Oregon Health Authority
Emergency Messages as of 12:58 pm, Wed. Nov. 22
No information currently posted. Operating as usual.
Subscribe to receive FlashAlert messages from Oregon Health Authority. Please use any browser other than Internet Explorer.
Primary email address for a new account:

Emergency Alerts News Releases  
And/or follow our FlashAlerts via Twitter

About FlashAlert on Twitter:

FlashAlert utilizes the free service Twitter to distribute emergency text messages. While you are welcome to register your cell phone text message address directly into the FlashAlert system, we recommend that you simply "follow" the FlashAlert account for Oregon Health Authority by clicking on the link below and logging in to (or creating) your free Twitter account. Twitter sends messages out exceptionally fast thanks to arrangements they have made with the cell phone companies.

Click here to add Oregon Health Authority to your Twitter account or create one.

Hide this Message


Manage my existing Subscription

News Releases
Oregon Health Policy Board to meet December 5 in Portland - 11/22/17

November 22, 2017

What: The monthly public meeting of the Oregon Health Policy Board

When: Tuesday, December 5, 8:30 a.m. to 2:15 p.m.

Where: OHSU Center for Health & Healing, 3303 SW Bond Ave, third floor Room 4. Members of the public can call in to listen by dialing 888-808-6929, participant code 915042#.

Agenda: OHA Director's report; OHPB committee updates; Healthcare Workforce Committee updates and promising strategies; Public Health Advisory Board updates; High Cost Drugs Committee development; CCO Maturity Assessment discussion.

For more information on the meeting, visit the board's meeting page at http://www.oregon.gov/OHA/OHPB/Pages/OHPB-Meetings.aspx.

# # #

Everyone has a right to know about and use Oregon Health Authority (OHA) programs and services. OHA provides free help. Some examples of the free help OHA can provide are:
· Sign language and spoken language interpreters
· Written materials in other languages
· Braille
· Large print
· Audio and other formats
If you need help or have questions, please contact Jeff Scroggin at 541-999-6983, 711 TTY, or jeffrey.scroggin@state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.

Need a good holiday meal discussion topic? Try family health history - 11/22/17

November 22, 2017

*Oregonians encouraged to talk about chronic diseases that can run in families*

For some people, preparing for the Thanksgiving meal means getting ready to debate politics, endure a relative's relationship advice or defend your pick for the best "Game of Thrones" episode.

The Oregon Health Authority suggests another dinner table discussion topic this holiday season: family health history.

The U.S. Surgeon General declared Thanksgiving "Family Health History Day" to help focus attention on the importance of family health history and the role genetics plays in overall health. Common diseases like heart disease, cancer and diabetes, as well as rare diseases like hemophilia and cystic fibrosis, tend to run in families, and Thanksgiving is a good time to raise the subject when everyone--including many people you don't see but once a year--is in the room.

"Family health history is often called the first genetic test. It can help people, their families and clinicians see potential risks and take action to reduce those risks or catch a disease early," said Summer Cox, genetics coordinator in the OHA ScreenWise program.

OHA offers the following tips for discussing family health history:
--Start with your parents: Close relatives such as parents and siblings are the most telling when it comes to your health history. Start with them and branch out from there.
--Use free online tools and resources:
----My Family Health Portrait at https://familyhistory.hhs.gov/FHH/html/index.html
----Does It Run In the Family? at http://www.geneticalliance.org/publications/fhhtoolkit
----The Talk Health History Campaign at http://www.talkhealthhistory.org/
--Talk to a doctor or genetic counselor: Make your family health history a topic of conversation at your next doctor's appointments. If you have concerns, asked to be referred to a genetic counselor.

OHA also offers genetic information and counseling through the ScreenWise program at http://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/HealthyPeopleFamilies/Women/HealthScreening/Pages/Index.aspx. The program supports a statewide network of providers in offering breast and cervical cancer, cardiovascular and genetic screening for uninsured and underinsured patients.

Information on patient eligibility for the ScreenWise program is available on the OHA website at http://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/HEALTHYPEOPLEFAMILIES/WOMEN/HEALTHSCREENING/Documents/ELIG_SW_Checklist_FY17.pdf.

For further guidance and screening, contact 211 at http://211info.org/.

# # #

Oregon to continue health coverage for kids despite Congress' failure to renew funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program - 11/21/17

November 21, 2017

In response to a letter from Governor Kate Brown, the Oregon Health Authority will continue health coverage for 80,000 children and 1,700 pregnant women who rely on the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for vital health services such as prescriptions, doctor's visits, preventive care and emergency care.

Congress failed to renew funding for the program in September, but Oregon secured $51 million in one-time left over CHIP funds to last through December. After that the state runs out of money to cover children on CHIP.

OHA notified the Governor's office that because Congress hadn't acted, many Oregon children could lose their health benefits at the end of the year.

In her letter, the Governor asked OHA to work with its coordinated care organization partners to extend coverage through the end of April even if that means creating a shortfall in the state's budget to fund the program.

"These kids are from vulnerable families and they rely on CHIP to pay for vital medical care," said Patrick Allen, Director of the Oregon Health Authority. "It would be a tragedy for them to lose coverage or have an interruption in coverage because Congress has failed to act."

