The Lund Report

Douglas County’s Collaborative Pre-Natal Clinic Reduces Number of Low Birthrate Babies

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Success is attributed to the clinic's ability to provide wrap around health and social services to its clients

February 3, 2012— Despite taking care of pregnant women who have some of the highest risk factors for giving birth to low-weight babies, the women seen at Douglas County’s Prenatal Clinic beat the odds – and had the lowest rate of giving birth to low-weight babies compared to the rest of Douglas

Insurance Exchange’s Request to Pursue Its Own Health Coverage Met with Skepticism

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Rocky King, executive director of the exchange, wants to try out some innovative coverage models prior to small businesses purchasing coverage through the exchange

February 2, 2012—An unexpectedly heated debate transpired in the House Health Care Committee yesterday over whether the Oregon Health Insurance Exchange’s 11 staff members should be able to seek their own healthcare coverage rather than be covered by the Public Employees’ Benefit Board (PEBB), which provides benefits to state employees.

Medical Liability Reform Unlikely to Happen This Legislative Session

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Sen. Alan Bates (D-Medford) says he doesn’t want to do anything during the February special session that would stop the evolution of coordinated care organizations

February 2, 2012 -- Despite pressure by Republicans to include tort reform in legislation that will transform Oregon’s healthcare system during the February legislative session under way, that issue will have to wait until 2013, predicted Sen. Alan Bates (D-Medford.

Komen Decision to Sever Ties with Planned Parenthood Doesn’t Impact Oregon

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Nevertheless, it’s sad that Komen has allowed itself to be bullied, according to David Greenberg, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Columbia Willamette

February 2, 2012 -- Oregon-based Planned Parenthood affiliates will continue to provide cancer screening services despite a decision by Susan G. Komen For the Cure®, a national organization that raises funds for breast cancer screenings and research, to officially sever ties with Planned Parenthood.

Constitutionality of Patenting Gene Sequencing Reaches Supreme Court

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Its decision could affect whether private companies can charge inflated prices for tests such as the BRCA gene for breast cancer

OPINION -- February 2, 2012 -- The Supreme Court is going to rule on the case of whether it is constitutional for biotech companies to be able to patent gene sequences. This will be a landmark patent case, since currently about 20 percent of the human genome is patented for various diseases. 

If the lower court is overturned, it means that a lot of companies that have spent a lot of money making sure they have exclusive rights to commercialization of treatments and testing for specific disease genes, could stand to lose big.

Dental Care Organizations Express Concern About Transformation

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Because dental organizations aren't required to participate in the coordinated care model until 2014, some feel left out of the discussions

February 1, 2012—Dental care organizations are growing increasingly vocal about the future relationship they’ll have with the coordinated care organizations (CCOs) that are expected to provide healthcare to Oregon Health Plan members in July.  

Maternal Nutrition and Fetal Development Focus of OHSU’s New Research Center

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Dr. Kent Thornburg, whose research focuses on the developmental origins of disease, will take the helm of the Bob and Charlee Moore Institute for Nutrition and Wellness

February 1, 2012 -- Dr. Kent Thornburg, who teaches in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at Oregon Health & Science University and is known worldwide for his research into the developmental origins of disease – has been named interim director of the Bob and Charlee Moore Institute for Nutrition and Wellness, a new research and education center.

Douglas County Providers Form the State’s First Coordinated Care Organization

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A non-profit organization, the Community Health Alliance, has brought together physical, dental, mental health and addiction services

January 30, 2012—A group of nine healthcare providers in Douglas County are forming the state’s first coordinated care organization (CCO), calling it “the Community Health Alliance.”

The provider groups include Douglas County Independent Physician’s Association (DCIPA), Douglas County’s Health and Human Services Department, Greater Oregon Behavioral Health, Inc. (GOBHI), Mercy Medical Center, Umpqua Community Health Center, Advantage Dental, and ADAPT, which provides substance abuse and addictions treatment and recovery services.

Federal Officials Likely to Approve Waivers to Transform Oregon’s Healthcare System

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Once the Legislature approves the business plan setting in motion coordinated care organizations, the state’s on its way to reduce costs and improve health

January 30, 2012 -- Discussions are under way with federal officials to provide Oregon with another $2.5 billion in Medicaid funds over the next five years to help transform its healthcare system and also approve the necessary waivers to implement the new plan.   

Toxics Disclosure for Healthy Kids Act Faces Legislature

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House Bill 4123 would require the Oregon Health Authority to publish a list of high priority chemicals used in children’s products

 January 27, 2012 -- Protecting young children from harmful chemical exposures is a top priority of Rep. Alissa Keny-Guyer (D-Portland).

“If we have the data, we can do better planning to reduce our exposures to chemicals that have been shown to cause birth defects, learning disabilities and childhood cancers,” she said. “It’s important for the state to protect its citizens.”

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