Health Plan Competition Heats Up in Central Oregon

Central Oregon IPA has signed a Medicare contract with Trillium
March 10, 2010 -- The sale between Clear One Health Plans and PacificSource still awaits approval from the Oregon Insurance Division, but competition is already expected to heat up in central Oregon when Trillium Community Health Plan enters the fray.
Trillium has filed an application with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to expand its service area, acknowledged Terry Coplin, CEO. Because that application is still in process, CMS rules prohibit Coplin from sharing any details. And it’s unknown if Trillium has finalized negotiations with hospitals in central Oregon.   
However, Central Oregon IPA, which represents 575 physicians, has inked a contract with Trillium, according to its executive director John Ryan. The IPA represents 11 counties in central Oregon and the Columbia River gorge -- Crook, Deschutes, Grant, Harney, Jefferson, Lake, Wheeler, Wasco, Sherman, Hood River and Skamania.
“Now we’re in the middle of the merger with PacificSource,” which intends to purchase Clear One, said Ryan. The IPA already has a small commercial contract with the insurer.
Clear One actually grew out of the IPA and currently works with Joe Henry, a consultant, on contracting issues. “It’s good to have his knowledge,” Ryan added.
Trillium is a subsidiary of Agate Resources, a privately-held company run by Terry Coplin. Last fall, it made an unsuccessful bid to purchase Clear One.
Based in Eugene, Agate also runs the Lane County IPA, which had 33,723 Oregon Health Plan members on Jan. 15. Its Medicare Advantage HMO, which got under way in January 2007, has slightly over 3,000 members.


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