CHIP covers children from low- and middle-income families whose parents make too much to qualify for Medicaid but who may struggle to afford to buy coverage in the marketplace.

Currently 120,000 Oregon children and 1,700 pregnant women rely on the federally funded program.

Under provisions of the Affordable Care Act, Oregon must continue to cover 40,000 children in the program whose families meet the federal Medicaid income guidelines. Eighty-thousand children whose family income exceeds those guidelines are in danger of losing coverage if Congress does not act.

OHA has asked the coordinated care organizations to continue coverage for these kids through April.

CHIP funding has been an integral part of Oregon's health transformation effort, which includes providing coverage for all Oregon kids. Ninety-eight percent of children in the state have health insurance.

Watch a video featuring a family that was helped by the CHIP program.

# # #

Links:

Governor Kate Brown's letter: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1cO4Oy2eB8Bq9KaueY49Kap4QnQIXuU6H/view?usp=sharing

Video of a family that was helped by CHIP: http://www.95percentoregon.com/feature-stories.html

Health advisory lifted November 17 for all of Upper Klamath Lake - 11/17/17

November 17, 2017

*Reduced blue-green algae, toxin levels confirmed; continued caution with pets advised*

The Oregon Health Authority has lifted the health advisory issued July 28 for Howard Bay and updated September 1 to include all of Upper Klamath Lake, located northwest of Klamath Falls in Klamath County.

Water monitoring has confirmed levels of blue-green algae and the toxins they produce are below guideline values for human exposure. However, OHA officials recommend people continue to be cautious about allowing pets in the lake because blooms can develop and disappear throughout the season. Federal, state and local agencies are able to monitor only a fraction of Oregon's lakes and waterways for blue-green algae, so people should be their own best advocates when it comes to keeping themselves, their families and their pets safe.

People, and especially small children and pets, should avoid areas where the water is foamy, scummy, thick like paint, pea-green, blue-green or brownish-red in color, if a thick mat of blue-green algae is visible in the water, or bright green cells are suspended in the water column. If you observe these signs in the water, avoid activities that cause you to swallow water or inhale droplets, such as swimming or high-speed water activities.

For health information, to report human or pet illnesses due to blooms, or to ask questions about a news release, contact the Oregon Health Authority at 971-673-0400. For information about advisories issued or lifted for the season, contact the Oregon Public Health toll-free information line at 877-290-6767 or visit the Harmful Algae Blooms website at http://healthoregon.org/hab and select "Algae Bloom Advisories."

# # #

Public Health Advisory Board Accountability Metrics Subcommittee meets November 22 by webinar - 11/16/17

November 16, 2017

What: A public meeting of the Accountability Metrics Subcommittee of the Public Health Advisory Board

Agenda: Approve October meeting minutes; discuss process measures for effective contraceptive use; hear concept for how benchmarks will be set.

When: Wednesday, Nov. 22, 1-2 p.m. A public comment period is offered at the end of the meeting.

Where: This meeting is by webinar only. The public may join the webinar at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5150607625475124481 and by calling the conference line at 877-873-8017, access code 767068#.

Oregon's Public Health Advisory Board provides guidance for Oregon's governmental public health system and oversees the implementation of public health modernization and Oregon's State Health Improvement Plan. The Accountability Metrics Subcommittee develops recommendations about public health quality measures for consideration by the board.

For more information, see the board's website at http://www.oregon.gov/oha/ph/About/Pages/ophab.aspx.

# # #

Everyone has a right to know about and use Oregon Health Authority (OHA) programs and services. OHA provides free help. Some examples of the free help OHA can provide are:
· Sign language and spoken language interpreters
· Written materials in other languages
· Braille
· Large print
· Audio and other formats
If you need help or have questions, please contact: Sara Beaudrault at 971-645-5766, 711 TTY, or sara.beaudrault@state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.

OHA accepting applications for Public Health Advisory Board - 11/16/17

November 16, 2017

The Oregon Health Authority Public Health Division is seeking applicants for the state Public Health Advisory Board (PHAB)

OHA invites applications from people who represent coordinated care organizations. This position serves a four-year term that begins Jan. 1, 2018. Board members are appointed by the Governor.

To apply, submit the following documentation to executive.appointments@oregon.gov by Dec. 1:
1. A completed executive appointment interest form, which is available on the Governor's Office website at http://www.oregon.gov/gov/admin/Pages/How_To_Apply.aspx.
2. A resume or brief biographical sketch.
3. A brief statement of interest.

Information about the Public Health Advisory Board is available on the board's website at http://www.healthoregon.org/phab.

For more information, contact Cara Biddlecom, OHA Public Health Division, at 971-673-2284 or cara.m.biddlecom@state.or.us.

# # #

Metrics and Scoring Committee to meet November 17 in Wilsonville - 11/15/17

November 15, 2017

Contact: Melisa Otrugman, 503-689-5238, melisa.z.otrugman@state.or.us (meeting information or accommodation)

What: A public meeting of the Oregon Health Authority Metrics and Scoring Committee

When: Friday, November 17, 9 a.m. to noon. Public testimony will be heard at 9:15 a.m.

