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News Releases
New opioid treatment programs to serve rural Oregon - 05/17/18

May 17, 2018

SALEM, Ore. – More Oregonians struggling with opioid use disorder will have access to treatment, thanks to Oregon Health Authority’s strategic investments of federal grant dollars in rural Oregon.

With support from grant funding provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a new program opened in Springfield in April, and additional programs will soon open in Coos Bay and Pendleton.

In 2015, only seven counties had at least one opioid treatment program, and six of them were located in the I-5 corridor. Soon, 11 counties will be served by an opioid treatment program.

“Making treatment available to those who need it is an important part of OHA’s overall strategy in combating the opioid crisis,” said Dana Hargunani, MD, OHA chief medical officer. “We are grateful for the partnerships we have with federal and local partners to make a difference in the lives of Oregonians affected by opioid use disorder. While we continue to work on prevention strategies, we recognize that people who are struggling need access to effective treatment.”

Opioid treatment programs are state and federally licensed facilities that provide medication-assisted treatment (MAT) such as methadone, in conjunction with counseling services. MAT treats withdrawal symptoms without giving patients the euphoric high that is associated with heroin and other opioids. Evidence has shown that MAT is highly effective in reducing relapse rates and increasing the likelihood of long-term recovery.

Adapt OTP, which currently operates a clinic in Roseburg, is slated to open the Oregon coast’s first opioid treatment program this summer. Oregon Recovery and Treatment Center, which has locations in Bend and Grants Pass, recently opened a new location in Springfield and is preparing to open another in Pendleton. It also plans to build treatment capacity in Klamath Falls and Newport.

“We often hear from Oregonians affected by the opioid epidemic in rural Oregon, where treatment is not available in many counties,” said Dwight Holton, executive director of Lines for Life, a regional nonprofit dedicated to preventing substance abuse and suicide. “We look forward to being able to tell more people good news – that help is available.”

ORTC has agreed to use the grant funds to engage in outreach work to build capacity in their service areas, including naloxone training and distribution, community outreach and MAT training for health care providers. Adapt’s grant funds are supporting outreach efforts and staffing resources.

 “At a time when so many Oregonians suffer from the ravages of opioid addiction, these new clinics will help provide the treatment proven effective to combat this epidemic devastating families statewide,” Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) said. “Ensuring that people have access to the treatment they need is the smart way to fight this epidemic, and I look forward very much to these clinics playing a key role in this public health battle.”

# # #

Public Health Advisory Board Accountability Metrics Subcommittee meets May 23 by webinar - 05/16/18

May 16, 2018

Public Health Advisory Board Accountability Metrics Subcommittee meets May 23 by webinar

What: The regular public meeting of the Public Health Advisory Board's Accountability Metrics Subcommittee

Agenda: Approve March 8 meeting minutes; make recommendations for opioid overdose death and active transportation process measures

When: May 23, 1-2 p.m. A public comment period is offered at the end of the meeting.

Where: By webinar at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5150607625475124481.The public also can attend 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. The Accountability Metrics Subcommittee develops recommendations about public health quality measures for the board's consideration.

# # #

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 a.beaudrault@state.or.us">sara.beaudrault@state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.

 

Metrics and Scoring Committee to meet May 18 in Wilsonville - 05/16/18

Agenda corrected

May 15, 2018

Contact: Heather Johnson, 503-508-8276, .n.johnson@state.or.us">heather.n.johnson@state.or.us (meeting information or accommodation)

Metrics and Scoring Committee to meet May 18 in Wilsonville

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

When: May 18, 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://register.gotowebinar.com/rt/7438627555801803523.  Conference line: 888-204-5984, participant code 1277-166. Phone will be unmuted during public testimony.

Agenda: Welcome, consent agenda and updates; public testimony; 2019 prenatal care measure OHA staff recommendation; presentation by Providence CORE on PCORI BHI study; presentation on first Public Health Accountability Report; discussion

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 Heather Johnson at 503-508-8276, 711 TTY, .n.johnson@state.or.us">heather.n.johnson@state.or.us, at least 48 hours before the meeting.

# # #

OHA sets listening session on next phase of coordinated care - 05/15/18

May 15, 2018

OHA sets listening session on next phase of coordinated care

What: CCO leadership listening session regarding CCO 2.0

When: Thursday, May 17, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

Where: Barbara Roberts Human Services Building, Room 137 C-D, 500 Summer St. NE, Salem. Members of the public can call in to listen by dialing 888-363-4735, participant code 1593726#.

