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News Releases
Oregon Health Policy Board to meet May 2 in Portland at OHSU - 04/28/17

April 28, 2017

Contact: Jeff Scroggin, 541-999-6983 (meeting information or accommodations);
Courtney Crowell 971-712-6503 (media inquiries)

Oregon Health Policy Board to meet May 2 in Portland at OHSU

Includes legislative and federal updates as well as discussion and possible action regarding hospital community benefits and OHPB committees

The Oregon Health Policy Board will hold its monthly meeting May 2, 2017 in Portland. The meeting will be held at the OHSU Center for Health and Healing.

When: Tuesday, May 2, 8:30 a.m. -- 12:00 p.m.

Where: OHSU Center for Health & Healing, 3303 SW Bond Ave., third floor, room 4. The meeting will also be available via live web stream. A link to the live stream and a recording of the meeting will be posted on the board's meeting page at http://www.oregon.gov/oha/OHPB/Pages/2017-OHPB-Meetings.aspx. Members of the public can also call in to listen by dialing 1-888-808-6929, participant code 915042#.

OHA Director's Report
OHPB Committee Updates
2017 Legislative Session Update
Federal Health Policy Update
OHPB Committees: Charters & Membership Discussion & Possible Action
Public Testimony
Community Benefit Presentation & Panel

For more information on the meeting, visit the board's meeting page at http://www.oregon.gov/oha/OHPB/Pages/2017-OHPB-Meetings.aspx .
The meeting site is accessible to people with disabilities. Individuals requiring accommodation may request alternate formats, sign language interpreters, physical accessibility, or other reasonable accommodations by calling the Oregon Health Authority at 1-800-282-8096 at least 48 hours before the meeting.

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Medicaid Advisory Committee to meet April 26 in Salem - 04/20/17

April 20, 2017

Contact: Amanda Peden, 503-208-1010, amanda.m.peden@state.or.us (meeting information or accommodations)

What: The regular monthly public meeting of the Medicaid Advisory Committee

When: Wednesday, April 26, 9 a.m. to noon

Where: Oregon State Library, 250 Winter Street NE, Room 102, Salem. The meeting will also be available via webinar at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/15206623460470274. A recording of the meeting will be posted at the Medicaid Advisory Committee's website at http://www.oregon.gov/oha/OHPR/MAC/Pages/Meetings.aspx. Members of the public can also call in to listen at 888-398-2342, access code 3732275.

Agenda: Welcome, retreat follow-up and next steps discussion, why we are here -- Oregon Health Plan (OHP) member story, legislative update, federal health care policy update, OHP eligibility and enrollment update.

For more information on the meeting, visit the committee's meeting page at http://www.oregon.gov/oha/OHPR/MAC/Pages/Meetings.aspx.

The meeting site is accessible to people with disabilities. To request alternate formats, sign language interpreters, physical accessibility, or other reasonable accommodations, call the Oregon Health Authority at 800-282-8096 at least 48 hours before the meeting.

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Public Health Advisory Board's Accountability Metrics Subcommittee meets April 26 by webinar - 04/18/17

April 18, 2017

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

Agenda: Approve February and March meeting minutes; discuss progress toward developing health outcome metrics; review draft stakeholder survey

When: Wednesday, April 26, 2017, 10-11 a.m. A five-minute public comment period is scheduled at 10:45 a.m.; comments may be limited to three minutes.

Where: By webinar at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5150607625475124481. The public also may join 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 consideration by the Public Health Advisory Board.

Program contact: Sara Beaudrault, 971-673-0432, sara.beaudrault@state.or.us

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Unvaccinated children spread pertussis across communities during an outbreak, new study finds - 04/18/17

April 18, 2017

While more than 90 percent of Oregon children are vaccinated against pertussis, this protection is not enough to stop pertussis from spreading when those choosing not to vaccinate share social networks, schools or other connections, according to a new study by the Oregon Immunization Program.

"The Timing of Pertussis Cases in Unvaccinated Children in an Outbreak Year: Oregon 2012," published in the current edition of The Journal of Pediatrics, suggests that relaxing immunization recommendations and school requirements could cause vaccine-preventable diseases to spread.

For the study, epidemiologists Steve Robison and Juventila Liko looked at a 2012 pertussis outbreak in northwest Oregon. They found that pertussis cases among unvaccinated children were three times more likely to occur earlier in an outbreak than cases among vaccinated children. This indicates that unvaccinated children were more frequently the source of pertussis disease which was then passed on to other children.

As the outbreak spread, the earliest cases in new disease-affected areas were also mostly among the unvaccinated. It is possible, the study found, that the unvaccinated have a greater role in how outbreaks develop beyond simply not helping build community protection.

