The Lund Report

My Body, My Choices

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The author, who’s been diagnosed with stage 3 bladder cancer, will discuss his end-of-life choices when he makes a presentation at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Portland on November 11

OPINION -- November 6, 2012 – I hope to choose the time of my death. Having been born in 1934, I accept the reality of death.

I did not choose blood clots in my urine. I did not choose stage 3 bladder cancer in April 2011. With help from my physician friends and family, I did choose to have the Radical Cystectomy surgery; I did choose the surgeon (from among four I interviewed) and the anesthesiologist.

Agency Focuses on Early Childhood Interventions

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The Children's Relief Nursery, which was acquired By LifeWorks NW, raised more than $60,000 at first post-merger fundraiser

November 5, 2012 -- Portland chefs put on a show last month for the Children's Relief Nursery – and brought in at least $60,000 from ticket sales as well as silent and live auction items for the organization, according to Susan Lyon-Myrick, marketing coordinator of LifeWorks NW, adding that final receipts had not been calculated.

Kaiser Physicians Incorporate Exercise into Every Visit

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The effort is part of a multi-organizational push to make exercise a vital sign

October 31, 2012 – Physicians working for Kaiser in Oregon and California are now treating exercise as a vital sign. That is, patients are asked how much exercise they get per week, for both routine checkups and acute care visits – regardless of the nature of the visit.

Member Insists OEBB Overpays for Prescription Drugs

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Its policy of mandating that only mail order companies can provide a 90-day supply of drugs is increasing insurance costs, she says

October 30, 2012 -- Tamara Weaver questions why the Oregon Educators Benefit Board (OEBB) is paying more for prescription drugs through its mail order company than at Costco, her local retail pharmacy. OEBB is responsible for selecting the health plans for the majority of Oregon’s public school teachers, community colleges and state universities.

Disabled Who Are Obese Face Rising Healthcare Costs

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The writer, who has cerebral palsy, discusses the difficulties faced by disabled people who require specialized medical equipment and the difficulties they face from insurance companies

October 30, 2012 -- Since 1994, the obesity rates among children with cerebral palsy (CP) have doubled. This is because such children, who received inadequate nourishment in utero, or were seriously ill when very young, continue to eat nutrient-dense foods after they are out of medical crisis.

Childhood Lead Action Level Drops, But Funding Lags

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Removing the Source of Exposure Critical to Treating Lead Poisoning

October 29, 2012 -- Until May of this year, the Centers for Disease Control's “action level” for blood poisoning in children was 10 micrograms per deciliter. Now the CDC has set what its website calls the “level of concern” for blood-lead poisoning at five micrograms per deciliter – but just what that means for families, healthcare providers and local governments remains to be seen.

Bay Area, OHSU Hospitals Trail in Safety Scores

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Infections down despite ongoing challenges

October 29, 2012 -- Add customer savvy to the lengthy list of resources Oregonians might need when they face hospital care. A survey of U.S. hospitals details infection and other risks posed by even the most “routine” hospital stays.

Regence/Cambia Investment Spending on IT Tops $400M

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Despite heavy investment, Cambia slammed for IT errors, including withdrawals from non-members' bank accounts

October 25, 2012 -- It seemed like a good idea at the time. With healthcare costs rising, insurance plans from across the Northwest thought they might be able to save money by sharing resources. By 1997, Oregon’s BlueCross BlueShield had merged with BlueShield of Washington and other “Blues” plans from Utah and Idaho to become The Regence Group. Headquartered in downtown Portland, soon the new company had set its tech team to work at integrating its multiple lines of business.

Southwest Community Health Center Focuses on Uninsured

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A majority of patients at the Multnomah Village-based clinic come from southwest Portland, but patients travel from as far away as Troutdale or Woodburn to seek care

October 25, 2012 -- For seven years, the Southwest Community Health Center – nestled in the heart of southwest Portland's Multnomah Village – has served Portland's uninsured, with no restrictions on age, income or neighborhood. Forty percent of patients travel to the neighborhood from outside southwest Portland – some from as far away as Troutdale or Woodburn – but the majority of patients live in the southwest quadrant.

On The Move Program Raises Its Head Again

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State officials intend to re-start this federally-funded program but insist they’re moving cautiously and deliberately to avoid running into the same problems as before

October 24, 2012 -- A federally-funded program that was shut down following an investigation by the Oregon Department of Justice is about to re-emerge once again. Until late last year, the On The Move program had spent nearly $28 million to transition 336 people out of nursing homes into home and community-based settings. The majority of those dollars -- $20.3 million – came from federal grants; the rest from state coffers.

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