Where: Clackamas Community College Wilsonville Training Center, Room 210, 29353 SW Town Center Loop E, Wilsonville

Attendees can also follow the presentation by webinar and listen to discussion by phone. Register for the webinar at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/rt/312837825839229954 and call the conference line at 888-204-5984, participant code 1277-166. The telephone will be unmuted during public testimony.

Agenda: Welcome, consent agenda and updates; public testimony; Health Plan Quality Metrics Committee debrief; health aspects of kindergarten readiness; 2019 work plan; adjourn.

For more information, please visit the committee's website at http://www.oregon.gov/oha/hpa/analytics/Pages/Metrics-Scoring-Committee.aspx.

# # #

Everyone has a right to know about and use Oregon Health Authority (OHA) programs and services. OHA provides free help. Some examples of the free help OHA can provide are:
* Sign language and spoken language interpreters
* Written materials in other languages
* Braille
* Large print
* Audio and other formats
If you need help or have questions, please contact Melisa Otrugman at 503-689-5238, 711 TTY, melisa.z.otrugman@state.or.us, at least 48 hours before the meeting.

Antibiotics still frequently--and inappropriately--used for viruses - 11/15/17

November 15, 2017

*But OHA physician says their unnecessary use has been on decline since '08*

Unnecessary use of antibiotics on viruses, which can lead to dangerous antibiotic resistance, is on the decline. Work still needs to be done in Oregon to discourage inappropriate prescribing of these drugs for non-bacterial illnesses, state officials say.

Overall, antibiotic prescriptions for oral medications used in outpatient settings have been steadily dropping in Oregon since 2008, when OHA first recruited Oregon health insurers to voluntarily provide data on their annual numbers of prescriptions. Between 2008 and 2016, annual rates of prescriptions for oral antibiotics fell 32 percent, and a 5 percent drop was seen between 2015 and 2016, said Ann Thomas, MD, public health physician at the Oregon Health Authority Public Health Division.

But Oregon clinicians are still over-prescribing for some conditions such as bronchitis, which is due to a virus in a majority of cases and rarely requires antibiotics, said Thomas, medical director of OHA's Alliance Working for Antibiotic Resistance Education (AWARE). In 55 percent of bronchitis cases in Oregon in 2014, patients filled a prescription that likely was unnecessary. Worse still, 90 percent of the patients who filled an antibiotic prescription for bronchitis got a broad-spectrum drug, meaning that it attacks a wide range of different bacteria, increasing the risk of developing resistance among several types of bacteria.

"Broad-spectrum antibiotics are often used for infections that don't require treatment in the first place, so it's always perplexing to see them prescribed for conditions like bronchitis and the common cold," Thomas said.

Nov. 13-19 is "U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week," an annual national observance to raise awareness of the threat of antibiotic resistance, and the importance of appropriate antibiotic prescribing and use. During the observance, AWARE reminds consumers about the dangers of unnecessary antibiotics for viral respiratory infections.

Antimicrobial resistance continues to pose serious health threats. At least 2 million people annually acquire serious infections--and 23,000 of them die--from antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the United States. Outpatient settings in the U.S. are home to more than 60 percent of national antibiotic-resistant expenditures. Respiratory conditions, including many where antibiotics are not appropriate, remain the most common diagnoses leading to antibiotic prescriptions in children and adults.

Oregon AWARE is providing educational materials and technical assistance to HealthInsight, Oregon's Medicare quality improvement organization, as part of its Get Smart initiative to reduce inappropriate prescribing in clinics and other outpatient facilities in four states (the others are Utah, New Mexico and Nevada). In Oregon, about 200 facilities are participating and will use multiple quality improvement strategies to reduce prescribing.

"This is a critical time for providers and stakeholders to join together to preserve the power of antibiotics," says Nicole O'Kane, PharmD, HealthInsight's clinical director.

An information sheet with provider resources is available from HealthInsight at http://healthinsight.org/files/Outpatient%20Antibiotic%20Stewardship/Abx-Awareness-Week-2017-info-508.pdf.

When antibiotics are used for viral infections, such as colds and bronchitis, it can lead to resistant bacteria and dangerous side effects, such as diarrhea and vomiting, and they can be deadly if someone experiences an allergic reaction.

Consumers should avoiding asking their health care providers to prescribe antibiotics for colds and the flu, and question their provider if they really need antibiotics when prescribed. Consumers who receive appropriately prescribed antibiotics for bacterial infections, however, should take every dose, even if symptoms improve, since not doing so contributes to drug resistance. And they should not share antibiotics with others, since individuals taking antibiotics not prescribed to them can experience adverse reactions.

As part of its ongoing effort to reduce inappropriate use of antibiotics in Oregon, AWARE, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, works to change Oregon clinicians' prescribing habits.

To learn more about Oregon AWARE, visit the AWARE website at http://healthoregon.org/aware. For information about the CDC's "U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week," visit the CDC at https://www.cdc.gov/antibiotic-use/week/index.html. The 2016 "Antibiotic Prescribing in Outpatient Settings in Oregon" report is available online at http://www.oregon.gov/oha/ph/DiseasesConditions/CommunicableDisease/AntibioticResistance/Documents/Oregon_Outpatient_Antibiotic_Prescribing_Report.pdf.