"Parents who are reluctant to immunize their children often have social networks and other connections to others with similar lack of immunizations," Robison said. "This may provide a way for infectious disease to spread across communities."

The study can be found on The Journal of Pediatrics website at http://www.jpeds.com/article/S0022-3476(16)31542-6/fulltext. Follow the Oregon Immunization Program on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/OregonImmunize.

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Conference of Local Health Officials meets April 20 in Salem - 04/14/17

April 14, 2017

What: The monthly public meeting of the Conference of Local Health Officials

Agenda: OHA Behavioral Health Collaborative and public health; Healthiest State Initiative; e-cigarette bill process evaluation; school-based health center funding; Climate and Health Grant update; OHA-Public Health Division updates

When: Thursday, April 20, 9:30 a.m. to noon. The meeting is open to the public. No conference call option is available for the public.

Where: Local Government Center, 1201 Court Street NE, Suite 300, Salem

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, 503-957-8869, danna.k.drum@state.or.us

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Oregon Stroke Care Committee meets by teleconference April 13 - 04/11/17

April 11, 2017

What: A public teleconference meeting of the Oregon Stroke Care Committee.

Agenda items include: discuss committee's 2017 Report to the Legislature; provide stroke rehabilitation workgroup update; discuss committee's next steps.

When: Thursday, April 13, 7-8:30 a.m.

Where: The meeting will be by teleconference call. To participate by phone, call 877-336-1831, participant code 559758.

Who: The Oregon Stroke Care Committee is established under ORS 431.673 for the purpose of achieving continuous improvement in the quality of stroke care in Oregon. The committee is made of 10 members appointed by the director of the Oregon Health Authority.

For more information about the meeting, contact Kirsten Aird at 971-673-1053 or kirsten.g.aird@state.or.us.

To request alternate formats, sign language interpreters, or other reasonable accommodations, call the Oregon Health Authority at 1-800-282-8096 at least 48 hours before the meeting.

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OHA seeks input on which Oregon beaches to monitor in 2017 - 04/11/17

April 11, 2017

IAgency invites public comment on proposed locations through May 8*

The Oregon Health Authority's Beach Monitoring Program invites public comment on a list of beaches it is proposing to monitor this summer.

The program works with the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to determine beaches that need monitoring based on several established criteria. These criteria include pollution hazards present, previous beach monitoring data that identify water quality concerns, type and amount of beach use, and public input.

OHA routinely re-evaluates beaches and sampling locations to ensure available resources best protect public health. Based on the program's evaluation criteria, the proposed beaches for 2017 monitoring season are:

Seaside Beach, Clatsop County: http://public.health.oregon.gov/HealthyEnvironments/Recreation/BeachWaterQuality/Documents/2015Maps/seasidebeach.pdf

Cannon Beach, Clatsop County: http://public.health.oregon.gov/HealthyEnvironments/Recreation/BeachWaterQuality/Documents/2015Maps/cannonbeach.pdf

Tolovana State Park Beach, Clatsop County: http://public.health.oregon.gov/HealthyEnvironments/Recreation/BeachWaterQuality/Documents/2015Maps/tolovanabeach.pdf

Short Sand State Park Beach, Tillamook County: http://public.health.oregon.gov/HealthyEnvironments/Recreation/BeachWaterQuality/Documents/2015Maps/shortsandbeach.pdf

Rockaway Beach, Tillamook County: http://public.health.oregon.gov/HealthyEnvironments/Recreation/BeachWaterQuality/Documents/2015Maps/rockawaybeach.pdf

Twins Rocks Beach, Tillamook County: http://public.health.oregon.gov/HealthyEnvironments/Recreation/BeachWaterQuality/Documents/2015Maps/twinrocks.pdf

Neskowin State Park Beach, Tillamook County: https://public.health.oregon.gov/HealthyEnvironments/Recreation/BeachWaterQuality/Documents/2015Maps/OBMP%20Neskowin%20Beach%20sites%20without%20north%20site%2032132%202017.png

D River State Park Beach, Lincoln County: http://public.health.oregon.gov/HealthyEnvironments/Recreation/BeachWaterQuality/Documents/2015Maps/driver.pdf

Beverly Beach, Lincoln County: https://public.health.oregon.gov/HealthyEnvironments/Recreation/BeachWaterQuality/Documents/2015Maps/OBMP%20Beverly%20Beach%20sites%202017.png

Agate State Park Beach, Lincoln County: http://public.health.oregon.gov/HealthyEnvironments/Recreation/BeachWaterQuality/Documents/2015Maps/agatebeach.pdf

