5 Things Oregon: US House Dems, CCO 2.0, Washington State reforms

Next week, we release our list of more than 70 speakers lined up for the 2018 Oregon State of Reform Health Policy Conference on October 16th.  We’ve got a stand out group of thought leaders, market executives and policy makers set to join us.  With an anticipated 500 attendees at this year’s event, we’d be thrilled to have you with us too!

DJ 5 Things Signature

1.  US House Dems plan health care package

US House Democrats are planning a significant set of health care reform legislation as part of their three-pronged focus of issues to kickoff the start of the session, should they re-take the House this fall.  Report:  “Health care would be divided into two buckets: cost containment, including reining in premiums, and lowering the cost of prescription drugs.

The Democrats’ platform, called “A Better Deal,” has a series of policy proposals, including a detailed write up on pharmacy costs. Notably, however, there is no similar proposal related to health care costs in general. In the Senate, a similar platform includes policies related to prescription drugs. But, importantly, it also includes language about market consolidation (in general, not just health care) as a major structural problem of the US economy, and something they will seek to address.  That is something that could impact a sector that has and continues to witness M&A activity across a broad swath of American health care.



2. “A Future Policy Framework for Pharmacy”

Pharmacy costs are one of the most pressing challenges in Oregon health care financingtoday. At the same time, treatments are becoming more and more reliant on pharmaceuticals as personalized medicine and “miracle drugs” prepare to come to the market.  So, we’ve put together a strong panel at next month’s conference to talk through the topic.

Lisa Joldersmna is the SVP for Policy and Research at PhRMA, the national trade alliance for innovators in medicine.  She’ll be joined by Scott Fry, an actuary at Willis Towers Watson, and Ted Falk, the Senior Assistant Attorney General for health care.

They’ll talk through some of the opportunities – and some of the challenges – represented by the future of medicine.


3. CCO 2.0 Draft Report out for final review

At this week’s Oregon Health Policy Board, a draft version of the CCO 2.0 report was provided to OHPB members. At more than 100 pages, it’s a sizable work and made up the majority of the OHPB’s meeting materials. The report will be finalized by the OHA and approved by the OHPB on October 15th.

A central piece is the CCO 2.0 “Straw man” document that includes a review of 52 policy proposals, of which 49 appear likely headed to adoption in the next model. The policies range from incentives for behavioral health providers and integrating an ACEs score to shifting the mental health residential benefit over to CCOs.

4. The role of policy in Oregon’s gov race

This year’s race for governor has a surprising amount of thoughtful policy proposals coming from both candidates.  Buehler laid out a comprehensive health care platform. Brown responded last week. Last month, Buehler delivered a vision to address homelessness. Last week, Brown responded.

If you’re sensing a pattern, it’s because Buehler appears to be driving the policy discussion in this race. But, policies don’t vote.  Money doesn’t vote either, but it helps.  There, Brownhas a significant lead over Buehler, both in total raised and in cash on hand heading into the fall. Public polling continues to have this tight, but don’t buy it.  Political observers tell me that while they think Brown’s campaign is working hard to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, it would be an unlikely and historic meltdown if Brown lost during a Pres. Donald Trump mid-term election.


5. A window into Washington State reform efforts

The Convening Panel thought it might be interesting to get a first hand account of the health reform initiatives in Washington State.  So, at this year’s conference in five weeks, we’ve lined up some of the most thoughtful players in the Washington State health reform on one panel.

MaryAnne Lindeblad is the Director of Medicaid, and one of the most senior figures in Washington State health policy.  She’ll be joined by Alisha Fehrenbacher, who you may recall from her days leading reform in Central Oregon. She now runs the Pierce County Accountable Community of Health, a product of Washington State’s wavier. Finally, Amina Suchoski of United Healthcare will round out the panel.  I think you’ll find this one of the more interesting windows into another state’s health reform efforts that you might have a chance to learn from.