# # #

Metrics Technical Advisory Group to meet November 16 in Portland and by webinar - 11/15/17

November 15, 2017

Contact: Melisa Otrugman, 503-689-5238, melisa.z.otrugman@state.or.us (meeting information or accommodation)

What: A public meeting of the Oregon Health Authority Metrics Technical Advisory Group (TAG)

When: Thursday, Nov. 16, 1-3 p.m.

Where: Lincoln Building, eighth floor (Mary Conference Room), 421 SW Oak St., Portland

The public also can attend remotely through a webinar and conference call. Join the webinar at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/rt/3481507190725738756 and call in to listen at 888-848-7030, participant code 695-684.

Agenda: Welcome and introductions; updates; electronic health record-sourced measures; review 2017 smoking cessation survey; TAG input on coordinated care organization metric guidance documents; 2018 TAG work plan; wrap up and adjourn.

For more information, please visit the committee's website at http://www.oregon.gov/oha/HPA/ANALYTICS/Pages/Metrics-Technical-Advisory-Group.aspx

# # #

Everyone has a right to know about and use Oregon Health Authority (OHA) programs and services. OHA provides free help. Some examples of the free help OHA can provide are:
* Sign language and spoken language interpreters
* Written materials in other languages
* Braille
* Large print
* Audio and other formats
If you need help or have questions, please contact Melisa Otrugman at 503-689-5238, 711 TTY, melisa.z.otrugman@state.or.us, at least 48 hours before the meeting.

Hospital Metrics Technical Advisory Group meets November 14 in Portland - 11/13/17

November 13, 2017

Contact: Jennifer Uhlman, 503-739-5267, jennifer.m.uhlman@state.or.us (meeting information or accommodations)

What: A public meeting of the Oregon Health Authority Hospital Metrics Technical Advisory Group (H-TAG)

When: Tuesday, November 14, 10-11 a.m.

Where: Oregon Health Authority, Lincoln Building, 421 SW Oak Street, eighth floor, Mary Conference Room, Portland

Attendees also can join through a listen-only conference line at 877-810-9415, participant code 177-3452. No public testimony will be taken at this meeting.

For more information, please visit the committee's website at http://www.oregon.gov/oha/analytics/Pages/Hospital-Metrics-Technical-Advisory-Group.aspx.

# # #

Everyone has a right to know about and use Oregon Health Authority (OHA) programs and services. OHA provides free help. Some examples of the free help OHA can provide are:
* Sign language and spoken language interpreters
* Written materials in other languages
* Braille
* Large print
* Audio and other formats
If you need help or have questions, please contact Jennifer Uhlman at 503-739-5267, 711 TTY, or jennifer.m.uhlman@state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.

Oregon State Hospital Advisory Board to meet November 16 in Salem - 11/09/17

November 9, 2017

Program contact: Alisha Drader, 503-945-2864, alisha.drader@state.or.us

What: Public meeting of the Oregon State Hospital Advisory Board

When: Thursday, Nov. 16, 1-5 p.m.

Where: Oregon State Hospital, 2600 Center St NE, Salem, in Callan Conference Room. The meeting site is accessible to people with disabilities. The public also can attend via toll-free conference line at 888-278-0296, participant code 4294893.

Agenda: Topics will include public comment, the grievance process, community integration and updates on the following: establishing bylaws and discharge work groups, nominations for chair and vice chair, tub room follow-up, Patient Advisory Council, data report, upcoming legislative issues, topics from the last meeting, and culturally and linguistically appropriate services (CLAS) in health care.

Details: The Oregon State Hospital Advisory Board advises the superintendent, Oregon Health Authority Director and legislators on issues related to the safety, security and care of patients. Members include consumers, providers, advocates, legislators, community members, consumer families and OSH union members.

For more information, see the board's website at http://www.oregon.gov/oha/osh/Pages/advisory-board.aspx.

# # #

Everyone has a right to know about and use Oregon Health Authority (OHA) programs and services. OHA provides free help. Some examples of the free help OHA can provide are:
· Sing language and spoken language interpreters
· Written materials in other languages
· Braille
· Large print
· Audio and other formats

If you need help or have questions, please contact Alisha Drader at 503-945-2864, 711 TTY or alisha.drader@state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.

Public Health Advisory Board meets November 17 in Salem - 11/08/17

Updated with corrected conference line and access code

November 8, 2017

What: A public meeting of the Public Health Advisory Board

Agenda: Elect Public Health Advisory Board chair and co-chair for the period of January 1, 2018 through December 31, 2019. Discuss progress on public health accountability measures. Learn about the Behavioral Health Collaborative and discuss impacts to public health. Adopt bylaws for the Public Health Advisory Board. Discuss the Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant evaluation framework. Discuss Oregon's Action Plan for Health and work with CCOs.

When: Friday, November 17, 9 a.m. to noon. The meeting is open to the public. A public comment period will be held at the end of the meeting.

Where: Barbara Roberts Human Services Building, 500 Summer St. NE, Room 137 C-D Salem. The meeting will be available by webinar at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6698876131110674690 or the public can listen in by conference call at 877-873-8017, access code 767068#.

Oregon's Public Health Advisory Board provides guidance for Oregon's governmental public health system and oversees the implementation of public health modernization and Oregon's State Health Improvement Plan. For more information, visit the board's web page at http://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/About/Pages/ophab.aspx.