Nye Beach, Lincoln County: http://public.health.oregon.gov/HealthyEnvironments/Recreation/BeachWaterQuality/Documents/2015Maps/nyebeach.pdf

Seal Rock State Park Beach, Lincoln County: http://public.health.oregon.gov/HealthyEnvironments/Recreation/BeachWaterQuality/Documents/2015Maps/sealrock.pdf

Heceta Beach, Lane County: http://public.health.oregon.gov/HealthyEnvironments/Recreation/BeachWaterQuality/Documents/2015Maps/hecetabeach.pdf

Bastendorff Beach, Coos County: https://public.health.oregon.gov/HealthyEnvironments/Recreation/BeachWaterQuality/Documents/2015Maps/OBMP%20Bastendorff%20Beach.png

Sunset Bay State Park Beach, Coos County: http://public.health.oregon.gov/HealthyEnvironments/Recreation/BeachWaterQuality/Documents/2015Maps/sunsetbaybeach.pdf

Hubbard Creek Beach, Curry County: http://public.health.oregon.gov/HealthyEnvironments/Recreation/BeachWaterQuality/Documents/2015Maps/hubbardcreekbeach.pdf

Harris Beach State Park, Curry County: http://public.health.oregon.gov/HealthyEnvironments/Recreation/BeachWaterQuality/Documents/2015Maps/harrisbeach.pdf

Crissey Field State Park, Curry County: https://public.health.oregon.gov/HealthyEnvironments/Recreation/BeachWaterQuality/Documents/2015Maps/OBMP%20Crissey%20Field%20SP%20sites%202017.png

A copy of the 2017 beach evaluation report is available on the OHA website at https://public.health.oregon.gov/HealthyEnvironments/Recreation/BeachWaterQuality/Documents/DEQ17-LAB-0008-TR.pdf.

The proposed list includes some of the most frequently visited beaches in Oregon, as well as beaches where the program has found bacteria present, or beaches for which local partners and the public have requested monitoring due to potential pollution concerns.

"We do our best to align program resources to monitor as many beaches as possible," said Tara Chetock, program coordinator. "However, with more than 360 miles of coastline, more than 90 beaches and just one full-time sampling technician, we cannot monitor them all."

The list of the 2016 monitored beaches and sampling schedule is available on the program's website at www.healthoregon.org/beach. 

OHA will accept public comments and suggestions on the proposed 2017 beaches through May 8. Comments can be submitted by email at beach.health@state.or.us or by calling 971-673-0400.

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OHA files motion to dismiss FamilyCare lawsuit - 04/11/17

April 10, 2017

SALEM--On Monday the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) filed a motion to dismiss FamilyCare's third lawsuit in two years against the OHA process for developing coordinated care organization (CCO) capitation rates.

For the past two years FamilyCare has stated in legal proceedings that its rates are too low compared to other CCOs -- despite OHA's 2015 rate revision at FamilyCare's request. To avoid additional litigation fees and to reserve taxpayer resources for Oregon Health Plan (OHP) members, OHA resolved those lawsuits with a settlement agreement, which included an agreement to not use the settlement as an offset against future rates.

Alleging that its rates are once again too low, FamilyCare's current lawsuit seeks to force OHA to raise its rates for 2017. The crux of the lawsuit against OHA is that FamilyCare's rates for 2017 violate the settlement agreement's terms regarding future rates. OHA's motion seeks to dismiss FamilyCare's complaint claim because nothing in FamilyCare's complaint supports its claim. 

Each CCO's rates are developed based on prior health care expenditures, CCO membership and pharmacy information provided by each CCO. Rates from prior years were not used in the rate development. Put simply, the 2017 rates were based on cost data from 2014 and 2015. FamilyCare has not alleged any factual basis to conclude otherwise.

"Oregon has been successful at bending the cost curve and saving over $1.4 billion since 2012 with the coordinated care model," said Lynne Saxton, Director of the Oregon Health Authority. "This is largely because of our commitment to using global budgets for each CCO and maintaining a sustainable rate of growth in health care costs -- currently set at 3.4 percent."

OHA is committed to the health and well-being of over 1 million Oregonians who are served by the Oregon Health Plan, and that depends on the financial strength and stability of the CCOs that serve them. OHA works hard to ensure that all 16 regional CCOs -- including FamilyCare -- thrive in Oregon's coordinated model of care.

Oregon and its actuaries are not responsible for business decisions CCOs make that affect their operating margin. The CCO model in Oregon is based on giving the CCOs a global budget and the responsibility for making their own business decisions to serve their members within that budget. This commitment is also reflected in recent renewal of Oregon's Medicaid waiver in effect for the next five years.

