5 Things Oregon: Dawn Jagger, Health Share CEO, Republicans and federal health policy

This year we celebrate the 10th anniversary of State of Reform. I’m not sure how long we thought State of Reform would last when we launched, but I’m tremendously grateful that you have supported us over the years. We are honored that you let us play this unique role in Oregon’s health ecosystem.

So, thank you. Now, onto 5 Things we think are worth watching in Oregon health care for January, 2020.

 

 

 With help from Emily Boerger, Michael Goldberg, and Madeline Shannon

 

1. Dawn Jagger moves to gov’s office

In an email sent Monday morning, OHA Director Pat Allen announced that Gov. Brown has asked Dawn Jagger, OHA chief of staff and director of the External Relations Division, to be her next senior policy health advisor. Jagger will start the new position March 9th, and fills the position Tina Edlund has held prior to her pending retirement.

From Allen: “While this is certainly bittersweet news, I’m excited for this opportunity for Dawn, and I look forward to continuing to work with her to eliminate health inequities and transform health care in her new role at the Governor’s Office.” Allen says he will open a recruitment process later this week to fill Jagger’s position.

2. CEO selection for Health Share

It appears the position of CEO at Health Share is not attracting the kind of candidates the CCO is looking for. It had narrowed the search to three finalists back in November. None were selected for the position. The CEO position has been up on Linked In once more for the last month, but doesn’t appear to have gotten much traction. The site says “Be among the first 25 applicants.”

This is a tough gig. The new leader needs to be able to manage the politics of competing interests on the Health Share board. It needs to understand the increasingly complex politics of Oregon Medicaid. And, the new leader needs to be visionary in a way that can extend the CCO within the broad scope of Medicaid, but within the narrow opportunities which exist as a result of the diverse stakeholders.

After the 5 Things Oregon newsletter was published this morning, a Health Share spokesperson responded with the following statement: “We’ve had over 100 applicants (not many through LinkedIn, as you noted, but many through our national search firm and HR). There are 3 finalists. One interview was in November and two were in December. The Board is working to make it’s final decision.”

 

3.  New report details the high cost of regulatory compliance for Oregon hospitals

It may not come as a surprise that playing by the rules can be a costly endeavor, but as it relates to hospitals, the sheer number of rules governing hospital operations in Oregon might be eyebrow-raising to some. A new report commissioned by the Oregon Association of Hospitals & Health Systems (OAHHS) found that acute care inpatients hospitals in Oregon must comply with over 2,000 rules created by the state.

Setting out to evaluate the financial impact of regulatory compliance on Oregon hospitals and health systems, the report determined that Oregon’s 62 community hospitals collectively spent $126 million a year solely on labor to comply with the rules. As these costs came on the heels of 114 new health care related bills, 45 of which would become law, the report offers several recommendations for legislators to write rules in a way that lessens the burden of regulatory compliance.

 

4. Video: Matthew Richards, MD

Matthew Richards, MD, is a Director at Northwest Permanente Medical Group. He joins in this edition of “What They’re Watching” to discuss the social determinants of health and Kaiser Permanente’s Thrive Local initiative.

“The work that I lead at Kaiser Permanente is a regional initiative and it’s around in-patient care of hospitalized patients. Trying to focus on not just making high-quality medical care, but also focusing on high-quality non-medical care which includes their social determinants of health. Some of the cornerstones are that every patient who is hospitalized is getting a questionnaire to screen for any social determinants of health. So, looking at housing insecurity, food insecurity, transportation concerns, caregiving, social isolation – all of those things that we know can leave somebody susceptible to have an issue.”

5. Capretta: GOP on health care in 2020

Jim Capretta’s latest column for State of Reform evaluates the direction of a potential GOP plan in Congress to replace the Affordable Care Act. Capretta identifies four higher-profile initiatives that Republicans are most likely to embrace as they try to counter Democratic plans.

These initiatives include changes to health reimbursement arrangements, “liberalizing the rules” for selling short-term, limited duration insurances, and new rules around price transparency and drug pricing. From Capretta: “What is likely to emerge is a strategy focused on political messaging rather an actual plan, with an emphasis on the regulations and administrative actions taken by the president during his term. There also will be vigorous attacks on whatever reforms are endorsed by the eventual Democratic nominee.”