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DOJ Memo Reveals Constitutional Concerns About Medical Liability Amendments

It was enough to convince Sen. Betsy Johnson (D-Scappoose), who proved to be the swing vote that led to the passage of healthcare transformation

February 17, 2012—The vote of Sen. Betsy Johnson (D-Scappoose), a crucial swing vote when the Senate decided to allow the Oregon Health Authority to move ahead with creating coordinated care organizations (CCOs) and overhauling the Oregon Health Plan’s delivery system, changed at the last moment because memos from the Department of Justice and Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) revealed serious constitutional concerns about the proposed medical liability language for Senate Bill 1580.

Transformation Bill Headed for First Major Test in Joint Ways and Means Committee

The legislation is expected to face a feisty discussion by Senate Republicans who insist that tort reform be included

February 9, 2012—After hours of discussions and countless meetings between closed doors, legislators appear to have finished negotiating what might be the final version of Senate Bill 1580, which, if approved, would allow the Oregon Health Authority to begin soliciting proposals for coordinated care organizations (CCOs).

That bill passed out of the budget writing Ways and Means Human Services Subcommittee unanimously late yesterday evening, after legislators scrambled to finish negotiations while lobbyists laughed, joked, and kicked back in the hallways and a hearing room.

Fast Track Legislation Scrapped, Lacking Political Support

It’s rumored that CMS would not have given Oregon additional money to fund coordinated care organizations had the fast track option succeeded

February 9, 2012— The managed care plans that are currently providing services to Oregon Health Plan members appear to have lost their bid to create what’s known as “fast track,” legislation, giving them the ability to turn into coordinated care organizations (CCOs) by July, without having to meet all the criteria, guidelines and the certification process developed by the Oregon Health Policy Board.

Douglas County Providers Form the State’s First Coordinated Care Organization

A non-profit organization, the Community Health Alliance, has brought together physical, dental, mental health and addiction services

January 30, 2012—A group of nine healthcare providers in Douglas County are forming the state’s first coordinated care organization (CCO), calling it “the Community Health Alliance.”

The provider groups include Douglas County Independent Physician’s Association (DCIPA), Douglas County’s Health and Human Services Department, Greater Oregon Behavioral Health, Inc. (GOBHI), Mercy Medical Center, Umpqua Community Health Center, Advantage Dental, and ADAPT, which provides substance abuse and addictions treatment and recovery services.

Federal Officials Likely to Approve Waivers to Transform Oregon’s Healthcare System

Once the Legislature approves the business plan setting in motion coordinated care organizations, the state’s on its way to reduce costs and improve health

January 30, 2012 -- Discussions are under way with federal officials to provide Oregon with another $2.5 billion in Medicaid funds over the next five years to help transform its healthcare system and also approve the necessary waivers to implement the new plan.   

Ambulatory Surgery Centers Seek Relevance While Lagging in Transparency

Oregon’s outpatient surgery centers are behind other healthcare organizations in reporting medical errors and infections

January 27, 2012 -- Oregon ambulatory surgery centers want to be an integral part of any newly formed Coordinated Care Organization. But some question just how transparent the 86 freestanding outpatient centers in the state are when it comes to reporting quality.

Policy Board Approves Business Plan for Oregon Health Plan Overhaul

The Legislature is expected to begin reviewing that plan when it starts meeting next Wednesday

January 25, 2012—Diana Bianco, a consultant with Artemis Consulting, was met with an almost deafening silence after she asked the Oregon Health Policy Board’s members if there were any more suggestions or changes they wanted to make to the business plan that sets the course for the Oregon Health Plan’s transformation.

“My work here is done,” said Bianco, who’s been working with the policy board to develop the business plan.

Legislators Express Concern about Non-Discrimination of Provider Groups

When the coordinated care organizations begin delivering health care to people on the Oregon Health Plan, they need to mirror Medicaid law, according to Mike Bonetto

January 23, 2012— When the House Health Care Committee met earlier this week, concern was raised about how non-discrimination language would impact provider groups wanting to participate in coordinated care organizations (CCOs).

Starting in July, these CCOs are expected to integrate the physical, mental and dental care for more than 600,000 people on the Oregon Health Plan.

Sam Chase Calls Primary Care the Key to Transformation

Praising the efforts of the transformation team, the executive director of the Coalition of Community Health Clinics says the future of healthcare in Oregon is still unknown

January 19, 2012 – Sam Chase stepped into his role as executive director of the Coalition of Community Health Clinics 18 months ago after serving as Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish's chief of staff and working with a variety of groups and government agencies on social justice and poverty issues, including the Oregon Opportunity Network and the Clackamas County Land Trust.

Managed Care Plans Have $252 Million in Their Reserve Accounts

The big question is what happens to these reserves held by the 14 plans that provide healthcare to Oregon Health Plan members

January 19, 2012—Oregon’s preparing to launch a major healthcare transformation that will lead to the creation of coordinated care organizations (CCOs) and integrate physical, mental and dental care for more than 600,000 people on the Oregon Health Plan.

But an important question hangs in the balance. What will happen to the millions of dollars in reserve funds now held by the managed care plans that currently provide such services?

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