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Critiques of alleged biases of OR Medicaid pain opioid panels

From the Oregon Pain Action Group

Subject: In addition .. members CPTF

Date: February 12, 2019

Art Levine's note , obviously when critiques below refer to "public believes strongly" it's
best read as a rhetorical flourish that means "knowledgeable chronic pain patients and
advocates believe strongly," since these issues and conflicts aren't widely known.

Grounds for Initiative


CPTF Members:

Amber Rose Dullea (Alternative Coach)

 Titles: Patient Representative on the CPTF and the OPMC. The public believes strongly,
Miss Dullea fails to properly represent intractable pain patients In Oregon. Miss Dullea has told
patients not to become involved with the CPTF. Miss Dullea has demonstrated a lack of
understanding at the seriousness of the CPTF proposal and the current back and spine lines, as
well as current opioid coverage status under the Oregon Health Plan. It is imperative a patient
representative is knowledgeable of current coverages for pain care if she is to represent patients
in pain. The public believes Miss Dullea lacks the fortitude to communicate serious patient
concerns and the public has witnessed Miss Dullea even applause the task force and the OPMC
for pushing forward ideologies and proposals that put patients at risk of harm.
 Enrichment of personal Industry potential: Amber Rose operates a web site, services
including coaching and books sales under the name “Thriving with

Kevin Cuccaro, DO (Alternative Practitioner)

 Titles: CPTF Member and recently promoted as a voting HERC member. Member of the
 A Pain Consultant, Mr Cuccaro has dogmatic philosophies and ideologies about how pain
treatments should be. The concerns of the public are that Mr. Cuccaro’s rigid view points hinder
his ability to create ethical balanced policy and vote on said health policy. The public objects to
members of HERC being on both the policy creating task force and voting on created policy. Mr.
Cuccaro showed aggressive and volatile behavior towards members of the public at the
December 5th 2018 CPTF meeting. The public has great concern that Mr Cuccaro’s
defensiveness to his ideologies interferes with his ability to properly serve the public in this
 Enrichment of personal industry potential: Mr. Cuccaro believes there is no place for
analgesics in chronic pain care. His business model is based on this philosophy. Creating and
voting on this philosophy and there by changing the coverages of large populations and
markets. https://kevincuccaro.com

Nora Stern, PT (Alternative Practitioner)

 Titles: Leader of the OPMC, Member of the CPTF. Miss Stern recently was promoted as
the leader of the OPMC. The public has witnessed a drastic and negative change in the attitude
the OPMC has towards patient participation at the OPMC meetings, particularly after Miss Stern
took over as OPMC leader. The public has great concern that Miss Stern’s dogmatic ideologies,
lack of any experience with prescribing analgesics in combination with hyper vigilance on
removing access to analgesics for chronic pain care, greatly interferes with her ability to fairly
create policy for the CPTF or lead the OPMC. The public has felt spoken down too, disrespected
and ignored by Miss Stern in her serving public roles on both the OPMC and the CPTF. Miss
Stern’s has demonstrated clearly that her philosophies are tightly unchangeable, even if her
philosophies could pose great harm. Miss Stern has a domineering personality and the public has
witness her talk over other members who wished to speak up and question certain facts or
proceedings at meetings. The public has concerns that this has lead to groupthink inside both the
CPTF and OPMC. The public would also like to mention how insulting and disempowering it is,
to be lectured by Miss Stern at public CPTF meetings, where Miss Stern proclaims she knows all
the answers to overprescribing and what is right and wrong. Patients have real life experience
that is valuable and respectable.
 Enrichment of personal Industry potential: The public has concerns that Miss Stern is
using the OPMC Pain Module to further her own National recognition. We have concerns that
Miss Stern is so certain her Pain Module is faultless and pushing forward her ideologies to the
pain paradigm as a physical therapist, over the expertise and real life professional experience of
practicing clinicians in Oregon. The public has concerns that “one way” of doing things and “one
way” of treating pain is based on her ideologies and does not foster the fact ALL patients are
individual as are reason for chronic pain. In fact, the public questions the aggressive push with
the OPMC pain Module and as Miss Stern has said “evangelize the Nation with the Pain
Module”. October 2018 OPMC meeting audio.