# # #

Everyone has a right to know about and use Oregon Health Authority (OHA) programs and services. OHA provides free help. Some examples of the free help OHA can provide are:
* Sign language and spoken language interpreters
* Written materials in other languages
* Braille
* Large print
* Audio and other formats
If you need help or have questions, please contact Cara Biddlecom at 971-673-2284, 711 TTY or cara.m.biddlecom@state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.

OHA releases 2018 rates for Oregon's coordinated care organizations - 11/06/17

November 6, 2017

The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) has released the 2018 capitation rates for Oregon's coordinated care organizations (CCOs). Oregon's 16 CCOs contract with the state to manage and deliver health care to Oregonians on the Oregon Health Plan (OHP), the state's Medicaid insurance program. OHA pays a per-member-per-month fee to CCOs to manage OHP members' physical, behavioral and oral health care.

The average rate increase among Oregon's CCOs is 3.3 percent. As part of its federal waiver with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Oregon has pledged to contain rate increases to 3.4 percent per year or less.

"These rates show that Oregon can contain costs while at the same time improving quality and transforming health care in the state," said Patrick Allen, Director of the Oregon Health Authority. "One in four Oregonians now receives health care through our innovative coordinated care model. That's something all Oregonians should be proud of."

Rate setting takes into account several factors, including differences in regional costs, population disease risk and hospital reimbursement. The state contracts with Optumas, an actuarial consulting firm, to assist in the rate development. The 2018 capitation rates have been certified by Optumas as actuarially sound.

OHA gives CCOs an opportunity to review the rates before they are submitted to CMS. It also works with the CCOs and the actuary to ensure that the methodology behind the rate setting is rigorous, equitable and compliant with federal requirements.

CMS has approved Oregon's CCO rates for the past three years. OHA is taking extra steps this year to ensure the rate-setting process is fully transparent and independently verified. This will include two additional reviews, by a second Medicaid-qualified actuary and an independent law firm.

OHA will have results of these reviews later this month.

You can download the 2018 aggregate CCO rate comparison list on the OHA website at http://www.oregon.gov/oha/HPA/ANALYTICS/OHPRates/2018-Aggregate-CCO-Rate-Comparison.pdf

Find a full list of Oregon's 2018 CCO capitation rates on the OHA website at http://www.oregon.gov/oha/HPA/ANALYTICS/Pages/OHP-Rates.aspx. They are listed by CCO under the heading "2015-2018 Capitation Rate Reports."


# # #

All Payer All Claims Technical Advisory Group to meet November 9 - 11/06/17

November 6, 2017

Contact: Pamela Naylor, 503-559-2216, pamela.naylor@dhsoha.state.or.us (meeting information or accommodations)

What: A public meeting of the Oregon Health Authority All Payer All Claims Technical Advisory Group

When: Thursday, November 9, 1-3 p.m.

Where: Oregon Health Authority Transformation Center Training Room, Lincoln Building, 421 SW Oak Street, Suite 775, Portland

The public can also join through a listen-only conference line at 888-204-5984, participant code 1277166.

For more information, an agenda and All Payer All Claims meeting packet, visit the committee's website at http://www.oregon.gov/oha/HPA/ANALYTICS/Pages/All-Payer-All-Claims-TAG.aspx.

# # #

Everyone has a right to know about and use Oregon Health Authority (OHA) programs and services. OHA provides free help. Some examples of the free help OHA can provide are:
*    Sign language and spoken language interpreters
*    Written materials in other languages
*    Braille
*    Large print
*    Audio and other formats
If you need help or have questions, please contact Pamela Naylor at 503-559-2216, 711 TTY or pamela.naylor@dhsoha.state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.

Dental Pilot Project Advisory Committee Quarterly meeting set November 6 - 11/03/17

November 3, 2017

What: The quarterly meeting of the state Dental Pilot Project Advisory Committee, which will cover Dental Pilot Project #100, "Oregon Tribes Dental Health Aide Therapist Pilot Project"

Agenda: Review prior recommendations from advisory committee; response from project; chart review process; discuss calibration training

When: Nov. 6, 10 a.m. to noon. A public comment period will be held at the end of the meeting.

Where: Portland State Office Building, 800 NE Oregon St., Room 1D, Portland. Conference line: 888-273-3658, participant code 547182

Background: Dental pilot projects are intended to evaluate the quality of care, access, cost, workforce, and efficacy by teaching new skills to existing categories of dental personnel; developing new categories of dental personnel; accelerating the training of existing categories of dental personnel; or teaching new oral health care roles to previously untrained persons.

Program contact: Sarah Kowalski, 971-673-1563, sarah.e.kowalski@state.or.us.

# # #

Everyone has a right to know about and use Oregon Health Authority (OHA) programs and services. OHA provides free help. Some examples of the free help OHA can provide are:
· Sing language and spoken language interpreters
· Written materials in other languages
· Braille
· Large print
· Audio and other formats

If you need help or have questions, please contact Sarah Kowalski at 971-673-1563, 711 TTY or sarah.e.kowalski@state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.

