Cover Oregon Director Faces Legislators

Both the Senate and House Interim Committees on Health Care and Human Services hold meetings in Salem next Monday.

Legislators get their first chance to pry into what’s going on inside Cover Oregon when Aaron Patnode, executive director, appears before the Senate Interim Committee on Health Care and Human Services on Monday morning. Later that day, he’ll also respond to questions from the House committee. Joining Patnode at the hearing will be Tina Edlund, who directs the Transition Project.

Lawmakers will also hear from:

  • Steve Stadum, chief operating officer of the Knight Cancer Institute, who’ll give the latest news about the Knight Cancer Challenge at Oregon Health & Science University,
  • Suzanne Hoffman, interim director of the Oregon Health Authority and Cathy Kaufmann, director of the Transformation Center, who’ll share an update on the status of the coordinated care organizations,
  • Laura Cali, the Insurance Division Commissioner, who’ll discuss the 2015 rate review process for insurance companies that sought changes in their individual and small group rates,
  • Lillian Shirley, director of the Oregon State Public Health Division, will review the Hepatitis C epidemiology study, while
  • Tom Burns, director of pharmacy programs for the Oregon Health Authority, will discuss Hepatitis C treatment policies – and undoubtedly mention restricting coverage of Sovaldi, a new hepatitis C drug that’s prohibitively expensive but hailed as a game-changer by patients and advocates, and carries a $84,000 for a 12-week round of treatment.
  • John Mullin with the Oregon Law Center, joined by Dr. Jeanene Smith, chief medical officer with the Office for Oregon Health Policy and Research, will give a status report on the Basic Health Plan study.

 Also, an update on the task force on the future of public health services (House Bill 2348 passed in 2003) will be given by Lillian Shirley, public health director of the Oregon Health Authority and Tammy Baney, task force chair and Deschutes County Commissioner, and a status report on addictions and mental health new investments will be shared by Pam Martin, director of the Addictions and Mental Health Division with the Oregon Health Authority, while the concerns of families with children, adolescents and young adults with mental health challenges will be discussed by Jerry Gaby, NAMI Oregon board of directors and Julie Magers, family engagement specialist with NAMI Multnomah County.

To learn more about Legislative Days at the Capitol, click here.

Diane can be reached at [email protected].

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