Agenda: CCO 2.0 presentation and discussion

# # #

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 at least 48 hours before the meeting.

 

Conference of Local Health Officials meets May 17 in Portland - 05/14/18

May 14, 2018

Conference of Local Health Officials meets May 17 in Portland

What: The monthly conference meeting of the Conference of Local Health Officials (CLHO)

Agenda: Committee appointments; OHA organizational realignment; public health accountability process measures; public health modernization funding formula; tobacco prevention and education program element; CDC health promotion and chronic disease prevention funding opportunities; tuberculosis funding formula; marijuana tax distribution to counties; reactivation of Public Health Nursing Supervisors Caucus. The meeting agenda and related materials are posted on the CLHO website at https://oregonclho.org/about/clho-meetings/.

When: May 17, 9:30-11:30 a.m. The meeting is open to the public. No conference call option is available for the public.

Where: Portland State Office Building, 800 NE Oregon St., Room 1E, Portland.

The Conference of Local Health Officials provides recommendations to the Oregon Health Authority on the foundational capabilities and programs, and any other public health program or activity under ORS 431.147 (ORS 431.340).

Program contact: Danna Drum, 971-673-1223, um@state.or.us">danna.k.drum@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 Danna Drum at 971-673-1223, 711 TTY or um@state.or.us">danna.k.drum@state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.

 

Oregon State Hospital Advisory Board to meet May 17 in Salem - 05/10/18

May 10, 2018

Program contact: Jacee Vangestel, 503-945-2852, jacee.m.vangestel@state.or.us

Oregon State Hospital Advisory Board to meet May 17 in Salem

What: The regular public meeting of the Oregon State Hospital Advisory Board

When: May 17, 1-5 p.m.

Where: Oregon State Hospital, 2600 Center St. NE, Salem, in the Callan Conference Room. The public can also attend via toll-free conference line at 888-278-0296, participant code 4294893.

Agenda: Topics will include welcoming the new Oregon State Hospital superintendent, public comment, medication evaluation/forensic assessment, access to electronic hospital policy and procedure manual, and updates on the following: .370 status, data and discharge information, grievance procedure, annual legislative report, tribal food, bylaws, Patient Advisory Council and patient/family interactions with security staff.

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:

  • 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 Jacee Vangestel at

503-945-2852, 711 TTY or jacee.m.vangestel@state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.

 

Influenza vaccination rates among Oregon health care workers fall short - 05/09/18

May 9, 2018

Influenza vaccination rates among Oregon health care workers fall short

OHA report shows dialysis facility employees have highest flu immunization rates

PORTLAND, Ore.—Influenza vaccination rates among Oregon health care workers continue a steady rise, but they still fall short of national immunization goals, a new state report shows.

While health care worker flu vaccination rates have grown more than 40 percent between the 2011-2012 and 2016-2017 flu seasons, the 2016-2017 season’s overall rate of 73 percent is just below the national Healthy People 2015 goal of a 75 percent flu vaccination rate. And it is far short of the Healthy People 2020 goal of 90 percent, according to the Oregon Health Care Worker Influenza Vaccination Annual Report: 2016-2017 Season. The report was published this week by the Acute and Communicable Disease Prevention Section at the Oregon Health Authority Public Health Division.

“Flu vaccination among health care workers is extremely important,” said Rebecca Pierce, PhD, manager of the Healthcare-Associated Infections and Emerging Infections programs in the Acute and Communicable Disease Prevention Section. “These workers’ care for vulnerable individuals, including patients who are at risk of serious illness and even death if exposed to the flu virus. Health care workers need to be our first line of defense—flu vaccination protects the safety of patients and our health care workforce.”

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services developed the Healthy People program with 10-year objectives for improving the health of all Americans.

Among health facility types, dialysis facilities in Oregon have the highest flu vaccination rates, beating the Healthy People 2015 goal and coming the closest to the Healthy People 2020 goal. Dialysis facilities’ rate of 85 percent during the 2016-2017 flu season represents a slight drop from 89 percent the year before.

Hospitals also beat the national 2015 goal for worker immunizations against the flu, coming in at a rate of 79.5 percent during the 2016-2017 season, but still short of the 2020 goal. Since the 2011-2012 season, rates of flu immunizations among health care workers at hospitals has risen almost 35 percent.

Coming in below both the 2015 and 2020 national goals for health care worker vaccinations were ambulatory surgery centers and skilled nursing facilities. Ambulatory surgery centers had a rate of 72 percent during the 2016-2017 season, an increase of 41 percent from 2011-2012, while the rate at skilled nursing facilities was even lower: 57 percent during 2016-2017, representing only a 21 percent increase since 2011-2012. That rate also represented a 9.5 percent drop from the 2015-2016 season.