Health advisory lifted November 2 for Link, Klamath rivers to J.C. Boyle Dam - 11/02/17

November 2, 2017

*Reduced blue-green algae and toxin levels confirmed, continued caution with pets advised*

The Oregon Health Authority has lifted the health advisory issued Oct. 9 for the Link and Klamath rivers downstream to J.C Boyle Dam. These areas are south of the city of Klamath Falls, off U.S. Route 97 in Klamath County.

Water monitoring has confirmed that the levels of toxins produced by blue-green algae are below guideline values for human exposure. However, the Oregon Health Authority recommends that people continue to be cautious with their pets in these rivers because blooms can develop and disappear throughout the season. Only a fraction of the many lakes and waterways in Oregon are monitored for blue-green algae by state, federal and local agencies; therefore, you are your own best advocate when it comes to keeping you, your family and your pets safe.

People and especially small children and pets should avoid areas where the water is foamy, scummy, thick like paint, pea-green, blue-green or brownish-red in color, if a thick mat of blue-green algae is visible in the water, or bright green cells are suspended in the water column. If you observe these signs in the water you are encouraged to avoid activities that cause you to swallow water or inhale droplets, such as swimming or high-speed water activities.

For health information, to report human or pet illnesses due to blooms, or to ask questions about a news release, contact OHA at 971-673-0400. For information about advisories issued or lifted for the season, contact the OHA Public Health Division's toll-free information line at 877-290-6767, or visit the Harmful Algae Blooms website at http://healthoregon.org/hab and select "Algae Bloom Advisories."

# # #

Health advisory lifted November 2 for Agency Lake - 11/02/17

November 2, 2017

*Reduced blue-green algae and toxin levels confirmed, continued caution with pets advised*

The Oregon Health Authority has lifted the health advisory issued Aug. 7 for Agency Lake, located just north of Klamath Falls along U.S. Highway 97 in Klamath County.

Water monitoring has confirmed that the levels of toxins produced by blue-green algae are below guideline values for human exposure. However, the Oregon Health Authority recommends that people continue to be cautious with their pets in the lake because blooms can develop and disappear throughout the season. Only a fraction of the many lakes and waterways in Oregon are monitored for blue-green algae by state, federal and local agencies; therefore, you are your own best advocate when it comes to keeping you, your family and your pets safe.

People and especially small children and pets should avoid areas where the water is foamy, scummy, thick like paint, pea-green, blue-green or brownish-red in color, if a thick mat of blue-green algae is visible in the water, or bright green cells are suspended in the water column. If you observe these signs in the water you are encouraged to avoid activities that cause you to swallow water or inhale droplets, such as swimming or high-speed water activities.

For health information, to report human or pet illnesses due to blooms, or to ask questions about a news release, contact the Oregon Health Authority at 971-673-0400. For information about advisories issued or lifted for the season, contact the Oregon Public Health toll-free information line at 877-290-6767 or visit the Harmful Algae Blooms website at http://healthoregon.org/hab and select "Algae Bloom Advisories."

# # #

Oregon hospitals make progress in infection prevention, report shows - 11/01/17

November 1, 2017

*But more work needed on curbing incidence of deadly CLABSI, C. diff infections*

Oregon hospitals met national prevention targets for central line-associated bloodstream infections in adult and pediatric intensive care units and wards, but fell short in neonatal intensive care units, according to a new state report on health care-associated infections.

"Health Care-Associated Infections: 2016 Oregon Annual Report" was published today by the Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAI) Program at the Oregon Health Authority's Public Health Division. It examines data on health care-associated infections that Oregon hospitals were required to report to OHA in 2016. It contains HAI data for 61 individual hospitals and 60 freestanding dialysis facilities in Oregon, and has aggregate summaries and facility-specific data for Oregon hospitals' performance on 10 categories of HAIs, with national benchmarks for comparison.

The 2016 report found that hospitals around the state also performed well in preventing catheter-associated urinary tract infections in adult and pediatric wards and ICUs compared with peers around the country. Performance compared to national estimates for hospital-onset bacterial infections, including Clostridium difficile and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), remained stable.

Hospitals demonstrated ongoing improvements in preventing surgical site infections following heart, laminectomy, and hysterectomy surgeries. But they didn't meet 2013 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) targets for reducing surgical site infections following hip- and knee-replacement surgeries.

Becca Pierce, Ph.D., Oregon HAI Program manager, says Oregon continued to exceed the 50 percent HHS reduction target for central line-associated bloodstream infections, also known as CLABSIs, in adult and pediatric settings, observing 59 percent fewer infections than were predicted from national data. Oregon remains a high-performing outlier in the fight against catheter-associated urinary tract infections, seeing 36 percent fewer infections than predicted based on national baselines and showing progressive declines since 2014.

"We're still seeing a problem with CLABSIs in neonatal ICUs, where extremely vulnerable patients are cared for," Pierce said. "There's also more work to be done to prevent C. difficile and surgical site infections at joint prosthesis sites."

She noted that inappropriate or excessive antibiotic use is a major driver of C. difficile infection, which causes hundreds of thousands of infections and tens of thousands of deaths every year.

HAIs occur during or after treatment for other medical conditions. HAIs are potentially life-threatening, and are preventable. About one in every 25 patients in the hospital will develop an HAI, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

To address HAIs, OHA implements a mandatory HAI reporting program that raises awareness of HAIs, promotes transparency of health care information and helps hospitals reducing and prevent HAIs. The HAI Program supports numerous committees and networks working to detect and contain HAIs in Oregon. It also works to prevent spread of antibiotic-resistant organisms during patient transfers between health care facilities by ensuring communication between medical providers, and works to raise awareness among patients and health care providers about infection control practices that save lives.