Laura Ocker, Acupuncture (Alternative Practitioner)

Titles: CPTF, Acupuncture Lobbyist. The public has great concern about Laura Ocker serving on
the CPTF and being part of it’s policy creation. Miss Ocker made a remark about forced opioid
tapering during a CPTF meeting June 2018, where she said “ Yeah, within one year of the initial
taper, and you get a Gold Star if you get done sooner is they're someway to say that? (audible
laughing)”. The public feels strongly that Laura Ocker Acupuncturist does not have the
credentials to be making policy creation on severely health compromised patients, ones she has
never professionally treated in any other capacity than acupuncture. Yet, Laura Ocker is heavily
involved with creating the forced taper portions of the CPTF proposal. Miss Ocker is dismissive
of the dangers of forced tapers, uneducated on forced tapers and had strong ideologies from the
start of the first CPTF meeting to the last meeting. Miss Ocker can be heard on a hot mic at the
end of the first CPTF meeting (Sept 2018) expressing her personal ideologies about tapering and
how analgesics have no place in chronic pain care. In fact, Miss Ocker seems adversarial with
clinicians who do continue to prescribe to their patients currently. The public feels strongly that
Miss Ocker poses a risk to patients she serves seated as a policy maker regarding analgesics. Her
experience should be restricted to acupuncture treatments and not prescribing restrictions.

Ariel Smits, MD
Titles: Lead HERC staff of the Value based Benefits Subcommittee (VbBS), HERC’s Chronic
Pain Task Force Lead staff.

HERC Members:

Catherine Livingston

Jim Shames

Laura Heesacker

Paul Coelho

Safina Koreishi

Katrina Hedberg

Mark Altenhofen (also on the OPMC, and Palliative care council)

Chronic pain task force
Kevin Cussaro DO
Laura Ocker, Acupuncture
Kim Jones,MD
Mitch Haas, Chiropractor
Holly Jo Hodges, Osteopath
Nora Stern, PT
Tracy Muday MD
Amber Rose Dullea (pain patient but not really a CPP)
Ben Marx, Acupuncture
David Sibell MD Orthopedics rehabilitation
Jim Shames MD Primary Care
Andrew Gibler, Pharmacist
Cat Buist, Pain Phycologist
David Eisen, Acupuncturist

Staff: Ariel Smits, Primary Care

Jason Gingerich
Kevin Cussaro DO: Dr. Kevin Cuccaro is an anesthesiologist in Corvallis.
About: http://kevincuccaro.com

Lines for Life Connection: https://www.linesforlife.org/wp-content/uploads/2018OPAT-Full-

Lines for life again: https://www.linesforlife.org/2018-conference-on-opioids-pain-and-

Understanding Pain lecture:


Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/DrKevinCuccaro/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kmcuccaro?lang=en


Laura Ocker, acupuncturist (young voice talked a lot): vested interest

Her work:
Evidence opens Medicaid in Oregon to acupuncture

Maybe valid? Email

laura.ocker@multco.us. 503.988.5558


Kim D Jones R.N.C., Ph.D., F.N.P., F.A.A.N. She is a fibromyalgia expert. Associate
professor of nursing OHSU. President of the Oregon Fibromyalgia Foundation.!
OHSU: https://www.ohsu.edu/people/kimjones/afe02d66b0bded794b48b571bb199b8b



We must contact them! https://www.fmcpaware.org/support-groups/browse-support-

Let fibro groups know that Kim Jones is on this task force.

She is ALSO a member of the Oregon Pain Management

Commission: https://www.oregon.gov/oha/HPA/CSI-PMC/Pages/members.aspx
(Need to find a twitter to connect to her on)

Mitch Haas, Chiropractor:



Heled to decide on removing MRI’s on OHP: https://www.oregon.gov/oha/HPA/CSI-


Can not find a twitter.


Holly Jo Hodges MD, Salem Doctor. Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment



Can not find a twitter.


Nora Stern, MSTP. Providence Health & Services, and serves as program manager for the
Persistent Pain Program for Providence Rehabilitation Services. Nora has the “rehabilitation
pain mind set"


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nora.stern.5682

Reduce your pain without painkillers

Article by her: https://blog.providence.org/archive/reduce-your-pain-without-painkillers

She is ALSO a member of the Oregon Pain Management

Commission: https://www.oregon.gov/oha/HPA/CSI-PMC/Pages/members.aspx
Can not find a twitter?


Tracy Muday MD. CCO.



Not much on her


Amber Rose Dullea

Her web site:

Suppose to be a pain representative, she is not on opioids and took tramadol briefly in the past.
She has supplied me with info, but detoured us from looking into the chronic pain task force,
which she is a member of and the OPMC. She does not stand up for us.


