The Lund Report

Oregon’s Health Insurers Remained Financially Viable in 2010

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A new report released by the Department of Consumer and Business Services found that these insurers averaged a 3 percent profit that year

March 2, 2012 -- An Oregon House committee heard the annual report on health insurance in an informational session earlier this week.

The report, issued in January by the Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS) contains information about how Oregon's seven largest health insurers are doing financially.

Salem Health Delinquent with Oregon Department of Justice Filing

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Yet that hasn’t stopped its president, Norman Gruber, from announcing $30 million in cutbacks while, at the same time, purchasing two primary care clinics

March 2, 2012 – The Oregon Department of Justice makes it quite clear – nonprofit entities such as hospitals are required to provide audited financial statements every year that show their net worth, the salaries of their top executives and the benefits they provide the community in order to remain tax exempt.

Insurance Exchange Bill Moves Toward Floor Vote, with Amendment Relating to OEBB Opt-Out

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School districts will now have a role in helping the insurance exchange choose the benefit plans that will be offered

March 2, 2012—After weeks of being stuck in the Legislature’s budget committee, the bill allowing Oregon’s health insurance exchange to proceed toward implementation is moving toward a House and Senate vote —along with a little baggage in the form of a completely unrelated amendment supported by Republicans.

The legislation is expected to easily pass both chambers.

Mental Health Drugs To Come Under Review by Central Oregon Health Council

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These drugs will continue to be reimbursed by the Oregon Health Authority’s Department of Medical Assistance Programs but provide local officials with more information on the effectiveness of the medications

March 1, 2012—By July, the Oregon Health Authority is expected to begin providing real-time data to the Central Oregon Health Council, which coordinates the care of Oregon Health Plan patients in Deschutes, Crook and Jefferson counties, on the mental health drugs used by people living in that area.

Workgroup Recommends Oregon Health Plan Use Doulas

Members think doulas could be easily integrated into services

February 29, 2012—A workgroup charged with studying how doulas could be incorporated into the Oregon Health Plan told legislators earlier this week that doing so could help improve birth outcomes, particularly in minority communities.

Last year, the Legislature passed House Bill 3311, which required the Oregon Health Authority to investigate how doulas and other community health workers could improve the birth outcomes of underprivileged and underserved women.

Amid Proposed TriMet Cuts, Activists Fight for Transit Equity

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Critics of the cuts say decreased investment in public transit will have a negative impact on health outcomes

February 29, 2012 -- Earlier this month, TriMet announced sweeping cuts that activists say would have a significant impact on health outcomes for people in Portland.

The proposed changes include eliminating the free rail zone in the city center, reduced or altered service on some bus lines, a fare increase – the 11th in 12 years -- and making single tickets one-way instead of offering transfers.

Rep. Jim Thompson Focuses on Keeping Oregonians Healthier

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At an informational hearing, he said that he wants more attention focused on weight loss programs

February 28, 2012 -- Looking at options for healthcare was the focus of an informational meeting of the Oregon House Health Care Committee recently to discuss a weight-loss program known as Take Shape for Life.

Committee Co-Chair Rep. Jim Thompson (R-Dallas) said the issue of weight loss should be a part of discussions about how to make Oregonians healthier.

Oregon Doctors Rise Up Against Individual Mandate

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Physicians hope to remove roadblock to universal coverage and lower overall healthcare costs

February 28, 2012 -- Three Oregon physicians are among a group of 50 doctors who filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court arguing that the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act should be struck down.

The doctors’ friend-of-court brief creates strange bedfellows by essentially arguing that the individual mandate to purchase insurance coverage violates interstate commerce law.

Legislation Intends to Keep Tobacco Away from Minors

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The bill would allow Oregon State Police to hire reserve retired police officers and enforce stare laws banning the sale of tobacco to anyone under age 18

February 24, 2012 -- It’s against the law in Oregon to sell tobacco products to minors, a law that hasn’t been enforced since 2009. House Bill 4172, sponsored by the House Rules Committee and championed by Reps. Carolyn Tomei (D-Milwaukie) and Andy Olson (R-Albany), aims to change that.

The legislation would create the State Police Tobacco Law Enforcement Fund, separate from the general fund, that the Oregon State Police would use to hire active reserve retired state police officers to keep tobacco products out of the hands of minors.

After Slipping Through the Cracks, Beaverton Man to Receive Lifesaving Surgery

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Mike Trethewey applied for assistance for dozens of organizations before being accepted for cancer treatment at Virginia Mason Hospital in Seattle

February 25, 2012 – Mike Trethewey is preparing to travel from Beaverton to Seattle for a life-saving surgery he needed three months ago.

Trethewey was diagnosed last August with stage two metastatic testicular cancer and had three rounds of chemotherapy before he and his wife, Laura, who had Kaiser insurance became uninsured because they were unable to pay the monthly premium.

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