The Lund Report

Workgroup Recommends Oregon Health Plan Use Doulas

Members think doulas could be easily integrated into services

February 29, 2012—A workgroup charged with studying how doulas could be incorporated into the Oregon Health Plan told legislators earlier this week that doing so could help improve birth outcomes, particularly in minority communities.

Last year, the Legislature passed House Bill 3311, which required the Oregon Health Authority to investigate how doulas and other community health workers could improve the birth outcomes of underprivileged and underserved women.

Amid Proposed TriMet Cuts, Activists Fight for Transit Equity

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Critics of the cuts say decreased investment in public transit will have a negative impact on health outcomes

February 29, 2012 -- Earlier this month, TriMet announced sweeping cuts that activists say would have a significant impact on health outcomes for people in Portland.

The proposed changes include eliminating the free rail zone in the city center, reduced or altered service on some bus lines, a fare increase – the 11th in 12 years -- and making single tickets one-way instead of offering transfers.

Rep. Jim Thompson Focuses on Keeping Oregonians Healthier

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At an informational hearing, he said that he wants more attention focused on weight loss programs

February 28, 2012 -- Looking at options for healthcare was the focus of an informational meeting of the Oregon House Health Care Committee recently to discuss a weight-loss program known as Take Shape for Life.

Committee Co-Chair Rep. Jim Thompson (R-Dallas) said the issue of weight loss should be a part of discussions about how to make Oregonians healthier.

Oregon Doctors Rise Up Against Individual Mandate

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Physicians hope to remove roadblock to universal coverage and lower overall healthcare costs

February 28, 2012 -- Three Oregon physicians are among a group of 50 doctors who filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court arguing that the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act should be struck down.

The doctors’ friend-of-court brief creates strange bedfellows by essentially arguing that the individual mandate to purchase insurance coverage violates interstate commerce law.

Legislation Intends to Keep Tobacco Away from Minors

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The bill would allow Oregon State Police to hire reserve retired police officers and enforce stare laws banning the sale of tobacco to anyone under age 18

February 24, 2012 -- It’s against the law in Oregon to sell tobacco products to minors, a law that hasn’t been enforced since 2009. House Bill 4172, sponsored by the House Rules Committee and championed by Reps. Carolyn Tomei (D-Milwaukie) and Andy Olson (R-Albany), aims to change that.

The legislation would create the State Police Tobacco Law Enforcement Fund, separate from the general fund, that the Oregon State Police would use to hire active reserve retired state police officers to keep tobacco products out of the hands of minors.

After Slipping Through the Cracks, Beaverton Man to Receive Lifesaving Surgery

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Mike Trethewey applied for assistance for dozens of organizations before being accepted for cancer treatment at Virginia Mason Hospital in Seattle

February 25, 2012 – Mike Trethewey is preparing to travel from Beaverton to Seattle for a life-saving surgery he needed three months ago.

Trethewey was diagnosed last August with stage two metastatic testicular cancer and had three rounds of chemotherapy before he and his wife, Laura, who had Kaiser insurance became uninsured because they were unable to pay the monthly premium.

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.

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