Pierce said publication of the report each year tracks progress toward the Healthy People 2020 goal and directs public health action, showing where additional support and education is needed.

To achieve 90 percent vaccination coverage, health care facilities can take some important steps. Among the recommendations included in the Oregon Health Care Worker Influenza Vaccination Annual Report are encouraging health care workers, including those not employed by the facility such as contractors and volunteers, to get vaccinated at the beginning of every influenza season. Facilities can host promotional activities, such as holding mass vaccination fairs, providing vaccines at no cost to employees, starting incentive programs, and documenting all employees’ vaccination status and requiring staff members who forgo vaccination to turn in a form saying they decline to be vaccinated.

“We can do better,” Pierce said. “While 90 percent vaccination rate is our goal for the next two years, a 100 percent vaccination rate is what we’d really like to see.”

The report is available on the OHA website at http://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/DiseasesConditions/CommunicableDisease/HAI/Pages/Reports-and-Data.aspx.

# # #

 

Public Health Advisory Board Incentives and Funding Subcommittee meets May 14 by webinar - 05/07/18

May 7, 2018

Public Health Advisory Board Incentives and Funding Subcommittee meets May 14 by webinar

What: A public meeting of the Incentives and Funding Subcommittee of the Public Health Advisory Board

Agenda: Approve March 12 and April 9 meeting minutes; finalize funding formula indicators; discuss local public health authority expenditures reporting; finalize 2019-21 funding formula.

When: May 14, 1-3 p.m. A public comment period is offered at the end of the meeting.

Where: By webinar at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1017967828287751171, and by conference call at 877-873-8017, access code 767068#.

Background: Oregon’s Public Health Advisory Board provides guidance for Oregon’s governmental public health system. It also oversees the implementation of public health modernization and Oregon’s State Health Improvement Plan. The Incentives and Funding Subcommittee develops recommendations for the board's consideration.

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

Program contact: Sara Beaudrault, 971-645-5766, a.beaudrault@state.or.us">sara.beaudrault@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:

  • 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, a.beaudrault@state.or.us">sara.beaudrault@state.or.us, at least 48 hours before the meeting.

 

 

Public Health Advisory Board meets May 17 in Portland - 05/07/18

May 7, 2018

Public Health Advisory Board meets May 17 in Portland

What: The regular monthly public meeting of the Public Health Advisory Board

Agenda: Discuss the role of public health in the vision for Oregon’s health system transformation; discuss the 2019-21 local public health authority funding formula; and learn about implementation of regional public health modernization initiatives.

When: May 17, 2-5 p.m. The meeting is open to the public. A public comment period will be held at the end of the meeting.

Where: Portland State Office Building, Conference Room 450, 800 NE Oregon St., Portland. Also available remotely by webinar or by telephone 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 agendas, minutes and other meeting information, please visit the board's meeting page.

# # #

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 a.m.biddlecom@state.or.us">cara.m.biddlecom@state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.

OHA Oral Health Program sets rules advisory committee meetings in June, July - 05/04/18

May 4, 2018

OHA Oral Health Program sets rules advisory committee meetings in June, July

What: The Oral Health Program at the Oregon Health Authority Public Health Division is convening a series of rules advisory committee (RAC) meetings to discuss amendments to rules related to Dental Pilot Projects.

The purpose of the RAC is to provide feedback and input on the development of amended rule language, as well as review the statement of need and fiscal impact for the proposed rules. The Oral Health Program will select no more than 14 applicants for the RAC that include broad representation of stakeholders.

Those interested in participating in the RAC can download and complete the Dental Pilot Project Program RAC Application Form and return it to:

OHA Oral Health Program
ATTN: Sarah Kowalski
800 NE Oregon Street, Suite 825
Portland, OR 97232

When:

  • June 11, 9-11 a.m., Portland State Office Building, Conference Room 1A.
  • June 25, 9-11 a.m., Portland State Office Building, Conference Room 1E.
  • July 9, 9-11 a.m., Portland State Office Building, Conference Room 1D.
  • July 23, 9-11 a.m., Portland State Office Building, Conference Room 1D.

Where: Portland State Office Building, 800 NE Oregon St., Portland, first floor meeting rooms.

