The Lund Report

House Passes Bill Allowing Zoomcare’s Physician Assistants to Dispense Medication

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Unlike last year, when both the Oregon Pharmacy Association and the Oregon Pharmacy Coalition opposed the legislation, it sailed through this year

February 24, 2012—A bill that colloquially became known as “the Zoomcare bill” passed the House with 58 votes on Wednesday, paving the way for the clinic chain’s physician assistants to begin dispensing bottled, non-narcotic medication starting in June.

Senate Bill 1565 already passed the Senate unanimously earlier this session, and now awaits Governor Kitzhaber’s signature.

House Unanimously Passes Legislation to Lessen Liability for HealthCare Professionals

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Assuming the bill makes it through the Senate, it would provide immunity from civil liability for volunteers who provide services without compensation

February 22, 2012 -- A bill that would lessen the liability for healthcare professionals who provide services to people and places, such as homeless camps, passed the Oregon House unanimously yesterday.

Rep. Gene Whisnant, (R-Sunriver), who carried the bill to the floor, said, “House Bill 4027A provides immunity from civil liability persons, who are described in the bill, who are registered volunteers with non-profit organizations and provide services without compensation. It allows people to help our most needy.”

Oregon House and Senate Unanimously Agree on New Changes to HIV Testing

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Advocates expect HIV testing rates to increase as a result leading to earlier diagnosis and treatment

February 22, 2012—Both the House and Senate have unanimously passed a bill that will make HIV testing a part of routine blood work and other lab tests performed by a physician or hospital.

That change is expected to reduce the social stigma associated with HIV, transmission of the disease, as well as increase the number of people who are tested, according to legislators, providers and advocates of those living with HIV.

Author Believes Clinically Aware Benefit Plans Are Advantageous

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OPINION -- February 22, 2012 -- Even before the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was written, coverage designed to avoid sick patients was becoming an unacceptable goal. A goal that most commercial benefit plans and claim processing systems use, assuming predominantly healthy populations, and preventing those that need the coverage the most from being adequately addressed.

State Over Billed The Feds for Family Planning

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The state refunds the federal government $1.7 million with another $3 million under review

February 22, 2011 -- A federal audit recently found the Oregon Health Authority improperly claimed $1.7 million in federal reimbursement for a program that offers family planning services to low-income Oregonians

A routine audit by the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services found the state had not properly verified the income or social security numbers of enrollees to an expanded Medicaid program known as Oregon Contraceptive Care also called the Family Planning Expansion Project

Dr. Jeffrey Weisz Has Big Plans for Kaiser Permanente

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He not only foresees membership growth, but plans to reduce outside referrals to OHSU and consider the role of nurse practitioners and physician assistants

February 22, 2012 – Dr. Jeffrey Weisz is a man on a mission. As the newly appointed president and executive medical director for the Northwest Permanente Medical Group, he’s setting his sights high.

Microsoft's Virtual Gold Mine: Health and Education Data

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OPINION -- February 17, 2012 -- If we open Microsoft®’s Health Vault, we’ll open Pandora’s box to cyber harms that cannot be undone. Microsoft, Google and Facebook seem to think data sharing makes them our blood brothers. That shouldn’t give them the right to torment us with personalized advertising and other threats as our new Big Brothers.

$100,000 PAC Contribution to Hospital Association Raises Questions

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Oregon Healthcare Enterprises, which is known for administering the hospital provider tax on behalf of the state, made the contribution last year to the hospital association’s PAC

February 17, 2012 -- Whenever an unusual campaign contribution shows up in a political action committee report, heads start turning, asking the pivotal question – what’s the intent behind this?

DOJ Memo Reveals Constitutional Concerns About Medical Liability Amendments

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It was enough to convince Sen. Betsy Johnson (D-Scappoose), who proved to be the swing vote that led to the passage of healthcare transformation

February 17, 2012—The vote of Sen. Betsy Johnson (D-Scappoose), a crucial swing vote when the Senate decided to allow the Oregon Health Authority to move ahead with creating coordinated care organizations (CCOs) and overhauling the Oregon Health Plan’s delivery system, changed at the last moment because memos from the Department of Justice and Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) revealed serious constitutional concerns about the proposed medical liability language for Senate Bill 1580.

Legislation Giving Nurse Practitioners Equal Pay Appears Dead

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Although the bill sailed through the House Healthcare Committee, Rep, Jason Conger succeeded in getting the bill sent to the House Rules Committee, where bills usually die

February 17, 2012—Legislation that would reimburse nurse practitioners at the same rate as primary care doctors failed to pass on the House floor last week as expected, and instead was sent to the Rules Committee where such bills usually die.

The motion made by Rep. Jason Conger (R-Bend) seemed to catch people off guard, yet had bipartisan support with a 33-26 vote. Conger said House Bill 4010 needed to go to the Rules Committee because he was concerned about the definition of a nurse practitioner’s “service area.”

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