New Report Shows 48.5% Increase in Middle Schoolers Who Smoking E-Cigarettes from 2017-2018

A New Report Shows 48.5% Increase in Middle Schoolers Who Smoking E-Cigarettes from 2017-2018

There was a 48.5% increase in middle school students who took up smoking e-cigarettes from 2017-2018, a new study finds. If the FDA won’t step in and regulate, then it will be up to the states to take a stand against the new tobacco tactics that target our children for a lifetime of addiction. Additionally, tobacco use among American high schoolers grew more than 38 percent last year from 2017 according to the same CDC report.

This means that one in four high schoolers and around one in 14 middle schoolers have used a tobacco product in the last 30 days. This equates to roughly 4.9 million students.

Read the full story at NBC News 


CCOs lead the way in Primary Care utilization

Have you ever wondered how the state spends its health care dollars? A joint report from the Oregon Health Authority and Department of Consumer and Business Services shows that CCOs lead the way in Primary Care utilization across the health care system, keeping the Provider/Patient relationship at the center of YOUR health care.

Read the whole report at the Oregon Health Authority.

Umpqua Health opens Newton Creek clinic

December 5, 2018

Umpqua Health opens Newton Creek clinic

Umpqua Health has opened their new Newton Creek clinic. The 25,000-square-foot facility currently has nine providers and 29 clinical staff members, with plans for an urgent care clinic and more personnel in the future. The clinic is offering care in pediatrics, primary care and behavioral health.

Kat Cooper, manager of community outreach and communications for Umpqua Health, said it’s a big step for Douglas County in trying to get more providers to come to the area.

“The fact that we have this beautiful new facility to bring providers in kind of cements our commitment to the community. And it’s not just for OHP patients, but it’s for everyone who needs help to access care, and that’s what we’re here for,” she said.

And for those who have had a hard time finding a primary care physician, the doctors will be taking new patients.

Read the whole story at The News-Review

Should Childhood Trauma Be Treated As A Public Health Crisis?

November 9, 2018

National Public Radio

When public health officials get wind of an outbreak of Hepatitis A or influenza, they spring into action with public awareness campaigns, monitoring and outreach. But should they be acting with equal urgency when it comes to childhood trauma?

A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests the answer should be yes. It shows how the effects of childhood trauma persist and are linked to mental illness and addiction in adulthood. And, researchers say, it suggests that it might be more effective to approach trauma as a public health crisis than to limit treatment to individuals.

The study drew on the experiences of participants from the Great Smoky Mountains Study, which followed 1,420 children from mostly rural parts of western North Carolina, over a period of 22 years. They were interviewed annually during their childhood, then four additional times during adulthood.

This study has something other similar studies don’t, says William Copeland, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Vermont who led the research. Instead of relying on recalled reports of childhood trauma, the researchers analyzed data collected while the participants were kids and their experiences were fresh. And the researchers applied rigorous statistical analysis to rule out confounding factors.

Even when the team accounted for other adversities aside from trauma, like low income and family hardships, and adult traumas, the associations between childhood trauma and adult hardships remained clear. The associations remained clear.

The study is “probably the most rigorous test we have to date of the hypothesis that early childhood trauma has these strong, independent effects on adult outcomes,” he says.

For Copeland, the wide-ranging impacts of trauma call for broad-based policy solutions in addition to individual interventions. “It has to be a discussion we have on a public health policy level,” he says.

Nearly 31 percent of the children told researchers they had experienced one traumatic event, like a life-threatening injury, sexual or physical abuse, or witnessing or hearing about a loved one’s traumatic experience. And 22.5 percent of participants had experienced two traumas, while 14.8 percent experienced three or more.

Read the whole story at National Public Radio



CCOs tell Oregon Health Authority to keep medicaid local

October 4, 2018 –

Portland Business Journal

The boundaries and even operators of the Oregon’s 15 coordinated care organizations could change next year, when the Oregon Health Authority awards new five-year contracts.

The CCOs have provided care to 1 million Oregonians on Medicaid, coordinating their physical, mental and dental needs, since they were created in 2012.

Even if they take on more responsibilities, one major aspect of CCO 1.0 that leaders of the coordinated care organizations want to retain in CCO 2.0 is to remain locally based.

“If there’s a secret sauce to the transformation in 1.0, it was that local control,” said Josh Balloch, vice president of government affairs for AllCare Health, a CCO with 50,000 members in Jackson, Josephine and Curry counties. “That’s vital to the long-term success. You can’t export or import health care. It has to be done locally.”

Until OHA receives applications for the next round of contracts, no one knows whether entities based outside of Oregon will apply. Only current CCOs and companies with an existing Oregon footprint can apply, but that could still include out-of-state corporations that currently sell insurance in Oregon, such as United HealthCare or Centene Corp.