Background: Senate Bill 738, passed by the Oregon State Legislature in 2011, allows the Oregon Health Authority to approve dental pilot projects once an application has been approved. These 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, ah.e.kowalski@state.or.us">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 ah.e.kowalski@state.or.us">sarah.e.kowalski@state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.

 

 

Cannabis Commission's Access to Patients Subcommittee meets May 14 in Portland - 05/04/18

May 4, 2018

Cannabis Commission's Access to Patients Subcommittee meets May 14 in Portland

What: The monthly public meeting of the Cannabis Commission Access to Patients Subcommittee

Agenda: The agenda will include discussion of the following topics: Updates on patient survey and data requests, budget information requests, legislative action items, and program structure and streamlining; patient access and low-income patient programs including determining eligibility, reviewing current statute and rules on eligibility based on federal poverty guidelines for non-profit dispensaries (ORS 475B.873(2)), (OAR 333-008-1255), and OHP guidelines for enrollment and Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) patients; determining pathways for transfer to patients and caregivers including transfers by OLCC licensees to OMMP patients (ORS 475B.136, 475B.146), (OAR 845-025-2500-2550), OMMP grower direct transfers to patients, and discounts or free transfers; compensations for charitable contributions and retail participation including tax credits, public outreach, and criteria of renewal and medical endorsement.

When: May 14, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Time will be allotted at the end of the meeting for public comment; comments are limited to three minutes.

Where: Portland State Office Building, Conference Room 1D (on the main floor of the building), 800 NE Oregon Street Portland

The Oregon Cannabis Commission was established in the 2017 legislative session though HB 2198. The commission consists of the state public health officer or their designee and an eight-member panel appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. The commission is tasked with determining a possible framework for future governance of the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program, steps to address research on cannabis in areas of public health policy and public safety policy, agronomic and horticultural best practices, and medical and pharmacopoeia best practices. It also advises the Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon Liquor Control Commission with respect to the statutes governing medical and retail cannabis.

# # #

Everyone has a right to know about and use the 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 material in other languages
  • Braille
  • Large print
  • Audio and other formats

If you need help or have questions, please contact Shannon McFadden at 971-673-3181, 711 TTY or shannon.m.mcfadden@state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.

 

Hospital Metrics Technical Advisory Group to meet May 8 in Portland - 05/03/18

May 3, 2018

Contact: Jonathan McElfresh, 503-385-3075, jonathan.p.mcelfresh@dhsoha.state.or.us (meeting information or accommodation)

Hospital Metrics Technical Advisory Group to meet May 8 in Portland

What: A public meeting of the Oregon Health Authority Hospital Metrics Technical Advisory Group

When: Tuesday, May 8 at 10 a.m.

Where: Oregon Health Authority Lincoln Building, 421 SW Oak St., Suite 850, Mary Conference Room, Portland

The public can also join through a listen-only conference line at 877-810-9415, participant code 1773452.

For more information, an agenda and meeting packet, visit the committee’s website at http://www.oregon.gov/oha/HPA/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 Jon McElfresh at 503-385-3075, 711 TTY or esh@dhsoha.state.or.us">jonathan.p.mcelfresh@dhsoha.state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.

 

OHA announces Medford public meeting on the future of coordinated care organizations - 05/03/18

May 3, 2018

OHA announces Medford public meeting on the future of coordinated care organizations

The Oregon Health Authority will gather public input about the coordinated care model and the state’s Medicaid reforms Friday, May 11 from 10 a.m. to noon in Medford. The meeting will be held at the Medford Campus Higher Education Center, 101 South Bartlett, Room 132.

Additional meetings will be scheduled around the state in late June. Meeting locations, dates and times will be announced soon.

Coordinated care organizations (CCOs) are the heart of the coordinated care model. CCOs were formed in Oregon in 2012 as part of the state’s plan to improve the quality of health care and limit the growth of health care spending.

“We need to hear from OHP members, taxpayers and the public about what’s working for them, and what needs more work so we can continue to transform the health system in Oregon,” said Patrick Allen, OHA Director. “We have more than five years of experience with the coordinated care model. We know that it has saved taxpayers money while improving care in some areas, but we also know there is a lot more work to do,” he added.

CCOs are local organizations governed by community members. They bring together physical, mental health, addiction medicine, and dental health providers to coordinate care for people on the Oregon Health Plan (Medicaid). There are now 15 CCOs in Oregon coordinating health care for nearly 1 million OHP members throughout the state.

New CCO contracts will start in 2020, but the state is gathering public input now to help inform these contracts.

Anyone is welcome, and advance registration is appreciated.

