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Think Out Loud

Healthcare News Update

We check in with The Lund Report's executive editor about Cover Oregon, hospital mergers, health insurance rates, and more.

Think Out Loud

News Roundtable | State Employee Healthcare Costs | OPB's Eric Cain

Lawmakers are looking at government employee health care as a way of cutting costs. Eric Cain joins us to discuss his 30-year career with OPB. And we discuss other big news of the week.

local | News | Music | NW Life | Think Out Loud

News Roundtable | Lost Woody Guthrie Vanport Song | Rural Healthcare

We talk about some big stories with our news roundtable, hear about a recently resurfaced Woody Guthrie song about the Vanport flood, and learn about some of unique challenges in administering healthcare in rural areas.

Think Out Loud

Should Doctors Be Using Their Smartphones In The Operating Room?

Do smartphones help or hinder healthcare professionals?

Think Out Loud

Is ZoomCare Changing The Way Health Care Is Delivered?

ZoomCare revolutionized the marketplace for on-demand healthcare.

Think Out Loud

Urban Versus Rural Health Care Premiums

Diane Lund-Muzikant joins us for an update on health care premiums under the Affordable Care Act, following the Dec. 15 deadline to re-enroll for healthcare coverage.

Think Out Loud

What Does Gluten-Free Mean?

In the past decade, the phrase gluten-free has gone from an obscure term to a household one. Supermarkets now devote entire sections to gluten-free products, and even beer makers have gotten into the act. But what exactly does it mean to say something is gluten-free? The answer has significant health implications not just for those diagnosed with Celiac's disease, but many others who experience gluten-intolerance. The FDA defines gluten-free as a product containing no wheat, barley, rye or hybrids of any of these. However, the gluten-free label is a voluntary one, with the only directive that labels not be untruthful or misleading. Some legislators, including Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, have called for universal requirements for gluten-free labels. The FDA has been working on labeling requirements for gluten-free foods since 2005. Recently, they sent recommended requirements to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA). Gluten-free advocates are anxiously awaiting OIRA's approval now that the 90-day public comment period has expired.

Think Out Loud

How To Coordinate Care

When he's asked to explain how coordinated care organizations (CCOs) work, Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber has a favorite hypothetical example he likes to bring up. The example goes like this: There's a 92-year-old woman with well-managed congestive heart failure who lives in an un-air-conditioned apartment. A heat wave would be enough of a strain on her system to send her to the emergency room, which would cost a lot of money. Under the new CCO system, Kitzhaber argues, a community health worker would be checking in on this hypothetical nonagenarian and would prevent the expensive emergency room visit by providing her with an air-conditioner. Kitzhaber mentioned this example just last month when we interviewed him at the City Club of Portland and a few weeks later when he spoke to the New York Times. He also used it in a 2011 speech on health care reform and when he was on the campaign trail in 2010. This story left us wondering: Who exactly pays for the air-conditioner? Who decides it's medically necessary? And what about the doctors at the emergency room who never see this patient — how do they get paid under this new system focused on preventative care?

Think Out Loud

Legislature May Intervene In Salem CCO Dispute

Willamette Valley Community Health, the Salem-area coordinated care organization (CCO), is having trouble getting Salem Health to agree with the financial details of its healthcare plans. Salem Health runs the Salem and Dallas hospitals. Last fall it sued the CCO over what it saw as low reimbursement rates. Now a bill in the legislature could kick Salem Health out of the CCO. But stakeholders in other CCOs worry the law may hurt providers in other parts of the state. We'll check in on the disagreement that could threaten the future of the CCO in Salem.

Think Out Loud

Remembering Booth Gardner

Booth Gardner served as the governor of Washington State from 1985 to 1993. He passed away over the weekend from complications of Parkinson's disease. Having only served as state senator and Pierce County executive before running for governor, he was known for a campaign slogan that winkingly acknowledged his relative statewide anonymity: "Booth Who?" But he overcame his lack of name recognition to become a two-term governor that brought changes to education, healthcare, and land use. After leaving office, he lived a quiet life, until reemerging into political view to advocate for Washington's Death with Dignity Act.

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Results for OPB

local

Kitzhaber Hopeful About Waivers From Federal Healthcare Law

Governor John Kitzhaber says Oregon will soon test the Obama Administration’s flexibility in healthcare policy.

Parents | Health | News | NW Life | Economy | local | Family | Business | Politics

Insurance Customers Shop For Deals At Healthcare.gov

New data from the feds show most Oregonians who buy individual health insurance are shopping around for the best deal.

News | Health

Feds Say Consumers Could Save Hundreds On HealthCare.gov

The health insurance open enrollment season opens this week.

Election

Clinton Touts Her 'Oregon Compact' And Healthcare During Northwest Visit

Senator Hillary Clinton brought her struggling presidential bid to a Portland hospital Friday to position healthcare as a central part of her campaign.

Health

Healthcare United Voter Registration

This morning the new advocacy group Healthcare United held its first voter registration event for healthcare workers.

Health

Oregon Healthcare 'Lottery' Draws Names

Oregon's so-called healthcare "lottery" is drawing names Friday.

local | Health

Tuesday Is Last Day To Comment On Oregon's New Healthcare Plan

The consumer group, OSPIRG, says Oregon’s proposed new healthcare plan could cut medical costs by more than $5 billion over 10 years.

local | Health

Health Authority Tries To Sort Out The Benefits Of New Healthcare Laws

The Oregon Health Authority is holding a meeting in Portland  Monday  to gather public input on how to put new federal healthcare laws into effect.

Economy | Health

Healthcare Woes Show Up In Oregon Emergency Rooms

In a state where one in five adults has no healthcare, it’s reassuring to know that if you’re ill, you cannot be turned away from a hospital emergency room.  But there’s a problem.

local | Health

Oregon Ranks First In Injury Prevention, 47th In Emergency Healthcare

Oregon ranks 47th in the nation in a new report on the availability of emergency healthcare.

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