substance abuse counseling and nutritional assistance

July 27, 2012 -- The Curry County Public Health Department is trying to make a difference in improving the health of newborn babies. Statewide, of the 45,596 babies born, approximately 6.3 percent had a low birth weight. Although those numbers were considerably lower in Curry County -- only seven out of the 180 babies born that year had a low birth weight – Jan Kaplan, director of Curry County Public Health, believes that figure is still too high. “We want to keep those trends where they are, but it can always be improved.”

Political Candidates Get into Healthcare Fray

Candidates for mayor and the state legislature woo potential voters, expressing their opinions on healthcare issues

July 26, 2012 -- Although political season typically kicks off after Labor Day, candidates are working on swaying voters as summer is in full swing. As is typically the case in any election, healthcare continues to be a prominent issue.

Positions and approaches vary widely, though, depending on the office being sought, the candidate’s political inclinations and the constituencies they’re hoping to win over.

Advocates Gain Traction in Insurance Coverage for Autism

Group Health Cooperative has become the first insurer in Washington to pay for such treatment, while legislation is being drafted in Oregon

July 24, 2012 -- Advocates have strengthened their hand in seeking additional insurance coverage for applied behavioral analysis (ABA) treatment. Throughout the West Coast, they’ve achieved victories in the court system and, in Oregon, are focusing their attention on legislative changes.

Funding Crunch Won't Affect CCOs in Josephine and Curry Counties

AllCare, which anticipates getting under way on August 1 is contracting with Options for Southern Care to provide mental health services

June 28, 2012 -- County governments are expected to play a critical role in the delivery of healthcare services under Oregon’s healthcare reform.

However, two counties covered by AllCare Health Plan, Inc., a newly certified coordinated care organization -- Josephine and Curry— face unprecedented funding cuts that are seriously undermining their criminal justice systems.

Autism Spectrum Disorders Make Headway in Portland

On July 1, employees covered by the self-insured plan in Portland will qualify for autism coverage for their families

June 13, 2012 -- Efforts are still underway to craft legislation for next February’s session aimed at requiring health insurers to cover autism spectrum disorders. However, the city of Portland and the federal government are ahead of the game, having recently enacted such coverage for employees and their family members.

Attorneys Help Families Struggling with Autism

In a recent case, PacificSource was required to pay for an individualized treatment known as Applied Behavior Analysis

May 15, 2012 -- Two attorneys who’ve successfully sued insurance companies for failing to pay for autism treatments held a workshop in Portland last week to help families struggling with the same situation.


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