Helpful links:
· OHA HAI website: http://www.healthoregon.org/hai.
· CDC HAI website: http://www.cdc.gov/hai/
· 2016 report: http://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/DISEASESCONDITIONS/COMMUNICABLEDISEASE/HAI/Documents/Reports/2016_HAI_Annual_Report.pdf

# # #

Oregon Health Policy Board updates State Action Plan for Health - 10/31/17

October 31, 2017

*'2017 Refresh' embraces state's seven public health priority areas*

The Oregon Health Policy Board is updating its 2010 comprehensive health reform plan with a new roadmap that moves beyond the implementation phase of health reform and toward an "upstream" approach that promotes health, emphasizes prevention and advances health system transformation.

OHPB's Action Plan for Health: 2017-2019 Refresh is a major reboot of its seven-year-old plan. It creates a framework that focuses on root causes of poor health outcomes, social determinants of health, health equity and use of evidence-based approaches.

The 2010 plan was the state's first strategic plan for comprehensive health reform. It helped spur the creation of Oregon's coordinated care organizations and establish patient-centered primary care home standards.

"We want to achieve a robust, sustainable, equitable health system that serves all Oregonians," said Zeke Smith, chair of the Oregon Health Policy Board. "The 2010 Action Plan for Health got Oregon's health reforms off the launch pad. The 2017 plan aims us higher."

The 2017 Action Plan Refresh is framed around a set of guiding principles that serve as a long-term guide for the board, OHA, and other stakeholders and partners across the state in setting priorities, policy-making and decision-making. They include:

-- Ensuring access for all Oregonians to the right health care, at the right time and in the right place.
-- Improving health outcomes and reducing costs through transparency, efficiency, innovation, accountability and financial sustainability.
-- Using a patient-centered, integrated and coordinated care approach that optimizes use of technology.
-- Achieving health equity and ensuring that the health care system and its workforce reflect local community characteristics and needs.
-- Engaging providers, purchasers, consumers and other stakeholders in aligning around a common framework.
-- Emphasizing prevention and promoting health development and behaviors where people live, work, learn and play.

The 2017 Action Plan also works in tandem with the seven public health priority areas in the State Health Improvement Plan to align the work across OHA: prevent and reduce tobacco use; slow the increase of obesity; improve oral health; reduce harms associated with alcohol and substance use (including opioids); prevent deaths from suicide; improve immunization rates; and protect the population from communicable diseases.

"Oregon has a nationally recognized health system that works for patients and taxpayers," said OHA Director Patrick Allen. "The Oregon Health Policy Board has set the course. We're committed to achieving the board's vision for a more equitable health system that takes down the barriers to better health in Oregon."

The 2017 Action Plan for Health Refresh is available on the Oregon Health Policy Board's web page at http://www.oregon.gov/oha/OHPB/Pages/index.aspx.

# # #

Parents still getting kids flu shots despite nasal vaccine's absence - 10/30/17

October 30, 2017

*Study shows withdrawal of FluMist has had little effect on immunizations*

The national removal of a recommendation for using the nasal influenza vaccine on children had little effect on influenza immunization rates, a new Oregon Health Authority study shows.

The study, published recently in the medical journal Pediatrics and co-authored by researchers at OHA's Oregon Immunization Program, found that influenza immunization rates for Oregon children were the same before and after the withdrawal of the recommendation. Children who had previously received the live-attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV), marketed as FluMist, were also only slightly less likely to return for an injectable influenza immunization during the 2016-17 influenza season.

Using Oregon's ALERT Immunization Information System, a statewide registry that collects immunization data from public and private health care providers, the researchers also found that children ages 2 to 10 who had received FluMist were only 3 percent less likely to get an injectable influenza immunization in 2016-17, while those ages 11 to 17 were 7 percent less likely. Overall, Oregon flu vaccination rates for children were the same in the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons, despite the lack of FluMist.

"Our study looked at whether the withdrawal of the LAIV recommendation led to lower childhood influenza immunization rates in the 2016-17 influenza season in Oregon," said Steve Robison, epidemiologist with the Oregon Immunization Program. The researchers also examined whether those children who had previously used FluMist in the previous season were less likely to return in 2016-17 for an injectable influenza immunization, when compared to children who didn't use FluMist.

"We found that, overall, there was no difference in childhood influenza immunization rates between the 2015-16 season, when FluMist was widely used, and the 2016-17 season, when FluMist was not used," he said. "We also found that those children with prior FluMist were only slightly less likely to return for injectable influenza immunizations in 2016-17, when compared to those who didn't use FluMist."

Starting with the 2016-17 influenza season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee for Immunization Practice withdrew its recommendation for use of LAIV because evidence showed it was not as effective against flu as injectable vaccine. The withdrawal led to concerns among public health practitioners that parents might choose not to get injectable influenza immunizations for children if they had previously used the FluMist nasal spray. Many providers also had believed that having a non-injected influenza vaccine for children was important to support the universal recommendation that everyone older than 6 months should get immunized against influenza.

