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Provider Groups Ask for Inclusion in Coordinated Care Organizations

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They think a prescriptive list of providers needs to be part of the legislation going to the Legislature in February

November 17, 2011—Not mincing words, provider groups worried they’ll be left out of the coordinated care organizations (CCOs) took their case to the Oregon Health Policy Board last week. But they came away without any assurance.

Insurance Commissioner Calls Regence Article Misleading

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OPINION – November 16, 2011 – I wanted to follow up on your article titled “Regulators Didn’t Question $56 million payout by Regence BlueCross BlueShield” because I am concerned the article is misleading and does not provide the public with accurate information.

Less Paperwork, More Patient Focus Can Dramatically Improve Care, Expert Says

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Inefficiency continues to plague the medical system, according to Dr. David Reuben director and professor geriatric medicine at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine

November 16, 2011 -- Surveys of doctors show that now more than half think that providing higher-quality medicine may lead to losses in their earning power, a belief that may help explain why an exceptionally high number of patients don’t get recommended care, according to Dr. David Reuben MD, who spoke at the OHSU Foundation for Medical Excellence annual lecture earlier this week.

Jack Friedman Suggests Single Payer System Would Be Ideal

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Speaking at a conference organized by the Healthcare Information and Management System Society, the CEO of Providence Health Plans said it’s not going to happen

November 17, 2011 -- As healthcare costs spiral out of control, “Medicare makes Social Security look like chump change in terms of what it's going to take to get future liabilities funded,” said Jack Friedman, CEO of Providence Health Plans, the keynote speaker at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society conference earlier this week.

Regulators Didn’t Question $56 Million Payout by Regence BlueCross BlueShield

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Five months before Regence asked for a 22.1 percent rate increase, the insurer paid a $56 million dividend to its holding company; some of those funds were used to launch Sprig Health

November 10, 2011 – When state regulators approved a 12.8 percent rate increase for Regence BlueCross BlueShield earlier this year, they were aware that the insurer had dipped into its surplus account and given a $56 million dividend to its holding company just five months earlier.

Central Oregon Sees Early Successes in Coordinated Care Model

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As it prepares to become a coordinated care organization in 2012, Central Oregon’s pioneering coordinated care model proves there are cost savings in coordinating care

November 10, 2011—A wide variety of organizations representing Central Oregon’s healthcare community were talking about creating a coordinated model of providing health care before the Legislature even began thinking about it.

Oregon Looking for Federal Dollars to Fund Transformation Process

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The Oregon Health Authority wants to use federal savings to help fund the start up of CCOs

November 10, 2011—Dr. Bruce Goldberg is in active discussions with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to see if federal funds are available to jump start the coordinated care organizations (CCOs) which will provide physical, mental health and dental services to more than 630,000 people on the Oregon Health Plan next July.

Workgroup Focuses on Recruiting Primary Care Providers

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They also want to better define the role of community health workers, personal health navigators and peer wellness specialists

November 10, 2011 – Developing a strategic plan to recruit and retain primary care providers is at the essence of a workgroup led by Dr. Lisa Dodson, director of the Oregon Area Health Education Center, which met recently.

Rural Oregon Losing Dentists

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Few new graduates find rural areas appealing because of their debt load

November 10, 2011 -- The days of selling a private dental practice in rural Oregon are coming to an end, in part, because of the overwhelming debt faced by new graduates.

Dr. Gary Brooks knows that well. In the past ten years, he’s been approached by only three dentists interested in buying his practice, and none of them came back with an actual offer.

“With the amount of loans new dentists come out of school with, they can’t afford to buy a practice,” said Brooks, who’s been practicing in Willamina since 1975.

Nursing Graduates Face a Changing Job Market

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A recent report from the Oregon Center for Nursing indicates there’s a nursing shortage, but new graduates are having a difficult time finding work

November 10, 2011 -- It took Jennifer Wieczorek, a 2008 graduate of Linfield College's nursing program, a year and a half to find a job using her degree – and she was the last person in her cohort to do so.

While in school, Wierczorek had a verbal agreement with Legacy Good Samaritan that she’d work there as an operating room nurse upon graduation. But it took longer than expected to pass her board certification exams, and by the time she did, Legacy didn't have a position for her anymore.

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