"Not only has OHA been transparent about the rate development process for all 16 CCOs, the rates must also be approved as actuarially sound by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) each year," Saxton said. "CMS approved the 2017 rates for all 16 CCOs on March 28, 2017. OHA believes it is time to end this legal dispute and focus on the health and care of Oregon Health Plan members."

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Oregon health leaders join Medicaid Advisory Committee (Photo) - 04/03/17

April 3, 2017

Governor Kate Brown has appointed five health leaders to Oregon's Medicaid Advisory Committee (MAC).

The committee is a federally mandated body that advises the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and the Department of Human Services on the operation of Oregon's Medicaid program, including the Oregon Health Plan. The new members are Tamara Bakewell, Regina Dehen, Jeremiah Rigsby and Maria I. Rodriguez of Portland, and Miguel Angel Herrada of Bend. The committee develops policy recommendations at the request of the Governor, the Legislature and OHA.

"These leaders bring unique and diverse perspectives to the Medicaid Advisory Committee," said Lori Coyner, Oregon's Medicaid director. "Having members on the MAC who represent medical education, the insurance industry, coordinated care organizations and Oregon families helps ensure that Medicaid policy decisions are relevant and effective."

*Tamara Bakewell, Oregon Center for Children and Youth with Special Health Needs and Oregon Family to Family Health Information Center*
Tamara is the family involvement coordinator at the Oregon Center for Children and Youth with Special Health Needs. She also is project coordinator for the Oregon Family to Family Health Information Center. Her career as an advocate and trainer for families of children with special health needs began in 1990, when her daughter entered early intervention and special education services. Over the years, she has provided a family voice to many policy efforts, learning from families all around Oregon. She has conducted listening sessions and trainings about health care advocacy and resources to families throughout the state, and her hope is to bring those family and consumer voices to the Medicaid Advisory Committee.

Tamara joined the committee December 1, 2016, and will serve through November 2018.

*Regina Dehen, ND, National University of Natural Medicine*
As the chief medical officer at the National University of Natural Medicine, Dr. Dehen creates and administers the clinical curriculum and is responsible for developing clinical policies and procedures together with the clinical faculty. Chairing clinical supervisor meetings, establishing professionalism guidelines and monitoring, continuously improving clinical quality measures and assessing clinical outcomes and adherence to guidelines also falls under her purview. She develops and evaluates competencies for evidence-based clinical judgment, provides oversight of all didactic classes with clinical impact and evaluates and manages clinical supervisors and interns. As a clinical supervisor, Regina has an active practice at the university clinic.

Regina joined the committee December 1, 2016, and will serve through November 2018.

*Jeremiah Rigsby, JD, CareOregon, MAC co-chair*
Jeremiah Rigsby is senior manager of state and federal regulatory affairs at CareOregon. Before moving to Oregon to attend Lewis and Clark Law School, Jeremiah was a congressional aide to U.S. Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) and U.S. Congressman Kurt Schrader (D-Oregon). During his time on Capitol Hill, he worked on a number of policy issues, but focused on health care policy through the development and passage of the Affordable Care Act. After completing law school, Jeremiah joined CareOregon to support and advocate for Medicaid and Medicare policy development.

Jeremiah joined the committee January 8, 2017, and will serve until January 7, 2019.

*Maria I. Rodriguez, MD, MPH, Oregon Health & Science University*
Maria I. Rodriquez is an obstetrician gynecologist who has completed sub-specialty training in family planning. She is a committed leader in evidence-based reproductive health policy and practice. She worked with the World Health Organization for five years, generating evidence-based reproductive health guidelines, and currently serves as Oregon's medical director for the Title X contraceptive program. Maria's career centers on building the evidence and partnerships necessary to bridge the clinical, research and policy worlds, using evidence to inform policy that will improve reproductive health outcomes for all women.

Maria joined the committee September 7, 2016, and will serve through September 6, 2018.

*Miguel Angel Herrada, PacificSource Health Plans*
Miguel Angel Herrada is the health equity and diversity strategist at PacificSource. For some years he combined his career as a music teacher with social work, implementing educational programs geared towards social service through the dissemination and promotion of the arts in poor communities in Mexico. Miguel is a graduate of Developing Equity Leadership through Training and Action (DELTA), a program of the Office of Equity and Inclusion at the Oregon Health Authority, and currently volunteers as a medical interpreter for Volunteers in Medicine in Bend. He is a member of both the Advisory Board of the Institute of Development and Disability (IDD) for Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) and the Board of Directors of Mosaic Medical Group in central Oregon.