The other message several CCO leaders have sent to the state is to allow them the space to meet their members needs as they see fit, without a top-down approach. They hope the next round of five-year contracts, which will be issued next year, won’t be overly prescriptive about how the CCOs spend their dollars.

“We need to thread the needle between clarity of evaluations, with enough flexibility for the work to be impactful for local communities,” said Lindsey Hopper, vice president of Medicaid for PacificSource Community Solutions. “That’s the balance I hope gets struck.”

Each organization has the flexibility to respond to the needs of the local community in different ways, such as partnering with schools or nonprofits on smoking cessation or weight reduction programs.

For example, Intercommunity Health Network, which serves Benton, Lincoln and Linn Counties, uses the “collective impact model,” bringing the community together around a common agenda and measuring results, said CEO Kelley Kaiser. Contracted providers took a pay cut to create a transformation fund, which Intercommunity uses to fund innovative pilot projects.

“We end up being the backbone organization that brings all the organizations together,” Kaiser said. “CCO 1.0 led us to be in that role, and it’s served our communities well. CCO 1.0 said here’s the goal we’re trying to achieve and had the local partners figure out how to get there.”

Each CCO has at least one community advisory council, which can include Oregon Health Plan members.

“Especially as we move into the social determinants of health and connect the pieces of the safety net together, unless you’re locally based, you don’t know where those pieces are,” Balloch said. “I think if you look at other states, they bought into bigger is better and Oregon went in the opposite direction.”

Oregon once had larger players delivering Medicaid services, but many of those entities got out because they weren’t profitable, Balloch said. Then regional groups of providers formed independent practice associations that took on that caseload, later morphing into the CCOs.

One of those groups, the parent company of Trillium Community Health Plan, was scooped up by St. Louis-based Centene, a publicly traded company with $48.3 billion in annual revenue, in 2015. The sale generated a $131 million windfall for Trillium’s owners, while some community members in Lane County raised alarms about the potential loss of local control to a profit-motivated outside corporation.

But Trillium CEO Chris Ellertson said Centene “puts tons of accountability in the local team.”

“My team works closely with local board and delivery systems,” Ellertson said. “I don’t know that I’ve experienced a situation yet where we locally felt we couldn’t do something we wanted to do.”

OHA OHP Member Survey Shows High Levels of Satisfaction with CCOs

September 11, 2018

OHA conducted a survey among OHP members in late August 2018 to gauge their satisfaction with services, in addition to ways to improve care through CCO 2.0.  Notably, 90 percent of OHP members indicated they were satisfied with the plan and the care they had received.


Read More:

OHA News Release: Oregon Health Plan members satisfied with OHP and coordinated care organizations, support proposals to improve CCOs

Oregon Health Policy Board Reviews Draft Version of CCO 2.0 Report Set for Finalization Oct. 15

September 11, 2018

The Oregon Health Policy Board received at its Sept. 11 meeting a draft version of the CCO 2.0 report from the Oregon Health Authority detailing recommended policies and policy implementation expectations. A draft Health Equity Impact Assessment, which features input from OHP members, was also included. OHA will make changes to the draft report and finalize for OHPB and public review by

September 28th. OHPB will vote on the final draft report October 15th. After OHPB adopts recommendations, OHA will no longer be able to accept public comment on issues that directly relate to the procurement of the contracts.


Read More:

Full draft CCO 2.0 report:,%202018%20OHPB%20Meeting%20Materials.pdf

Community shows huge support for inaugural ‘Out of the Darkness’ suicide awareness walk organized by Advanced Health

August 10, 2018

A large gathering of supporters joined together for the inaugural ‘Out of the Darkness” suicide awareness walk organized by Advanced Health and its local partners. About 290 people attended the walk that raised over $11,000 for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) for research, education and support services for all those affected by suicide. Advance Health’s chief healthcare transformation officer Lisa Hendricks, a member of the Suicide Prevention Committee in the county, said it’s been working on ways to address the challenges the community faces around suicide. In the most recent Coos County Community Health Improvement Plan (2015-2020), it stated from 2009 to 2011, there were 142 suicide-related hospitalizations in the area.


Read More:

Coos Bay World: Community shows huge support for inaugural ‘Out of the Darkness’ suicide awareness walk

Oregon CCOs Show Early Signs Of Reducing Health Care Disparities

Oregon’s coordinated care organizations appear to be reducing health disparities, according to a new study from Oregon Health and Science University.

Before Oregon had coordinated care organizations, the average life expectancy of a black person was about two years shorter than that of a white person. Also 35 percent of women of color had no regular provider, compared to 18 percent of white women.

Read the article in full at