January 22, 2013 -- According to public opinion polls, U.S. Senators are less well-liked and less well-respected than cockroaches, Sen. Jeff Merkley told a small crowd of physicians, nurses and community members last week. Doctors and nurses, on the other, consistently rank at the top of public opinion polls – so when it comes to public policy, their opinions often hold more sway.
The Lund Report
January 16, 2013 -- When it comes to tobacco control, Oregon falls short. In fact, according to the American Lung Association’s 2013 State of Tobacco Control Report while Oregon took steps forward to reduce tobacco use in some areas, the state earned a glaring F when it comes to tobacco prevention and control funding.
January 16, 2013 -- Asking for a show of hands during a breakout session on public health and coordinated care at last week's conference on Transforming Care, Chris Palmedo, director of public affairs at Northwest Health Foundation, said, “How many people believe the current system integrates care in a way that maximizes public health?”
Not a single hand went up among the 150 or so people present.
January 16, 2013 -- After the Affordable Care Act passed, most states waited before taking action, but Oregon went full speed ahead to transform its healthcare system, said Martin Taylor, director of public policy and member centricity for Care Oregon, at the Transforming Care 2013 conference held by CCO Oregon last week.
January 16, 2013 -- The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has given final approval to a waiver that includes a list of 17 accountability measures for Oregon’s new coordinated care organizations, which are providing care to the state’s Medicaid population through the Oregon Health Plan.
CMS ordered a last-minute adjustment that requires the CCOs to monitor the follow-up care for children who receive drugs for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
January 8, 2012 -- When insurance officials made a decision about a rate request by Regence BlueCross BlueShield after reviewing documents behind closed doors last summer, it raised the ire of Sen. Chip Shields (D-Portland).
A strong proponent of transparency, he’s drafting legislation that would let consumer watchdog groups such as OSPIRG have access to such proprietary information, giving them intervener status.
January 8, 2013 -- Oregon statute is quite clear about allowing people on the Oregon Health Plan to receive care from complementary and alternative medical practitioners – acupuncturists, chiropractors, naturopaths, massage therapists and nurse midwives.
A non-discriminatory amendment is embedded in the legislation (Senate Bill 1580) that called for the creation of coordinated care organizations – charged with integrating physical, mental and dental care for low-income people on Medicaid.
January 2, 2013 -- Growing up in southwest Portland – and later studying political science at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. – Tricia Tillman didn't realize public health was an occupation, much less the one where she’d end up.
“I kind of stumbled into public health,” Tillman said. “I didn't know it was a field at all.”
January 8, 2013 -- Governor Kitzhaber’s proposed healthcare budget taps $120 million from the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement as a revenue source for the Oregon Health Plan, but doesn’t indicate how those dollars should be spent. Rep. Mitch Greenlick (D-Portland) would like to convince the Oregon Health Authority, which will appropriate that revenue, to distribute 10 percent -- $12 million -- to the coordinated care organizations and earmarked for tobacco prevention and reduction.
January 2, 2013 -- The Northwest Mothers Milk Bank is still pressing toward its goal of opening the first human milk processing center in the Northwest – and just completed a matching funds campaign to purchase an automated pasteurizer, said executive co-director Lesley Mondeaux.