If you can’t attend the meeting, you can also provide feedback by emailing CCO2.0@state.or.us.

In the first five years of operation, the coordinated care model has saved taxpayers an estimated $2.2 billion, while also reducing unnecessary emergency department visits, and improving preventive care for children and adults.

But improvements are still needed in several areas including:

  • Better access and treatment in mental health and addiction medicine.
  • Finding new ways to limit growth in health care spending.
  • Paying providers for improving quality rather than for each visit or test.
  • Providing better access to housing, transportation, education, and other health-related services.
  • Reducing language and cultural barriers that affect access to health care.

Spanish language interpretation services will be available at the meeting.

For more information, visit the CCO 2.0 webpage at http://www.oregon.gov/oha/OHPB/Pages/CCO-2-0.aspx.

# # #

Everyone has a right to know about and use the 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 material in other languages
  • Braille
  • Large print
  • Audio and other formats

If you need help or have questions, please contact Stephanie Jarem at 971-273-6844, 711 TTY or em@state.or.us">stephanie.jarem@state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.

Oregon Health Authority releases findings of AmeriTies report in The Dalles - 05/01/18

May 1, 2018

Oregon Health Authority releases findings of AmeriTies report in The Dalles

Public invited to open house to ask questions about report on air pollutants

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Oregon Health Authority today released the “AmeriTies-West Letter Health Consultation” report, which concluded exposure to outdoor air pollutants near the facility in The Dalles did not pose chronic public health risks for people in the area.

The report, authored by the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), cautions that strong odors could still trigger physical symptoms.

“We’ve heard community members’ concerns that health problems they are experiencing may be related to their exposures,” said Susanna Wegner, Ph.D., public health toxicologist in the Environmental Public Health Section at the OHA Public Health Division. "Some health problems may be related to odors. We know that odors can cause imAmediate, strong physiological responses."

The most common symptoms in response to environmental odors are headache and nausea, as well as dizziness, watery eyes, stuffy nose, irritated throat, cough or wheeze, and sleep problems.

ATSDR, in collaboration with OHA, prepared the report at the request of the North Central Public Health District. The district requested help in understanding if exposure to outdoor air pollutants—naphthalene and other polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons—posed long-term health risks to residents near the AmeriTies West facility, which treats wooden railroad ties.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) signed a mutual agreement and order with AmeriTies in April 2016 to reduce odors. The order outlined a range of odor-reduction actions the company would make, including using a different wood preservative with less naphthalene. AmeriTies made the preservative change later that year, and DEQ continues to work with AmeriTies to reduce odors.

Earlier this month, DEQ issued air quality monitoring data and an accompanying report, available on the DEQ website at http://www.oregon.gov/deq/FilterDocs/ameritiesreport2017.pdf.

OHA, ATSDR and DEQ will host an air quality open house. The purpose of the event will be to answer questions from community members about the letter health consultation report and the air data DEQ collected. Community members are welcome to drop in any time during the two-hour open house.

When: Tuesday, May 15, 6-8 p.m.

Where: Columbia Gorge Community College, 400 E. Scenic Drive, Building 2, third floor auditorium, The Dalles

To read a summary of the report and the full report findings and recommendations, visit the OHA AmeriTies webpage at www.healthoregon.org/atsite. Copies of the report can also be reviewed during regular library hours at The Dalles-Wasco County Public Library, 722 Court St., The Dalles.

# # #

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 Nadège Dubuisson at 971-673-1213, 711 TTY or uisson@state.or.us">nadege.dubuisson@state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.

Health Care Workforce Committee to meet May 2 in Wilsonville - 04/30/18

April 30, 2018

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

Health Care Workforce Committee to meet May 2 in Wilsonville

What: A public meeting of the Health Care Workforce Committee.

When: Wednesday, May 2, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Public testimony will be heard 12:20 p.m.

Where: Clackamas Community College Wilsonville Training Center, Room 111/112, 29353 SW Town Center Loop E, Wilsonville

Attendees can also follow the presentation by webinar at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/991476200528257795 and listen to discussion by conference line at 877-411-9748, access code 730407.

Agenda: Approval of March meeting summary, OHPB update, Health Care Workforce Reporting Update, CCO 2.0 recommendations to leadership on workforce and possible vote, Provider Incentive update, Health Care Workforce Diversity, discussion and amendment of committee bylaws, consideration of GME planning recommendation

For more information, please visit the committee’s website at http://www.oregon.gov/oha/HPA/HP-HCW/Pages/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 Melisa Otrugman at 503-689-5238, 711 TTY, ugman@state.or.us">melisa.z.otrugman@state.or.us, at least 48 hours before the meeting.

