The Lund Report

Legislators Express Concern about Non-Discrimination of Provider Groups

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When the coordinated care organizations begin delivering health care to people on the Oregon Health Plan, they need to mirror Medicaid law, according to Mike Bonetto

January 23, 2012— When the House Health Care Committee met earlier this week, concern was raised about how non-discrimination language would impact provider groups wanting to participate in coordinated care organizations (CCOs).

Starting in July, these CCOs are expected to integrate the physical, mental and dental care for more than 600,000 people on the Oregon Health Plan.

Sam Chase Calls Primary Care the Key to Transformation

Praising the efforts of the transformation team, the executive director of the Coalition of Community Health Clinics says the future of healthcare in Oregon is still unknown

January 19, 2012 – Sam Chase stepped into his role as executive director of the Coalition of Community Health Clinics 18 months ago after serving as Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish's chief of staff and working with a variety of groups and government agencies on social justice and poverty issues, including the Oregon Opportunity Network and the Clackamas County Land Trust.

Potential Conflict of Interest for Salem Health’s New Clinic

At the same time, Norm Gruber, president of Salem Health, is exploring the feasibility of creating a physician-hospital organization

January 19, 2012 – Salem Health has announced that it’s opening a new clinic in May, known as Willamette Health Partners Family Medicine in West Salem. It will be staffed by three physicians who currently practice in the Salem Hospital campus clinic -- Drs. Rashanda Brown, Patricia Otis and Anna Techentin.

Yet, that property -- located at 1049 Edgewater St. NW – had been owned by a prominent member of Salem Health’s Foundation Board – Paul Gehlar.

Single Payer System Continues to Draw Interest in Oregon

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A grassroots campaign is forming to build public support for a ballot measure in 2013

January 19, 2012—Healthcare advocates, medical professionals, and legislators are developing a state-wide grassroots campaign to start educating the public about a single payer health system to provide universal coverage for everyone.

“It’s really the only way that we can assure affordable, high quality healthcare for all,” said Rep. Mike Dembrow (D-Portland), who introduced such legislation during the 2011 session which received a courtesy hearing in the House Healthcare Committee, but never came up for a vote.

Managed Care Plans Have $252 Million in Their Reserve Accounts

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The big question is what happens to these reserves held by the 14 plans that provide healthcare to Oregon Health Plan members

January 19, 2012—Oregon’s preparing to launch a major healthcare transformation that will lead to the creation of coordinated care organizations (CCOs) and integrate physical, mental and dental care for more than 600,000 people on the Oregon Health Plan.

But an important question hangs in the balance. What will happen to the millions of dollars in reserve funds now held by the managed care plans that currently provide such services?

Legacy Health System Cuts Work Force by 400

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Oregon is expected to save $3.2 billion over the next five years by transforming its healthcare system with many of those reductions coming from hospitals

January 18, 2012 -- Legacy Health System is preparing to reduce its work force by 400 employees because of a $40 million budget gap that includes $30 million in Medicaid payment reductions. Employees will be notified by February 15.

Dr. Charles Kilo Believes Competition Drives Up Healthcare Costs

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Calling himself a dyed in the woods capitalist, he suggests we focus on the social determinants of health rather than spending more on healthcare services

January 18, 2012 -- As policymakers wrestle with transforming Oregon’s healthcare system to control costs and improve quality, competition stands in the way, according to Dr. Charles Kilo, chief medical officer at Oregon Health & Science University.

Consumer Groups Begin Showing Support for Insurance Exchange

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Last session, when Senate Bill 99 passed the Legislature, consumer groups expressed disappointment because the exchange wouldn’t have the ability to negotiate insurance rates

January 12, 2012 — Leaders of some of Oregon’s most progressive consumer groups signed onto a letter this week advocating for six priorities the staff and board of directors of Oregon's health insurance exchange should have this year as they work to create the exchange.

OSPIRG Says Regence BlueCross BlueShield Must Justify Proposed Rate Increase

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If approved by the Insurance Division, small businesses will see their rates increase by 4.5% in April and, jump by 8 percent starting in July

January 12, 2012 -- Before the Insurance Division approves the rate request for small employers by Regence BlueCross BlueShield, it needs to justify those increases, according to Laura Etherton, healthcare advocate for OSPIRG Foundation.

Legislators Expect to Consider Malpractice Reforms in February Session

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Three consultants from Harvard Kennedy School of Government are looking at the role of defense medicine and overutilization on medical costs

January 12, 2012— Malpractice reform has caught the attention of healthcare professionals at the national level because of its economic impact on reducing costs. A study conducted in 2010 by Amitabh Chandra, PhD, an economist and professor of public policy at Harvard Kennedy School of Government, estimated that 2.4% or approximately $60 billion annually could be attributed to malpractice claims.

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