Health Share Soon to Begin Offering Alternative Treatment for Back Pain

Racism, discrimination and stigma emerge as Health Share’s community advisory council’s top priority in the Healthy Columbia Willamette Collaborative Assessment.

Three new benefits will be available to Oregon Health Plan members on July 1 -- dentures, alternative treatments for back pain and a new treatment to prevent autistic children from harming themselves.

“The number one complaint on our customer call line is that they need new dentures,” CEO Janet Meyer, told Health Share’s Community Advisory Council. People will have access to dentures every 10 years, partials every five years, crowns and periodontal maintenance.

To help people with back pain, people will have access to chiropractors, acupuncturists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, as well as yoga and massage providers – to prevent overuse of opioids.

Also a new benefit for autistic children under age 12 to help reduce self-harming behaviors prompted all the CCOs to find enough certified providers willing to accept Medicaid. Health Share “found a very nice network,” Meyer said. “Not all the CCOs have been as fortunate as Health Share to have a network.”

A discussion about the social determinants of health prompted Dr. Ryan Skelton to kick off the conversation, saying his patients don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables – “not regularly enough to get health outcomes.”

“There’s that overarching place where nutrition meets mobility issues” when it’s easier to go to a convenience store for food than a grocery store and that ties into safe, affordable housing, said Gary Cobb.

Council Chair Dalila Sarabia added “It would be great to weave culturally and linquistically appropriate service throughout.”

But the council kept circling back to racism, discrimination and stigma as the most worrisome social determinant of health. “There’s not even a large degree of contact between minorities and non-minorities when it comes to difficult issues,” Skelton said.

Jan can be reached at [email protected].

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