The Lund Report

Environmental Health Conference Focuses on How Toxic Chemicals Influence Obesity

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Known as obesogens, these chemicals influence weight gain by disrupting hormones that drive appetite and physical activity

February 17, 2012 -- Next time you struggle to put down that extra slice of pizza or get off the couch you might not feel so guilty about your lack of motivation, but new research suggests you may want to consider the role the environment may have played in your eating habits.

Health Insurers May No Longer Qualify for Lower Assessments

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The high risk pool has been offering lower assessments to health insurers if they deny coverage to fewer people, but that program could come to an end

February 16, 2012— Health insurers in Oregon may no longer be able to lower the assessments they pay into the high risk pool.

Up until now, insurers have been offered a 10 percent reduction if they could show, on average, that they denied coverage less than 20 percent of the time over the previous three years.

Legislation to License Pharmacy Benefit Managers Delayed Until 2013

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Known as PBMs, they act as middle men to siphon money out of the system, according to Rep. Jim Thompson

February 16, 2012 -- A bill that would require pharmacy benefit managers in Oregon to obtain a license, and renew it every year with the State Board of Pharmacy, has been moved out of the 2012 legislative session.

House Bill 4122 will, instead, be the subject of a workgroup in the interim. That workgroup will be chaired by Rep. Jules Bailey (D-Portland) and Rep. Jim Thompson (R-Dallas), the co-chair of the House Health Care Committee.

In an interview with The Lund Report, Thompson explained how those managers, or PBMs, fit into the pharmacy stream.

Providence Asks for 5.4 Percent Rate Hike for Small Businesses

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A public hearing will be held by the Oregon Insurance Division on February 24

February 15, 2012 -- Providence Health Plans is seeking a 5.4 percent average rate increase for small businesses, which would affect 2,645 employers who have 30,869 employees. If approved, the increase would take effect August 1.

The Oregon Insurance Division has scheduled a public hearing for 10 a.m., February 24 at the Public Services Building in Salem. To learn more details and submit a public comment, click here.

Dr. Carla McKelvey Appointed to Oregon Health Policy Board

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Another vacancy also exists on the board, but that person cannot be from the healthcare industry

February 15, 2012 -- Governor John Kitzhaber has appointed Dr. Carla McKelvey to serve on the Oregon Health Policy Board.

“She brings a tremendous number of touch points to the work ahead, and I’m pleased she’s agreed to serve,” Dr. Bruce Goldberg, director of the Oregon Health Authority, told board members yesterday.

McKelvey, president of the Oregon Medical Association, is a pediatrician and the medical director of the North Bend Medical Center in Coos Bay. She replaces Dr. Charles Hofmann, an internist from Baker City, whose term ended.

Eileen Brady Insists Healthcare Contributions Won’t Influence Her Decisions

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As a candidate for mayor of Portland, Brady has picked up significant contributions from Regence BlueCross BlueShield and leading healthcare executives

February 14, 2012 -- Money talks – particularly in the million dollar race that Eileen Brady is waging to become the next mayor of Portland. Brady, who had raised $566,568 as of February 13, is well on her way to meeting that goal. By then, her competitors – Charlie Hales had raised $333,666 and Jefferson Smith, $220,113.

Transformation Bill Headed for First Major Test in Joint Ways and Means Committee

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The legislation is expected to face a feisty discussion by Senate Republicans who insist that tort reform be included

February 9, 2012—After hours of discussions and countless meetings between closed doors, legislators appear to have finished negotiating what might be the final version of Senate Bill 1580, which, if approved, would allow the Oregon Health Authority to begin soliciting proposals for coordinated care organizations (CCOs).

That bill passed out of the budget writing Ways and Means Human Services Subcommittee unanimously late yesterday evening, after legislators scrambled to finish negotiations while lobbyists laughed, joked, and kicked back in the hallways and a hearing room.

Fast Track Legislation Scrapped, Lacking Political Support

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It’s rumored that CMS would not have given Oregon additional money to fund coordinated care organizations had the fast track option succeeded

February 9, 2012— The managed care plans that are currently providing services to Oregon Health Plan members appear to have lost their bid to create what’s known as “fast track,” legislation, giving them the ability to turn into coordinated care organizations (CCOs) by July, without having to meet all the criteria, guidelines and the certification process developed by the Oregon Health Policy Board.

Columbia County Commissioners Await Court Date in Asset Transfer

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Fate of the proposed hospital site is still uncertain

February 9, 2012 – The Columbia Public Health District and members of the Columbia County Board of Commissioners are awaiting a trial date to decide the fate of the district's assets, which include the public health building and the land in St. Helens where officials had hoped to build a hospital.

The public health district was formally dissolved after voters rejected its proposal to build that hospital.

Salem Health Closes Down High-Risk Pregnancy Clinic

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The Family Birth Center Clinic has been providing prenatal care to indigent women with high risk pregnancies since 2005

February 9, 2012 -- Indigent women in Marion County are about to lose an invaluable resource following the closure of the Family Birth Center Clinic run by Salem Health, which has provided prenatal care to indigent women with high-risk pregnancies since 2005.

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