5 Things Oregon: Rep. Knute Buehler, Pat Allen, Fmr. Gov. John Kitzhaber

We have two and a half weeks until our 2017 Oregon State of Reform Health Policy Conference, and it’s really shaping up nicely. Some of Oregon’s most important policy and market leaders will be joining us on October 11th – about 400 in total.

We’d love to have you with us, so don’t be shy about registering!  You can do that here.

Until then, here are 5 Things We’re Watching in Oregon health care, all of which you’ll find on our Agenda for October 11th.

DJ 5 Things Signature


1.  The next OHA procurement

The next Medicaid procurement was scheduled to come in 2018. Rep. Greenlick says it should wait until 2019. I’ve heard others saying it could be out next month. This topic will be a central area of discussion at our upcoming event. We have a panel at 10:45 devoted to the topic, actually:  “Looking Ahead to the 2018 CCO Procurement.”

Phil Greenhill, CEO of Western Oregon Advance Health, and Erin Fair from CareOregon, will talk through the procurement landscape, the policy considerations underway, and what challenges may arise from having a more open or more restrictive procurement model.


2.  Knute Buehler to offer morning keynote

The 2018 gubernatorial election might be the closest election for the governor’s mansion since 2010. Already, the candidates are neck and neck in fundraising, with both Gov. Brown and Rep. Buehler having raised about $1.2m so far.

Rep. Knute Buehler has accepted our invitation to speak as our Morning Keynote Speaker this year.  He will offer his thoughts and his vision for health policy in Oregon, which will be followed by a sit down Q&A with me on stage.  For balance, we have extended an invitation to Gov. Brown to join us as a keynote speaker as well, but her schedule precluded her participation this year. That said, we have a number of her senior health policy leaders on our agenda.


3.  Pat Allen: Oregon’s most important policy player?

Oregon’s most important policy figure at the moment may be Pat Allen. Last week, Gov. Brown named him the permanent director at the OHA where he has begun staffing the agency with an eye to culture change. He’s also retaining a considerable amount of influence over the individual market given his former role at DCBS. It’s clear Governor Brown trusts him to manage the health care issue and the agencies involved in it.

It’s why we’re very honored he is joining us for not just one but two panels at State of Reform.  He’ll lead a 2:00 panel titled “An Update from OHA” with the new CFO and new Acting Director of Health Policy and Analytics. At 10:45, Pat joins a panel titled “Maintaining the Stability of the Individual Market.”


4. Oregon hit hardest under new Graham-Cassidy introduced today

The next attempt to repeal and replace the ACA is likely to come to the floor Wednesday this week in the Senate. The bill replaces the ACA with a block grant funding model for Medicaid and exchanges. It also adds more flexibility related to market rules. According to Stat, no major health care organization or association is supporting the bill. It has its only hearing today in the Senate Finance Committee where Sen. Wyden is the ranking member.

Axios has a state-by-state comparison of impacts under the bill. It takes proposed savings that will be generated, plus increases in funding. Kansas and Mississippi see increases of 62%. South Dakota funding will go up 88%. Oregon’s funding will fall 17%, the highest shortfall of any state. Another analysis says this will reduce net coverage by 526,000 beneficiaries.

We will update you with the latest news at our 2:00 panel “Update on Federal Health Policy” coming up on October 11th.


5.  Kitzhaber questions health care leaders

For decades, as an elected official, health care stakeholders would query John Kitzhaber about his plans and his vision for Oregon health care. “What are you going to do about…” was a phrase I’m sure he heard often! You can watch his keynote from last year’s event here.

At State of Reform in two weeks, the shoe will be on the other foot.  Gov. Kitzhaber will lead our afternoon Executive Keynote Panel as a moderator, where he will ask some of Oregon’s most important health care stakeholders about their plans and their vision for the future.

Kitzhaber will be joined by Janet Meyer, CEO of Health Share; Jeff Heatherington, CEO of FamilyCare; Greg Van Pelt, Executive Director of the Oregon Health Leadership Council; and Imelda Dacones, MD, CEO & President of Northwest Permanente P.C.