Nurse Staffing Advisory Board SurveyMonkey Committee meets May 4 in Portland - 04/26/18

April 26, 2018

Nurse Staffing Advisory Board SurveyMonkey Committee meets May 4 in Portland

What: A public meeting of the Nurse Staffing Advisory Board SurveyMonkey Committee

Agenda: Overview of the SurveyMonkey tool, committee members’ discussion of SurveyMonkey questions and SurveyMonkey in the Nurse Staffing FAQ. The agenda is available on the OHA’s nurse staffing website.

When: May 4, 2 p.m. No public comment period is offered.

Where: Portland State Office Building, Room 612, 800 NE Oregon Street, Portland; or by conference call at 877-336-1829, access code 2075141.

Background: The Nurse Staffing Advisory Board has established a committee to advise the Oregon Health Authority on the SurveyMonkey tool used in nurse staffing surveys. Board members serving on the committee will review the use of the SurveyMonkey tool, the questions asked in the SurveyMonkey tool, and whether information about the SurveyMonkey tool should be included in the Nurse Staffing FAQ.

For more information, see the agency nurse staffing website at http://www.healthoregon.org/nursestaffing.

Program contact: Anna Davis, 971-673-2950, anna.l.davis@state.or.us

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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 Anna Davis at 971-673-2950, 711 TTY or anna.l.davis@state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.

Report tracks public health metrics for improved outcomes - 04/25/18

April 25, 2018

Report tracks public health metrics for improved outcomes

PORTLAND, Ore.—A new Oregon Health Authority report offers an in-depth look at how the state’s public health system is doing on key health issues, setting a baseline for tracking progress toward improving population health.

The 2018 Public Health Accountability Metrics Baseline Report examines key health issues such as improving childhood immunization rates, reducing tobacco use and opioid overdose deaths, and ensuring access to clean drinking water. It highlights where the public health and health care systems can work together to achieve shared goals.

Many of the metrics outlined in the report, the first of its kind in Oregon, align with coordinated care organization (CCO) incentive metrics in Oregon’s Medicaid coordinated care system.

“Tracking metrics for the same health issues across CCOs and in public health settings presents a real opportunity to tackle these issues with both public health and health system interventions, and hopefully gain some good momentum,” said Cara Biddlecom, director of policy and partnerships, OHA Public Health Division.

The Public Health Advisory Board (PHAB), which advises OHA on policy matters related to public health programs, established the measures in June 2017 as a way of tracking progress toward population health goals as part of the modernization of Oregon’s public health system. The metrics also will help identify where changes are needed if goals aren’t being met.

Public health modernization is intended to ensure the public health system operates efficiently, is aligned with health system transformation, and is set up to provide critical protections for every person in the state.

Key findings from the report, which uses mostly 2016 data, include:

  • With 89 percent of public water systems meeting health-based standards, the public health system is close to meeting the statewide benchmark of 92 percent. Oregon’s public health authorities ensure clean drinking water for people across the state by inspecting 3,600 public water systems and taking corrective actions when standards are not met.
  • Rates of gonorrhea infections are considerably higher than the statewide benchmark. Oregon, like much of the country, has experienced a large increase in gonorrhea rates in recent years. Oregon’s public health system is using some of the Legislature’s $5 million state investment in public health modernization to establish regional systems to control communicable diseases like gonorrhea.
  • For most accountability metrics, health outcomes vary across racial and ethnic groups. Understanding where health disparities exist will allow state and local public health authorities to focus interventions on reducing disparities.

This report is intended to be used to understand Oregon’s status on population health priorities and public health interventions to make improvements. Where possible, data are reported by race and ethnicity, which help to understand the health disparities that exist in Oregon. The report should not be interpreted as a report card for Oregon’s public health system or any individual public health authority.

In future years, annual metrics reports will provide the public health system and its partners and stakeholders with information they need to understand where Oregon is making progress toward population health goals, and where we need new approaches and additional focus.

The full report is available on the Public Health Accountability Metrics webpage at http://www.oregon.gov/OHA/PH/ABOUT/Pages/AccountabilityMetrics.aspx.

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OMMP sets community outreach sessions on reporting and tracking requirements for medical marijuana growers - 04/25/18

April 25, 2018

OMMP sets community outreach sessions on reporting and tracking requirements for medical marijuana growers

The Oregon Medical Marijuana Program has scheduled a series of community outreach sessions to help growers understand new reporting and tracking requirements.

