The Lund Report

Coos Bay Dermatologist Strikes Out on Her Own, Abandons Billing Codes

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Dr. Kathleen Brown says she’s received pushback from the two insurers for not using CPT billing codes

December 15, 2011 – In July, Dr. Kathleen Brown decided to leave the Coos Bay clinic where she’d been practicing since 1997 and open her own dermatology practice. It’s not uncommon for doctors to strike out on their own, but Brown’s decision had a twist: she decided to eschew the use of CPT codes, a set of medical billing codes required by the American Medical Association for reimbursement by insurers.

Legislators Weigh in on Business Plan for Healthcare Transformation

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Sen. Alan Bates and Rep. Tim Freeman want the Legislature to carefully monitor the progress of transforming the healthcare delivery system

December 15, 2011—Getting legislative approval for a business plan that sets the course for transforming the Oregon Health Plan may not come down to simply a yes or no vote, according to Sen. Alan Bates (D-Ashland) and Rep. Tim Freeman (R-Roseburg), who appeared before the Oregon Health Policy Board on Tuesday. 

Mike McCormick Named Deputy Director

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December 14, 2011 -- Mike McCormick will become deputy director of Aging and People with Disabilities (APD) programs in January.  That agency is still without a permanent director, following the resignation of James Toews earlier this year.

Oregon’s Prescription Drug Program Expands into Washington

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People who lack prescription coverage can benefit from lower cost drugs

December 14, 2011 -- Big savings, the need for continued reform and threats to funding for home care workers were on everyone’s lips at a celebration of the fifth anniversary of the Oregon Prescription Drug Program last Friday.

Foundry Neighbors Make Good, Agree on Air Toxics Reductions

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Deal avoids litigation over ESCO emissions but exposes concern about statewide air quality regulation

December 8, 2011 -- Cutting down on toxic chemicals is nice, but a coalition of environmental health advocates and the historic industrial operation they challenged to slash cancer-causing emissions are congratulating themselves for avoiding a situation that's toxic in a different way: years of acrimonious litigation.

Just because the air has cleared in a tony Portland neighborhood, though, don't expect much praise for the way Oregon regulates air pollution and its impact on environmental health.

Local Organization Wants Ban Lifted on Gays Donating Blood

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The Food and Drug Administration has considered lifting the ban in the past but hasn’t taken any action

December 8, 2011—Turning away gay men who’d like to donate blood is a practice the American Red Cross’s Pacific Northwest regional office would like to change.

“We definitely would like to see the ban lifted and or changed,” said Daphne Mathew, the American Red Cross’s regional spokesperson. “It could increase our donations,”

Blood shortages are common in the Pacific Northwest, Mathew said, especially during the holiday season.

Albany Man Competes for $100,000 on “The Biggest Loser”

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Patrick Ferrari appears on the NBC program next Tuesday evening, competing with 12 other contestants to see who’s lost the most weight

December 8, 2011 – Since he’s been a teenager, Patrick Ferrari has coveted food. To him, every day was like Thanksgiving – he’d eat until he was stuffed. By the time he graduated from college, Ferrari, who stands 6’3,” weighed 401 pounds.

“I’d love to get big plates of French fries and eat until I could barely move; I just couldn’t stop,” said Ferrari, 26, who lives in Albany and works at a group home for adults with mental health disabilities. “The last time I went to Red Lobster, I ate 120 shrimp.”

Public Health Division Takes a Serious Look at Budget Reductions

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It’s too early to say how much revenue has been generated following the increased fees for medical marijuana cards, Dr. Mel Kohn told the Public Health Advisory Board

December 7, 2011 – With budget reductions looming as the February legislative session draws closer, Dr. Mel Kohn, director of the state’s Public Health Division, is being forced to take a hard look at making cuts.

 “There aren't a lot of places to go,” Kohn told the Public Health Advisory Board last Friday. “We're in a very difficult place, and it's going to be a very difficult session in February.”

Debt restructuring, Plans for Nutritional Center Take Center Stage at OHSU

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At its board meeting last Friday, a plan was approved to restructure its variable rate debt to a more stable structure

December 6, 2011 – Oregon Health & Science University intends to restructure approximately $210 million of its variable rate debt, and replace old auction rate debt with a more stable funding structure following Friday’s board meeting.

Chief Financial officer Lawrence Furnstahl had urged the board to take advantage of favorable conditions -- annual fees for credit will drop by two-thirds, from 1.80 percent to less than .60 percent for a three-year commitment, saving the university approximately $2 million a year.

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