The Lund Report

Lincoln City Physician Forced to Transfer 95 Miles, Then Fired

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Dr. Robert Oksenholt plans to start his own primary care clinic in Lincoln City

October 23, 2012 -- A Lincoln City physician’s abrupt transfer and firing highlights a statewide issue of unilateral authority that health plan administrators have when reassigning or laying off physicians.

Samaritan Health Services initially reassigned Dr. Robert Oksenholt, one of Lincoln City’s most popular and long-serving physicians, to Lebanon, which is more than a two-and-a-half-hour drive to the southeast.

Public Education Employees Shed Thousands of Pounds

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Medical costs related to obesity in adults in Oregon amounted to $ 1.6 billion in 2006, according to the Oregon Health Authority

October 22, 2012 -- Oregon public education employees have lost nearly 200,000 pounds in a 20-month period that began in October 2010 after the state added free Weight Watchers classes as a benefit, an administrator for the Oregon Educators Benefit Board (OEBB) told The Lund Report.

Joan M. Kapowich, who also administers the Public Employees’ Benefit Board, said those workers lost over 175,000 pounds since the free weight loss classes became part of their benefits in 2009.

Up to 200,000 Oregonians Could Still be Uninsured in 2019

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Although the numbers have not been adjusted to account for state-level reforms, advocates are worried about shrinking resources for uninsured people

October 19, 2012 -- A 2010 report published by the Oregon Office of Health Policy Research estimates that 35 percent of currently people lacking insurance would remain uninsured by 2019, despite expanded coverage by the Affordable Care Act.

Merkley Counters Claim by Romney about Demise of Obamacare

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The Senator appeared at a political forum sponsored by the Oregon Medical Association last week along with Governor Kitzhaber and state legislators to discuss healthcare reform

October 17, 2012 -- In a political season where the stakes for the presidency are so high, it’s not unusual for candidates to exaggerate their promises as many analysts have pointed out.

Take the statement Mitt Romney made by saying that if elected he’d repeal Obamacare on his first day in office.

Dembrow Intends to Keep Single Payer Movement Alive Next Session

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The Portland legislator is convinced that a single payer health system is the most affordable and comprehensive option

October 18, 2012 -- Despite the emphasis on healthcare transformation, evident by the $1.9 billion in federal funds that Governor John Kitzhaber garnered to implement coordinated care organizations, the single payer movement isn’t dead in Oregon.

Its champion, Rep. Michael Dembrow (D-Portland) plans to re-introduce the same legislation again next February. In 2011, it received a hearing in the House but stalled there (House Bill 3510).

Fluoridation Referendum Leaves Decision in Voters' Hands

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While the signatures are still being counted, most analysts expect the fluoridation battle ultimately will be decided by Portland voters

OPINION – October 17, 2012 -- There is one main benefit of Clean Water Portland's successful signature-gathering campaign to qualify for a city-wide referendum vote on fluoridation: It allows time for citizens to make an informed decision.

Years After Its Ban, Lead Paint Exacts a Toll on Human Health

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Data says poor, minority children are still hardest hit – but the problem affects everybody

October 16, 2012 -- In 2005, Tamara Rubin, her husband and four children were living in the Irvington neighborhood in northeast Portland, in a home that had been placed on the National Historic Registry. She and her husband decided to repaint the home and restore it to its original integrity, so they refinanced the home and started interviewing contractors.

Preparing for New Cost-Saving, Health-Enhancing Workers on the Care Team

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While waiting for specific training and certification requirements from OHA, providers are making plans to hire and train the non-traditional health care workers Oregon law is bringing into the system to improve care and lower costs

October 16, 2012 -- A community health worker accompanies a heart patient to the supermarket to show him how to buy heart-healthy foods. A peer wellness specialist helps a troubled young woman navigate the mental health system and develop a tailor-made toolbox for recovery. A personal health navigator connects an elderly immigrant to a primary care physician who speaks her language and is sensitive to her fear of the formal healthcare system.

Pain Specialist Urges a New Dialogue

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Acute pain, chronic pain need to be understood and managed differently

October 15, 2012 -- The problem with how we address pain doesn't just lie with the medical community, and the problem is not solely that prescription painkillers are overprescribed, said Dr. Alex Cahana, a pain specialist with the University of Washington who spoke at a recent pain management conference in Portland.

Competition Heats Up Among Medicare Advantage Plans

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Seniors will see lower rates for Medicare Advantage plans will open enrollment begins next Monday

October 11, 2012 – In an attempt to woo new members, health insurers in Oregon are offering lower rates to seniors who sign up for their Medicare Advantage plans. Open enrollment, which starts October 15, runs through December 7, and seniors are likely to be bombarded by mailings and advertisements by insurers. For a list of some of the Medicare Advantage plans available, including their benefit options and prices, click here.

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