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Public Health receives Cover Oregon grant

Lake County Public Health received a grant from Cover Oregon, the state’s health insurance exchange provider, to help clients navigate through the ins and outs of the program.

The agency’s director, Mary Wilkie, updated the Board of Commissioners on the grant as well as other related topics during their Tuesday, Oct. 15, work session.

The $64,273.50 grant, with an administration fee to the county of $6,427.35, is for one year and directed for assisting clients in obtaining a health insurance plan through the Cover Oregon exchange.

Wilkie briefly discussed the initial kick-off of the Cover Oregon web site with the commissioners, noting a few glitches in the early stages.  Commissioner Dan Shoun inquired upon a reported non-functional link preventing availability of a tax credit for applicants, but Wilkie said she was not aware of this issue and planned to look into it.

Wilkie reported that the Cover Oregon web site was being rebuilt on a near daily basis as of the day of the commissioners’ meeting.

Lake County Public Health will extend their hours to afford this assistance to the public.

On Wednesday, Oct. 16, the commissioners approved a business associates agreement between Lake Health District and Lake County Public Health that serves to ensure HIPPA compliance for home visits of clients.

Previously, a memorandum of understanding had been signed by the entities, which addressed home visits by public health officials to families of newborns.

The agreement approved last week serves to ensure that HIPPA-based privacy laws are recognized and guidelines followed with regard to these services, Wilkie said.

HIPPA regulations pertain to the protection of confidential health information of patients.

Wilkie also updated the commissioners on the agency’s new Facebook page, which has gone live.  Given there is currently no local policy in place with regard to the use of social media, Wilkie said that she modeled the department’s page utilizing a policy in place in Lane County.

The page addressed the issue of public comments by implementing an administrator approval requirement before comments may be posted.

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