Miguel joined the committee December 1, 2016, and will serve through November 2018.

These members join Laura Etherton (co-chair), Glendora Claybrooks, Bob DiPrete, Alyssa Franzen, Marcia Hille, Anna Lansky (DHS ex-officio), Ross Ryan and David Simnitt (OHA ex-officio).

Meetings of the Medicaid Advisory Committee are open to the public. For more information about the committee, visit the committee's website at http://www.oregon.gov/oha/OHPR/MAC/Pages/index.aspx.

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Public Health Advisory Board meets April 20 in Portland - 03/31/17

March 31, 2017

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

Agenda: Learn about Multnomah County Health Department's Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) program; discuss and adopt PHAB health equity policy; discuss state health improvement plan priorities for immunizations and communicable disease control

When: Thursday, April 20, 2:30-5:10 p.m. The meeting is open to the public. A 15-minute public comment period is scheduled at 4:55 p.m.; comments may be limited to three minutes.

Where: Portland State Office Building, Room 1A, 800 NE Oregon St., Portland. A conference call line is available 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 see the board's website at http://public.health.oregon.gov/About/Pages/ophab.aspx.

Program contact: Cara Biddlecom, 971-673-2284, cara.m.biddlecom@state.or.us

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OHA releases in-depth report on oral health care in Oregon - 03/31/17

March 31, 2017

SALEM--Today the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) released the first in-depth report on oral health care data for Oregon's coordinated care organizations (CCOs). A growing body of evidence shows that oral health is critical to overall health. In spite of this connection, historically oral health care has been delivered separately from medical care, and too often the two systems don't communicate well. Oregon's coordinated care model is committed to integrating physical, oral and behavioral health care to treat the whole person and this report provides Oregon's CCOs and policy makers with comprehensive oral health data to continue that integration.

"We know that gum disease and poor oral health are associated with heart disease, diabetes, low birth weight and certain types of cancers, and that poor oral health also contributes to missed school and work days," said Bruce Austin, Oregon Health Authority dental director. "This report shows the important role that oral health plays in the overall health of Oregonians and underscores why integration of physical, behavioral and oral health for Oregon Health Plan members is so important. This report provides us with the data to track results and identify opportunities for improvement."

Individuals with low incomes are disproportionally likely to experience poor oral health, and people of color can face even worse health outcomes. Recognizing the importance of oral health across the lifespan, Oregon is one of only 13 states that offers comprehensive dental benefits to all adults with Medicaid, as well as children.

Key information in the report released today includes:

-- Certain counties in Oregon have fewer dentists compared with the number of residents they serve, and only about two of every five dentists (41.5 percent) report seeing Medicaid patients. This could pose a challenge for members trying to access services.
-- Adult CCO members receive oral health services at lower rates than children. Only about one in three adults receive dental services in a given year, compared with a little more than half of children. Adults are also less likely to report having a regular dentist (57 percent of adults compared to 79 percent of children).
-- Many members do not receive preventive dental services such as regular cleanings, fluoride treatments, and dental sealants. Only one in five adults and just over half of children (50.1 percent) had a preventive service between July 2015 and June 2016. This is important, because dental diseases are largely preventable.
-- When stratified by race and ethnicity, the data show variation between groups. Members who identify as Hawaiian/Pacific Islander consistently receive services at lower rates than other members. Members identifying as Asian American generally have higher rates of service use and follow-up.

Data in this report are specific to members enrolled in CCOs, consistent with other CCO reporting such as the semiannual performance metrics reports. OHA is exploring options to report similar oral health data for the fee-for-service (FFS) population. OHA is also considering capacity to report additional oral health data, including more measures recommended by the Medicaid Advisory Committee as new data become available. OHA also recently released the Oral Health Integration Report and the Oral Health Toolkit that provide CCOs with resources for improving oral health integration. The report released today will be shared with stakeholder groups such as the Medicaid Advisory Committee, Metrics & Scoring Committee and Quality and Health Outcomes Committee to inform interpretation and use of the data.

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Links to documents in this release:

Oral Health in Oregon's CCOs: https://www.oregon.gov/oha/analytics/Documents/oral-health-ccos.pdf

Medicaid Advisory Committee -- A Framework for Oral Health Access in the Oregon
Health Plan: http://www.oregon.gov/oha/OHPR/MAC/Documents/MAC-oralhealthframework-Oct2016.pdf

Oral Health Integration Report: https://www.oregon.gov/oha/Transformation-Center/Resources/Oral-Health-Integration-in-Oregon.pdf

Oral Health Toolkit: https://www.oregon.gov/oha/Transformation-Center/Resources/Oral-Health-Toolkit.pdf