5 Things Oregon: Rep. Cedric Hayden, Matthew Sinnott, Rx costs

Gov. Brown was in Seattle last weekend, fundraising at an event for the Democratic Governors Association (DGA) meeting. Before the crowd of largely corporate lobbyists, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said Oregon “sometimes has some decent wines, at least decent pinots.”  Brown shot back, wondering out loud if Inslee “might finally get your clean jobs bill passed.”  It was some below the belt stuff for governors who are friends. Guess she hasn’t endorsed in the presidential race yet.

With that, here are 5 Things We’re Watching in Oregon health care for April, 2019.


With help from Emily Boerger.




1. Q&A with Rep. Cedric Hayden

Representative Cedric Hayden represents Oregon’s House District 7, covering Eastern Lane and Douglas Counties. Hayden currently serves as Vice Chair of the House Committee on Health Care and on the Joint Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Services.

Reporter Emily Boerger talked to Rep. Hayden about how the 2019 session is shaping up for health care in this Q&A. Among the topics they discussed: addressing health care costs, controversial bills in the legislature, and being a Republican in a Democratic super-majority.


2. House advances prescription drug cost bills

The House Health Care Committee recently held a series of work sessions on bills aimed at lowering prescription drug costs. Lawmakers are exploring a variety of methods, but two approaches gaining traction in the Legislature are bulk purchasing agreements and drug importation.

Bills to establish bulk purchasing partnerships with California and Canada moved out of the House Health Care Committee last week, along with a bill to explore wholesale drug importation from Canada. A bill requiring OHA to leverage purchasing power for pharmaceuticals under Medicaid is also moving forward in the House. We give a rundown of the bills here.

3. FAIR Health releases white paper

National nonprofit FAIR Health recently released its second annual white paper, using data from a repository of over 28 billion claim records to analyze trends in place of service for health care. Data shows the utilization of alternative places of care, such as retail clinics and telehealth, continues to rise in the United States.

We spoke with FAIR Health President Robin Gelburd about her key takeaways from the white paper. “The health care system is evolving, and it is interesting to see how these new venues are taking shape and really having an impact on where people are seeking care,” Gelburd said. “What’s fascinating is you cannot look at any of these venues through a single lens – it really varies in terms of age, demographics, geography, and the level of utilization of these facilities.”

4.  Video: Matthew Sinnott

Matthew Sinnott is the Senior Director of Government Affairs & Contract Management at Willamette Dental Group. He joins us in this edition of “What They’re Watching” to discuss dental’s role in CCO 2.0.

“I think where priorities have been placed, dental is sort of after the fact. But I think you could see, four or five years from now, where the last three or four years have been all about mental health and ‘the system’s broken and we’ve got to do more,’ I think…from a CCO 3.0 or whatever that next iteration is, that you could see the oral health piece rise to that level of focality.”


5. Use our stuff. Seriously, go ahead.

We’re excited and honored to be part of a dynamic media ecosystem in Oregon. Collectively, we’re growing and re-writing the rules of media and information in what we think are smarter, better ways. We play a small role, like one straw on the camel’s back. But, it’s one we’re happy to play.

Part of the new logic of journalism today – we think – is that our free content available at StateofReform.com should be shared and used by anyone who would like to. So, if you ever want to use our stuff, please do so. Go ahead and use it. We ask that you follow a few rules, but paying us isn’t one of them. We’re about community rather than clicks, about quality over quantity.

We’re able to make it in health care journalism today because of the support and engagement from our sponsors and our conference attendees. So, if you like any of our stuff and want to use it, go ahead. You can thank our supporters for making it all happen.