Chris Bradshaw/

Despite Oregon's decision to abandon its own health exchange system in favor of the federal portal, the State's Medicaid program is doing well.

A new report from the Oregon Health Authority says costs for inpatient hospital services decreased by about 5.5% since 2011. And there are 380,000 Medicaid enrollees in the new system. CareOregon's Director of Public Policy, Martin Taylor, says developing the State's Coordinated Care Organizations, or CCO's, helped ease the changeover to the federal exchange.

Kombucha Sales Taking Off In Oregon

Aug 26, 2014
Amanda Butt

Kombucha businesses have been popping up around Oregon and flourishing in Portland, Bend and Eugene. This ancient fermented drink is earning new fans as it gains popularity in a state well-known for its breweries. The sales numbers show that more people are drinking kombucha, but there are many people who still don’t know what the drink is.

Jes Burns

It’s been years in coming.   Officials broke ground on a new Veterans health facility in Eugene Monday afternoon.  

The site of the future Veterans Health Care Center in North Eugene sits within eye shot of I-5.  That’s the same interstate veterans in Lane County now travel long distances on to get health services not provided at the current small clinic in Eugene.    Oregon Representative Peter DeFazio spoke at the groundbreaking ceremony.

Jes Burns

The national deadline to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act has already passed.  But in Oregon, persistent tech problems prompted the Governor to extend the final sign-up date by a month to April 30th.  The Cover Oregon website is still not fully functional, although people can complete most of the application process on-line.

New rankings say the healthiest people in Oregon live in Benton County. The annual report is from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. It measures factors such as education, income, tobacco use and quality of life.

Charlie Fautin is the Deputy Director of the Benton County Health Department. He says it's great to rank first in the state, but there are plenty of people in Benton County who are not doing as well as they could.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Oregon Health officials say it's not too late to get a flu shot. They hope you will because there's been an uptick in cases in the past week. A number of people in Lane County have tested positive for swine flu, or H1N1.

Oregon Health Authorigy

In Oregon, low-income adults used to have to get on a waiting list and enroll in a lottery-style drawing to get health insurance. But that's changed because of the federal Affordable Care Act.

Oregon is one of 26 states expanding its Medicaid program, called the Oregon Health Plan. This means up to 300-thousand more people are eligible for coverage. Erin Fair Taylor is with Care-Oregon.

Ken Charpie
Karen Richards

Community before profit. That's the message caregivers from McKenzie-Willamette hospital's union want their management to adopt.

Since the hospital went for-profit in 2003, members of SEIU Local 89 say the Mckenzie-Willamette Medical Center makes more money than almost every hospital in Oregon. It also has one of the worst records for charity care. They'd like to re-balance that trend. Tuesday, union members read a message to the hospital's leadership:

(GROUP) "This holiday season, caregivers are being let go while those left are faced with having to do more with less."

World AIDS Day

HIV / AIDS was once a high-profile communicable disease. Due in part to effective medications, it has fallen in the public's awareness. Sunday's "World AIDS Day" hopes to renew focus on HIV.

World AIDS Day was established in 1988, at the height of the epidemic. Now, the deadly condition can be managed and those infected can live full lives. However, because it's not in the spotlight, fewer people are being tested.

Susan McCreedy is the Deschutes County Health Educator. She says she's been shocked by a surge of new AIDS diagnoses in the past five years.

Rachael McDonald

The website problems persist for the state's health insurance marketplace, Cover Oregon.  Individuals can compare insurance plans, but the site still can't determine if someone is eligible for financial help.  

This has been a source of frustration for potential customers - and for local organizations working on behalf of Cover Oregon to walk people through the process.

These community partners are counting down the days until the website is fully functional.