Oregon Health Authority Health eNews | Updates from the Oregon Health Policy Board

JULY 12, 2013

In this month's edition of Health News from OHA and OHPB:
Legislative roundup
Oregon Health Policy Board and next steps for coordinated care
Patient engagement
Cover Oregon launches media campaign
Approved health insurance rates for 2014 posted online
Health transformation in the news

Legislative roundup

Oregon’s health system is based on three simple goals: better health, better care, lower costs. During Oregon’s just-completed legislative session, Governor Kitzhaber and state lawmakers continued moving forward on these goals.

One of the highlights of the 2013 session for the Oregon Health Authority is that beginning in January 2014 low-income adult Oregonians without coverage will be able to join the Oregon Health Plan. Today, 17 percent of Oregonians are without health insurance. By opening OHP to more people, Oregon can drastically reduce that number, which will help improve access, care and cost for the entire health system. Projections show that by 2016, about 95 percent of Oregonians could have health care coverage. You can learn more at Oregon Health Authority’s OHP 2014 page.

Some of the other highlights include holding the growth of per capita health care spending for Medicaid two percentage points below national rates, closing gaps in community behavioral health, and taking steps to eliminate health disparities in our community.

Bruce Goldberg, M.D., Director of the Oregon Health Authority, will host a webinar July 19 at 10:30 a.m. to go over the 2013-2015 budget. Please join us by registering here.

Oregon Health Policy Board and next steps for coordinated care

In June, Governor Kitzhaber requested the Oregon Health Policy Board make recommendations about how to move the coordinated care model forward.

The board is forming a Coordinated Care Model Alignment work group. It is tasked with recommending strategies for expanding the coordinated care model to PEBB, OEBB and Cover Oregon’s qualified health plans. Expanding the model will help Oregon move closer to its goal of providing better health, better care and lower costs to all Oregonians.

The board is also making plans to address the other parts of the Governor’s request. These include strategies to decrease health insurance premiums and to increase transparency and accountability in Oregon’s health care system. Both sets of work are expected to produce proposals by the end of 2013. More information on this body of work can be found at the board’s website.†

Patient engagement

In the just completed 2013 session, Oregon passed legislation that continues moving the stateís health system transformation forward. Building on the reforms of the last several years, a key next step is to look for better ways to engage patients in their health.

To that end, Governor Kitzhaber is calling for nominations for people to participate on a task force to help develop recommendations around individual responsibility and health engagement.

As required by HB 2859, the task force shall:

  • develop recommendations for legislation that will establish mechanisms to meaningfully engage medical assistance recipients in their own health, disease prevention and wellness activities;
  • prioritize recommendations that:
    • use incentives or disincentives;
    • encourage partnerships between medical assistance recipients and their health care providers;
    • are appropriate to the cultural and economic circumstances of medical assistance recipients;
    • can be implemented rapidly upon receipt of any necessary federal approval; and
    • represent best practices and are evidence-based with respect to medical assistance recipients;
  • submit its recommendations to the Legislative Assembly no later than November 1, 2013.

The Task Force is currently recruiting membership. Individuals interested in participating on the task force should have experience with patient engagement strategies. The task force will consist of seven persons, at least two of whom are receiving medical assistance from the state. Additionally, the Governor seeks applicants who represent Oregonís broad diversity, including urban and rural constituencies, ethnic and racial communities, and affected gender and age groups.

Task Force on Individual Responsibility and Health Engagement
Deadline for application: 4 p.m., Friday, July 26, 2013
For information on how to apply, please go to www.oregon.gov/gov/Pages/boards.aspx

For further information about the task force, please contact Chris DeMars at:
chris.demars@state.or.us; (971) 673-1279

Cover Oregon launches media campaign

Cover Oregon, the state’s health insurance exchange, launched a statewide media campaign to begin introducing Oregonians to Cover Oregon. The campaign, which includes television, radio, print and online media, centers around creating a healthy Oregon. Local artists played a big role in creating the ads, including songs Live Long in Oregon and Long Live Oregonians.

Starting Oct. 1, people can begin enrolling for health care through Cover Oregon. Health coverage will take effect starting Jan. 1, 2014.

Approved health insurance rates for 2014 posted online

The Oregon Insurance Division this week posted approved rates for individual and small market insurance premiums that will take effect January 2014. The rates apply to plans with a standard set of benefits so that people will be able to compare plans and premiums side by side. Starting in 2014, all Oregonians will be able to get coverage, regardless of any pre-existing conditions. All small employer and individual plans will cover preventive care, doctor visits, hospital stays, maternity care, emergency room care, prescriptions, and dental and vision benefits for children.

Beginning Oct. 1, Oregonians can visit Cover Oregon to easily compare health plans and prices and see if they qualify for financial help with the costs of private insurance.

Health transformation in the news

Kaiser Health News, National Public Radio, Oregon Public Broadcasting
How Oregon Is Getting 'Frequent Flyers' Out Of Hospital ERs
Coordinated care organizations are focusing on ways to keep “frequent fliers” out of the hospital by providing community health that keeps patients healthier at a much lower cost.

Statesman Journal
Health insurance premiums for 2014 approved by state
The Oregon Department of Consumer & Business Services has approved and posted health insurance premium rates for 2014.†

Multimillion-dollar Oregon ad campaign to tout health insurance marketplace
The Oregonian has coverage of Cover Oregon’s new ad campaign.

OHPB's next meeting

Tuesday, August 6, 2013
1-5 p.m.

Market Square Building
1515 SW 5th Avenue
9th floor
Portland, OR

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