5 Things Oregon: Tom Holt, Meghan McCarthy, “What you missed”

We had a great event last month hosting our 7th annual Oregon State of Reform Health Policy Conference. In fact, we’ve already confirmed two of our three Event Sponsors for the 2019 event! Special thanks to HMA and to Aldrich for getting behind us so quickly.

The support helps us cover Salem and Oregon health policy the other 364 days of the year when we’re not hosting over 400 of our closest friends in Oregon health care at one of the state’s leading health policy conferences!

All that to say – thank you. Thanks for reading our stuff, for supporting our work, and for allowing State of Reform to play this role in the health care community.


DJ 5 Things Signature


With help from Sara Gentlzer, Marjie High
and Emily Boerger.


1.  What you missed at State of Reform last month

Last month we hosted our 2018 Oregon State of Reform Health Policy Conference, bringing together 400 attendees from across the silos of health care. If you weren’t able to make it to the conference, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. You can check out this highlight video from the conference to get a feel for the sights and sounds of the event, and you can view the speaker presentations that were shared as well.

We’ve also captured our keynote discussions and presentations for you to review. James Capretta, the Milton Friedman Chair at the American Enterprise Institute, kicked off the day with our morning keynote. And Oregon Health Authority Director Pat Allen rounded out the day, offering remarks during our afternoon keynote.


2. Tom Holt discusses implications of election on health policy

Tom Holt authors this review of the health policy implications from last week’s election.  He says the Brown campaign ran a strong GOTV effort, and that the negative Trump brand in the Portland area was too much for Buehler to overcome: “He garnered only 22% of the vote in Multnomah Co. and 39% in Washington Co. – well behind every GOP nominee of the 21st Century.”

From Holt’s piece:  “The House will be 38D/22R after picking up three seats. The Senate will be 18D/12R. The significance of those numbers is that a new tax or a tax rate increase requires a 3/5 vote. Democrats’ will have it, if they don’t over-reach.” Expect new revenue consideration, like removing the premium tax sunset or a claims tax, Holt says. Also, anticipate that PERS reform is dead, that there will be a bi-partisan move against pharma, and that there may be “Significant new regulatory requirements on businesses.”

3. A subtle but big change for us at State of Reform

It’s a minor change at StateofReform.com and you might not even see it.  But, it’s a big deal for us.  Last week, we moved our site to an edition model. This way, we can aggregate the states we cover into an even more localized experience for you. You can see the edition you’re in above the “Latest News” tab.  Oregon will be in our West Coast edition, along with California, Washington, Alaska and Hawaii.

Our South West edition will now have Texas, Colorado, Arizona and Utah.  So, for Oregon health care leaders, what this means is that Texas content won’t be as readily available.  So, your “Latest News” feed will feature only the stories from the West Coast edition.

4.  Video: Meghan McCarthy, PeaceHealth

Meghan McCarthy is the System Director of Community Health at PeaceHealth. McCarthy has over 16 years of experience in community health and wellness, and in 2014, she was recognized by the Wellness Council of America as one of the Top 100 Wellness Professionals in the country. She joins us in this edition of “What They’re Watching” to discuss investing in the community.

“When you think about the United States as a whole, how much we spend from non-profit healthcare systems, it’s a big piece of pie…And the smallest piece of that pie is really that investment in health. And what we’d like to do is see that piece of the pie get bigger and bigger and bigger. And those are true investments to go upstream in social determinants of health that we can do with that money.”


5. Data driven review: BH and criminal justice

The state of Oregon announced the start of a data-driven approach to address the challenges that emerge at the intersection of the criminal justice and behavioral health systems. The aim of Oregon’s Justice Reinvestment Initiative is to break down the silos of the systems involved in order to improve health outcomes and reduce recidivism for individuals with behavioral health conditions.

The Behavioral Health Justice Reinvestment Steering Committee held their first meetingimmediately after the press conference announcing the project, where they discussed health system challenges in the state, jail data analysis, and housing challenges. The 28-member steering committee will hold a series of meetings to develop policy proposals to present to the Oregon Legislature during its 2019 session.