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March 2011
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Download the March newsletter in pdf format
 
 

 
Higher Quality Health Care
Partner For Quality Care logo
When it comes to health care, more isn’t always better. The key is to get the right care at the right time. So how do you know if you’re getting the best quality of care for your health care dollars?
 
The nonprofit Oregon Health Care Quality Corporation has formed a coalition of doctors and other health care practitioners, patients, employers, health insurers and policymakers that works to measure, report and improve the quality of care in Oregon. The coalition, called Partner for Quality Care, has created a consumer-friendly website recognized as a national standard for effective public reporting of health care quality:  PartnerForQualityCare.org
 
Partner for Quality Care Website
 
This website provides "quality scores" so Oregonians can compare doctors’ offices in their area or across the state on recommended care for diabetes, heart disease, women’s health, and asthma.
 
Oregonians can also compare care at hospitals based on patient experience and overall quality, or by particular types of care such as surgical, heart attack, heart failure or pneumonia.
 
The website offers tips to improve the quality of care you receive such as:
• What you can do before, during, and after your medical appointment
• How you can find trustworthy information on the web
• How to get the right amount and the right kind of care
The website also has tips for staying healthy and a convenient resource library.
 
New Statewide Report
 
In February, Partner for Quality Care released their second statewide report on primary care quality, "Information for a Healthy Oregon". The report encompasses three years of data collection on the performance of primary care practitioners in Oregon based on specific recommendations for primary care.
 
The report indicates improvement in many areas of care, but it also sheds light on the fact that the quality of health care varies across the state. By providing information about this variation, the coalition hopes to contribute to improvements in the quality of health care for all Oregonians. Some key findings from the report include:
• For some areas of care, particularly diabetes care, Oregon’s clinics and providers are performing among the best in the nation. The strong performance demonstrates that high-quality care is achievable and is happening in Oregon.
• Primary care in Oregon is getting better. Rates for many types of screenings have shown statistically significant increases since Partner for Quality Care began.
• There is always room for improvement. Although Oregon’s mean score for appropriate use of medications for people with asthma is high at 90.1 percent, this area of care is one example of where our state is below the national benchmarks.
The complete report is available on the website: PartnerForQualityCare.org 

 
Governor's State Employees' Food Drive
young girl eating from spoon
Thank you to the 3,905 members who took tours of OEBB carrier websites to raise money for the Oregon Food Bank. Through this effort OEBB members provided about 21,000 pounds of food for needy families throughout Oregon.
 
Learn more about the Oregon Food Bank on their website: oregonfoodbank.org

 
Free Program on Childhood Obesity
group of child actors from the Oregon Childrens Theatre Company
OCTC and Kaiser raise understanding of childhood obesity
Attention Kaiser Area 4th, 5th & 6th Grade Teachers
 
Kaiser Permanente’s Educational Theatre Program (ETP) and Oregon Children’s Theatre, "1 ½" explores the influences and impacts surrounding childhood obesity in a powerful new play for fourth, fifth and sixth grade students.
 
Offered free to schools, "1½" goes deeper than the food pyramid to address the social and environmental influences that complicate positive decision making, the emotional triggers that transform food as fuel into food as comfort, and the interpersonal conflicts that arise out of this crisis facing young people and their families.
 
"It’s clear there is no one prescription for addressing this health crisis in America," said "1½" playwright and director Matthew Zrebski. "My hope is to start a conversation that may be stripped of the shame surrounding childhood obesity to allow pathways to present themselves, ones that lead to healthier choices and empowerment for young people."
 
Find more information about "1½," book performances, and download the study guides from the ETP website at www.etpnorthwest.org.

 
Slots Available in Chronic Condition Classes
mature couple
The new, online program Better Choices, Better Health as well as the community-based Living Well workshops have 500 slots available to teach OEBB members how to better manage their chronic conditions. If you’re dealing with diabetes, arthritis, depression, heart disease, chronic pain or anxiety, these programs are available at no cost.
 
"I signed up for this program and am starting my second week. It’s a great course. There’s lots of networking between the class participants and facilitators, along with helpful information, books and website resources."
- Mark (retiree)
 
Click here to sign up for the online program Better Choices, Better Health
 
Click here to see if Living Well workshops are scheduled in your community. 
 
Better Choices, Better Health is sponsored by the National Council on Aging through the Oregon Health Authority. The programs are based on Stanford University’s Chronic Disease Self Management.

 
Electronic Cigarettes?
breaking cigarette
If you're looking to quit smoking, you might think twice before trying this modern approach.
 