"What this study shows is that worry that the withdrawal of the LAIV recommendation would lead to a large drop in influenza immunization rates for children was unfounded," Robison said. "Oregon providers immunized the same numbers of children across influenza seasons regardless of whether FluMist was available or not. Parents and providers may be more concerned with the effectiveness of a vaccine than with how it is administered."

Flu is a virus that causes mild to severe respiratory illness and can lead to hospitalization. The virus kills thousands of people in the U.S. each year. People at higher risk of severe illness or death include children, adults older than 65, pregnant women and people with chronic medical conditions or weak immune systems.

The flu vaccine is the best protection against flu. It can take up to two weeks to become effective, so getting it earlier in the season is ideal. That said, it's not too late since flu season usually lasts until spring. Vaccinations are recommended for everyone 6 months of age and older.

Flu vaccine is available from health care providers, local health departments and many pharmacies. To find flu vaccine clinic, visit the OHA flu prevention website at http://www.flu.oregon.gov/ and use OHA's flu vaccine locator tool.

# # #

Oregon Health Policy Board to meet November 7 in Astoria - 10/27/17

October 27, 2017

What: The monthly public meeting of the Oregon Health Policy Board

When: Tuesday, November 7, 8:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.

Where: Astoria City Hall council chambers, 1095 Duane St., Astoria. Members of the public can call in to listen by dialing 888-808-6929, participant code 915042#.

Agenda: OHA Director's report; OHPB committee updates; local leaders community panel; local innovations community panel; public testimony; CCO 2.0 update

For more information on the meeting, visit the board's meeting page at http://www.oregon.gov/OHA/OHPB/Pages/OHPB-Meetings.aspx.

# # #

Everyone has a right to know about and use Oregon Health Authority (OHA) programs and services. OHA provides free help. Some examples of the free help OHA can provide are:
· Sign language and spoken language interpreters

· Written materials in other languages

· Braille

· Large print

· Audio and other formats

If you need help or have questions, please contact Jeff Scroggin at 541-999-6983, 711 TTY, jeffrey.scroggin@state.or.us, at least 48 hours before the meeting.

Health advisory lifted October 27 for Willow Creek Reservoir - 10/27/17

October 27, 2017

*Reduced blue-green algae and toxin levels confirmed, continued caution with pets advised*

The Oregon Health Authority has lifted the health advisory issued Aug. 7 for Willow Creek Reservoir, located just east of the town of Heppner in Morrow County.

Water monitoring has confirmed that the level of blue-green algae and the toxins they produce are below guideline values for human exposure. However, the Oregon Health Authority recommends that people continue to be cautious with their pets in the lake because toxins are still above the very low exposure levels established for dogs.

Oregon Health officials advise recreational visitors to always be alert to signs of algae blooms in all Oregon waters, because blooms can develop and disappear throughout the season. Only a fraction of the many lakes and waterways in Oregon are monitored for blue-green algae by state, federal and local agencies. Therefore, you are your own best advocate when it comes to keeping you and your family safe.

People and especially small children and pets should avoid areas where the water is foamy, scummy, thick like paint, pea-green, blue-green or brownish-red in color, if a thick mat of blue-green algae is visible in the water, or bright green cells are suspended in the water column. If you observe these signs in the water you are encouraged to avoid activities that cause you to swallow water or inhale droplets, such as swimming or high-speed water activities.

For health information, to report human or pet illnesses due to blooms, or to ask questions about a news release, contact the Oregon Health Authority at 971-673-0400. For information about advisories issued or lifted for the season, contact the Oregon Public Health toll-free information line at 877-290-6767 or visit the Harmful Algae Blooms website at http://healthoregon.org/hab and select "Algae Bloom Advisories."

# # #

OHA State Health Assessment Health Status Subcommittee meets by webinar November 2 - 10/25/17

October 25, 2017

What: A meeting of the Oregon Health Authority's State Health Assessment Health Status Subcommittee to inform the development of the State Health Assessment

Agenda: Share high-level themes from community meetings; review purpose and process for indicators; review proposed categories, indicators and justification; provide feedback on proposed indicators; discuss next steps for the State Health Assessment and State Health Improvement Plan development process

When: Thursday, Nov. 2, 1-3 p.m. The meeting is open to the public. A 10-minute public comment period will be held at the end of the meeting; comments are limited to three minutes.

Where: By webinar at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3324390283537388290.
Conference call line for audio: 877-848-7030, access code 2030826#

Oregon's revised State Health Assessment is one of three prerequisites for public health accreditation. The assessment describes the health of the population, identifies areas for improvement, contributing factors that impact health outcomes, and assets and resources that can be mobilized to improve population health. For more information see the State Health Assessment's web page at http://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/ABOUT/Pages/state-health-assessment.aspx.

# # #

Everyone has a right to know about and use Oregon Health Authority (OHA) programs and services. OHA provides free help. Some examples of the free help OHA can provide are:
-- Sign language and spoken language interpreters
-- Written materials in other languages
-- Braille
-- Large print
-- Audio and other formats

If you need help or have questions, please contact Christy Hudson at 971-673-4347, 711 TTY, or christy.j.hudson@state.or.us, at least 48 hours before the meeting.