The focus of the sessions is to provide information to registered medical growers on how to designate a grow site administrator (GSA) for those sites that are required to use the state’s Cannabis Tracking System (CTS). OMMP staff members will also review the requirements around when a grow site is required to use CTS, when it is required to report monthly into the Oregon Medical Marijuana Online System (OMMOS) or when a grow site is exempt from any kind of reporting and tracking.

During the outreach sessions, OMMP staff members will help growers with setting up or accessing their accounts in OMMOS. An OMMOS account is required not only for monthly reporting, but also for growers at grow sites that will be using CTS.

OMMP outreach sessions are scheduled as follows:

  • May 3, 2-3:30 p.m. and 4:30-6 p.m., Columbia Center, 375 S. 18th St., St. Helens
  • May 4, 9-10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., 2-3:30 p.m., Portland State Office Building, 800 NE Oregon St., Room 1B, Portland
  • May 4, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., 2-4:30 p.m., Albany Public Library, 2450 14th Ave. SE, Albany
  • May 8, 9-10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., 2:30-4 p.m., Cherry Avenue Training Center, 3414 Cherry Ave. NE, Ste. 150, Keizer
  • May 10, noon to 1:30 p.m., 3-4:30 p.m., 6-7:30 p.m., Tillamook County Library, 1716 3rd St., Tillamook
  • May 11, 9:30-11 a.m., noon to 1:30 p.m., Tillamook County Library, 1716 3rd St., Tillamook
  • May 10, 6-8 p.m., Portland State Office Building, 800 NE Oregon St., Room 1B, Portland
  • May 11, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., 2-3:30 p.m., Portland State Office Building, 800 NE Oregon St., Room 1A, Portland
  • May 16, 10-11:30 a.m., 12:30-2 p.m., 3:30-5 p.m., Grants Pass Library, 200 NW C St., Grants Pass
  • May 17, 10-11:30 a.m., 12:30-2 p.m., Grants Pass Library, 200 NW C St., Grants Pass

A Eugene session will be scheduled soon.

Please visit the OMMP website at http://www.healthoregon.org/ommp for more information and updates to the training schedule.

CTS and you, getting started

During May and June, OMMP and the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) will embark on a CTS “roadshow” to help registered medical growers, dispensaries and processors understand the tracking system. OMMP staff members will be on hand to provide an overview of program changes. OLCC will provide an overview of how to use CTS for medical registrants. One of the sessions will be videotaped and posted on the OLCC YouTube channel.

A complete list of dates and locations, as well as a sign-up form to attend a session, will be posted on the OLCC’s Eventbrite page.

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Oregon Health Policy Board meets May 1 in Portland - 04/25/18

April 25, 2018

Oregon Health Policy Board meets May 1 in Portland

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

When: Tuesday, May 1, 8:30 a.m. to 2 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: welcome; minutes approval; long-term calendar review; OHA Director’s report; OHPB committee liaison and consultant report; equity data and measures discussion, Public Health Advisory Board update and discussion, Medicaid Advisory Committee briefing and discussion; Health Equity Committee work plan discussion and update; CCO 2.0 update

For more information on the meeting, visit the board’s meeting page.

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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.

 

OHA amends 2018 CCO capitation rates - 04/24/18

Media availability: Laura Robison, OHA’s chief financial officer and Chelsea Guest, OHA’s manager of actuarial services, will be available to answer questions at 10 a.m., Wednesday, April 25. To participate, please call 877-873-8017 and enter the participant code 8257371.

http://bit.ly/2FduRBW

April 24, 2018

OHA amends 2018 CCO capitation rates

The Oregon Health Authority has amended and finalized 2018 capitation rates for coordinated care organizations (CCOs). These rates are the per-member-per-month amounts the state pays CCOs to coordinate health care for nearly 1 million Oregonians on the Oregon Health Plan (Medicaid).

The adjustment will result in an average net payment of $427.70 per month for each member, which is $8.04 more than the initial 2018 rate, and $21.49 more than the average per-member-per month payment in 2017, an increase of 5.3 percent.

“OHA set 2018 rates last fall, but we committed to review the impact of recent eligibility renewals and update rates, if needed,” said Laura Robison, OHA’s chief financial officer. “The majority of the increase is driven by the impact of these renewals.”

The amended rates also include the 1.5 percent managed care tax and the reduction of Health Share of Oregon's rates due to the February 1 transition of FamilyCare members to Health Share of Oregon. As of February 1, Health Share of Oregon’s average rate decreased by 0.6 percent due to the member transition, reflecting the lower average health risk of FamilyCare’s members relative to Health Share of Oregon’s existing members.