Ben Marx, Chinese medicine.Acupuncture.

The Red Clinic http://therenclinic.com/our-clinic/our-providers/affiliatedproviders/ben-marx/

Rea clinic facebook: https://www.facebook.com/therenclinic/


David Sibell MD. anesthesiology, Orthopaedics and rehabilitation

OHSU: https://www.ohsu.edu/people/david-m-
Heath grades: https://www.healthgrades.com/physician/dr-david-sibell-ybqpx
Can not find a twitter

Jim Shames, MD. Family Medicine Medford area. Medical Director Jackson County. Anti

Video of him on opioids: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yzr3p-S3Vyk

Full of non facts: https://www.oregon.gov/oha/HPA/CSI-TC/Documents/3C-Opioids-


Shames is one of the most bias and long standing anti opioid key players in Oregon. He has
visual ties to Lines for Life, the Oregon Pain Guidance, and the OrCRM.
Any google search with his name, opioids you will see a ton.


Andrew Gibler, Pharmacy.


Can not find much on him.


David Eisen, Acupuncture. Anti opioid.

Works at the Oregon Clinic:


His gains to be made being anti opioid. Alternative pain management: http://quest-

Oh He was one quoted in this famous Oregon article: https://khn.org/news/from-pills-to-pins-




Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Quest.Center
Quest Twitter: https://twitter.com/Quest_Center89


Catriona (Cat) Buist: we all know Cat by now. She is also on the OPMC (leaving as chair soon)
she is in the mental health field and will not show her reviews on her OHSU site. She is an
extremely anti opioid practitioner.

She is in the media a lot and part of the OrCRM, Oregon Pain Guidance and Lines for life
(Dwight Holton connections).


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/catriona.buist

We all know the shining article with her in it: http://kuow.org/post/how-oregon-bucked-national-


Her sisters twitter account; https://twitter.com/AlisonBuist?lang=en

She claims to be a mom and child advocate!!

Rehabilitation mind set again: this twitter was promoting

Catriaona. https://twitter.com/PRA_tweets?lang=en

And this: https://www.opb.org/news/article/pain-management-oregon-


No twitter found

Ariel Smits MD. Family Medicine. Meeting Leader. Value-based Benefits

Subcommittee of HERC

OHSU: https://www.ohsu.edu/providers/ariel-smits/0FA4908967F140C0BF8D8B4E32E3C55C


She was the speaker with the CDC lady Dr Losby (who refused to answer a pain patient in a
video featured on pain advocacy pages). https://www.medicaid.gov/state-resource-

I can not find a facebook or twitter


Jason Gingerich Policy Analysts for Oregon Health Authority/ HERC



Found This: Resources and Innovative Interventions in Medicaid for Managing Patient
Pain https://www.oregon.gov/oha/HPA/CSI-TC/Resources/ED-MI-Managing-Pain-Webinar.pdf

And this!: https://www.oregon.gov/oha/HPA/CSI-HERC/MeetingDocuments/CPTF-Materials-9-


And: https://www.integrativepractitioner.com/topics/news/oregon-approves-integrative-

And: 2011: Evaluation and Management of Low Back Pain OHA:


AND: 2015: https://www.oregon.gov/oha/HPA/CSI/QHOCMeetingDocuments/10-12-


AND: 2018: http://www.orpdmp.com/PDMP%20clinical%20review%20committee%20Charter

Executive sponsor Katrina Hedberg)

Oregon Pain Guidance, has NO place making any policy or guidelines. They are a group part of
Lines for Life (Dwight Holton) and the OrCRM. Jim Shames gets a lot of kickbacks from
them. https://professional.oregonpainguidance.org/mission-about-us/

Inside above link: Oregon HB 3440, passed in 2017, requires that the Oregon Health Authority,
in conjunction with the PDMP Advisory Commission, establish a clinical review subcommittee
to identify practitioners who are prescribing high amounts of opioids based on agreed upon
practice standards, such as the Oregon Opioid Prescribing Guidelines for chronic pain. These
providers are to receive education/ training related to pain management, and appropriate opioid
Ariel Smits google search came up with this, she was a speaker with the awful CDC Lady Jan
Lobsy (where Lauren Deluca was ignored): https://www.medicaid.gov/state-resource-

(ONE Pain representative NOT 3 like Jason Gingerich said, Pain rep Amber Rose. 2017
2020 Biennial Review Chronic Pain Task Force Roster: https://www.oregon.gov/oha/HPA/CSI-