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Single Payer Advocate Steps Down from Health Share’s Community Advisory Council

Steve Weiss, who chaired the council for the past three years, questioned whether health plans should be profiting from Medicare and Medicaid.
July 14, 2015

Nobody should be making money off Medicare and Medicaid, according to Stephen Weiss, who stepped down as chairman of Health Share’s Community Advisory Council when his term ended.

While acknowledging 450,000 Oregonians now have coverage due to the Obamacare, Weiss cited several reasons for not staying for any longer with the council -- the number of for-profit CCOs, and the sale of Agate Resources, the parent company of Trillium Community Health Plan, to Centene Corporation, a Fortune 500 company.

“I’ll go back to the system I believe in, which is single payer,” Weiss told The Lund Report.

Dalila Sarabi, maternal and child health coordinator at 211 info, was voted into the council chair position.

Meanwhile, Health Share can pride itself on becoming the only coordinated care organization to meet all 17 quality metrics and, as a result, received a $32 million bonus from the Oregon Health Authority to distribute to its plan partners who met those requirements.

In making the announcement, CEO Janet Meyer said the Legislature funded CCOs for another two years, but “the big question mark is 2019” when the federal matching dollars shrink.

Patients who get rides for dialysis and chemotherapy visits, after being discharged from the hospital and for other non-emergency transportation are more satisfied with the service, according to Crystal Rouse from Access2Care/Ride to Care.

After a “very difficult first couple of months” Rouse reported that the speed of answering phone calls improved from 56 seconds to 15 seconds from January to June. Complaints about response time, transportation provider no shows and rudeness have dropped to the point that “we’re 99.8 percent complaint-free now,” she said. Foster children and dialysis patients also received “a little bit of VIP service” from a special team.

Here’s a status report on grants to community organizations:

North by Northeast Community Health Center sent community health workers to the homes of hypertension patients, enrolled people in classes and offered blood screenings at three barber shops serving the African-American community.

The Center for Intercultural Organizing said its holistic psychosocial wellness approach for immigrant and refugee communities helped families register children in school and get housing and economic stability. “We don’t split legal, financial and medical,” said social worker Anya Valsamakis. “It all contributes to wellness.”

Familias en Accion offered Spanish-language nutrition and exercise classes, cancer and chronic disease support groups and gave cultural competency trainings.

NAMI Clackamas County held Spanish language to family members dealing with mental health and trained LBGT peer support providers and community health workers.

Jan can be reached at [email protected].


Submitted by Phillip Broyles on Wed, 07/15/2015 - 17:01 Permalink

Is anyone at The Tund Report checking on these facts about the HealthShare? Seems like The Lund Report takes their word for whatever stat is being thrown around to justify the HealthShare's existance. 

Without transparency HealthShare can say whatever they want and there is no way to verify the facts. How can an independent report be done without verification of the cannot be independent. Of course you cannot verify anything they report because they are not required to be transparent or accountable to anyone. Better to not report on this topic at all unless you can verify what is being reported is true. 

Phillip Broyles