CCOs' capitation payments are divided into 12 rate categories. The rates take into account the average cost for members in these specific categories. For example, the state pays CCOs more for members who are disabled than it does for children because members who are disabled generally have higher health care costs.

Why did renewals increase the CCO capitation rates?

After Cover Oregon failed in 2014, the state received permission from the federal government to hold off on annual Medicaid renewal reviews until it could implement a new renewal system. The state implemented the new Oregon Eligibility (ONE) system in late 2016 and completed renewal reviews for the final group of cases in August 2017.

During this effort OHA determined that more than 67,000 members were still eligible for Medicaid benefits, but more than 47,000 no longer qualified, either because they didn’t meet the income criteria or because they didn’t respond to the state's letters requesting additional information.

On average, CCOs had been spending less on these members because they were healthier and needed fewer services. This shift in the CCO membership left fewer healthy members in the system to compensate for the higher costs of less-healthy members who continued to qualify for Medicaid.

“The rate-setting process already accounts for natural fluctuations in the Medicaid market," Robison said. "But we needed to make an adjustment because such a large number of members were deemed ineligible at one time.”

“We don’t expect this to be an issue going forward, as we have finished the renewal eligibility work and the ONE system reviews Medicaid eligibility annually,” added Robison.

Since 2012 Oregon has avoided $2.2 billion in Medicaid costs through the coordinated care system and other health system reforms. A recent independent evaluation of the first five years of Oregon’s Medicaid waiver found Oregon’s health reforms lowered per-member costs compared to Washington’s Medicaid program.

“Now that enrollment has stabilized, we look forward to working with our CCO partners to build on Oregon’s success in reducing health care costs," Robison said. "We want to use the lessons we’ve learned in the first five years of health system transformation to further improve the quality of care and meet our cost-saving targets.”

A full breakdown of final amended 2018 CCO rates is on the OHA website at http://www.oregon.gov/oha/HPA/ANALYTICS/OHPRates/2018-Aggregate-CCO-Rate-Comparison.pdf

Additional information is available on the OHA website at http://www.oregon.gov/oha/HPA/ANALYTICS/Pages/OHP-Rates.aspx

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Be aware of harmful algae blooms this summer - 04/23/18

April 23, 2018

Media contact: Delia Hernández, 503-522-7179, phd.communications@state.or.us

Be aware of harmful algae blooms this summer

Increasing temperatures create potential for toxins in water

As summer approaches, the Oregon Health Authority is reminding outdoor enthusiasts to be alert for harmful algae blooms when recreating in Oregon lakes, rivers and reservoirs.

Most blooms are harmless but under the right conditions some can produce toxins capable of causing illness in people and animals.

If toxin levels are above OHA guideline values for human health, the agency issues a health advisory warning people to stay out of affected water to avoid illness. This year after evaluating current research, OHA is reducing the toxin guideline values to further protect the public. Although this change should not affect the number of advisories that may be issued, it could affect the length of time an advisory is in place. This is because it may take longer for toxins to drop below these reduced values.

Since only a fraction of Oregon’s fresh waters are monitored, OHA advises people to stay out of the water if it looks foamy, scummy, thick like paint and pea-green, blue-green or brownish-red in color. Exposure to toxins can cause skin rash, diarrhea, cramps, vomiting, numbness, dizziness and fainting. Children and pets are most vulnerable to illness due to their size and level of activity. Note that OHA guideline values are for human health; animals are much more sensitive than people. Within hours of being exposed to extremely low levels of the toxin, dogs can become gravely ill and even die.

Although toxins are not absorbed through the skin, people with skin sensitivities can develop a rash when wading, playing or swimming in or around a bloom. More serious symptoms occur when water is swallowed while swimming, or through inhalation of water droplets via high-speed activities such as water-skiing.

By being aware of signs of a bloom and taking proper precautions when a bloom is suspected, people can continue to visit their favorite lake, river or reservoir and enjoy water activities such as canoeing, fishing, camping, hiking, biking, picnicking, and bird watching. Boating is also safe when speeds do not create excessive water spray.

To learn if an advisory has been issued or lifted for a specific water body, you can visit the Harmful Algae Bloom website at healthoregon.org/hab or call the Oregon Public Health Division toll-free information line at 877-290-6767.

For health information or to report an illness, contact OHA at 971-673-0400. For campground or lake information, call the local management agency.

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