Electronic cigarettes, also called "e-cigarettes" are products designed to deliver nicotine to the user in the form of a vapor. Most are battery-operated devices that contain cartridges filled with nicotine, flavor and other chemicals. When heated, an atomizer converts the contents of the cartridge into a vapor that is inhaled by the user. The vaporized nicotine, like the nicotine in cigarettes is highly addicting. Additionally, studies performed by The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found that some e-cigarette devices also deliver vaporized carcinogens and toxic chemicals such as diethylene glycol, an ingredient used in antifreeze. While the FDA has sent warning letters to several manufacturers of e-cigarettes and expressed its intention of regulating these products as drugs, electronic cigarettes remain available for purchase. Until further evaluation, it would be best to stick with safer products developed for smoking cessation, such as nicotine patches, gum or nasal spray.

 
OEBB Members are Succeeding with Weight Watchers!
Happy Woman on Scale
 
 
CONGRATULATIONS!
 
 
OEBB members are dropping the pounds and living healthier, happier lives with the help of Weight Watchers! Here are some highlights:
 
 
 

Stacey Zoon
Lebanon Community SD 9
"I have been on the program 1 year and have lost 60 pounds. I LOVE it. I feel healthier than I have felt in a long time. The program works and you never feel like it is a diet. It truly is just a lifestyle change. I would encourage anyone who is thinking about joining Weight Watchers to join as soon as possible. You will not be disappointed in the program. I have about 20 lbs to go and I know I will do it."
 
Terry McLean
Hillsboro SD 1J, Transportation
"My first weigh in was on 11-30-10 at 337 pounds. Then on 1-11-11 I weighed in at 324 pounds. I have lost 1.5 inches in the waist, 3.5 inches on my stomach, and 1.5 on my chest. There are only three guys, and about 15 women. All the women are a great help to me and an inspiration to my weight loss. I was nervous to join and afraid that it would not work for me and my life style. With all the help of the ladies and the Weight Watchers group leader it has been a lot of fun. And I look forward to Tuesdays for weigh in day." 
Matt Head
Yoshikai Elementary
"I attended my first At Work meeting with about 20 of my colleagues in October. I weighed 216.6 pounds. I jumped into the program with both feet. ... It has been almost four months and I am seeing a lot of success. At my last meeting I weighed 188 pounds! I have lost just over 25 pounds so far. I have set many small goals along the way. My first goal was to get under 210 pounds, then it was 200 pounds and now it is 185 pounds. I am not sure what my ultimate weight loss goal is but I am sure that I will get there."
Eugene SD 4J
 
101 members have lost over 526 pounds!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
To read the complete stories of these and more OEBB members,
visit our Success Stories web page.
 

 
Your OEBB Resources
 
  Oregon Educators Benefit Board
1225 Ferry St. SE, Suite B
Salem, OR 97301-4281

Phone: (888) 469-6322
Fax: (503) 378-5832
OEBB.benefits@state.or.us 

   
 Use these resources to answer your questions and understand your OEBB benefits. 
 
MyOEBB System
https://myoebb.org/oebb/!pb.main 
OEBB Home Page www.oregon.gov/OHA/OEBB/index.shtml 
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) www.oregon.gov/OHA/OEBB/FAQ.shtml  General Resources www.oregon.gov/OHA/OEBB/resources.shtml 
Forms
www.oregon.gov/OHA/OEBB/forms.shtml 
Wellness Resources www.oregon.gov/OHA/OEBB/WellLinks.shtml 
Rates
www.oregon.gov/OHA/OEBB/rates.shtml 
Benefit Summaries and Comparisons www.oregon.gov/OHA/OEBB/benefits.shtml 
OEBB Meetings and Schedules www.oregon.gov/OHA/OEBB/BoardHm.shtml  Member Handbooks & Plan Documents www.oregon.gov/OHA/OEBB/handbooks.shtml 
Weight Management www.oregon.gov/OHA/OEBB/WeightMgmt.shtml  Weight Watchers FAQ www.oregon.gov/OHA/OEBB/FAQWW.shtml 
Contact the Plans www.oregon.gov/OHA/OEBB/Carriers.shtml  Employee Assistance Program (EAP) www.myrbh.com 
 
  Plan Contacts  
 
ODS 1-866-923-0409 www.odscompanies.com/oebb  Kaiser Permanente 1-866-223-2375 http://my.kp.org/nw/oebb 
Providence Health Plans 1-800-633-1878 Willamette Dental 1-800-460-7644 www.willamettedental.com/oebb 
The Standard Insurance 1-866-756-8115 www.standard.com/mybenefits/oebb  UNUM 1-800-227-4165 w3.unum.com/enroll/OEBB/default.aspx
Reliant Behavioral Health 1-866-750-1327
(Employee Assistance Program)
www.myrbh.com 
BenefitHelp Solutions 1-800-556-2230
(COBRA)
www.benefithelpsolutions.com/oebb