Medicaid Pays for 47 Percent of Children Born in Oregon

Also, 20 percent of people on the Oregon Health Plan have chronic conditions, including mental health and substance abuse problems

January 16, 2013 -- After the Affordable Care Act passed, most states waited before taking action, but Oregon went full speed ahead to transform its healthcare system, said Martin Taylor, director of public policy and member centricity for Care Oregon, at the Transforming Care 2013 conference held by CCO Oregon last week.

CMS Approves Accountability Measures

The coordinated care organizations will be graded on 17 metrics regarding access and quality of care, and be rewarded additional funds from a bonus pool

January 16, 2013 -- The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has given final approval to a waiver that includes a list of 17 accountability measures for Oregon’s new coordinated care organizations, which are providing care to the state’s Medicaid population through the Oregon Health Plan.

CMS ordered a last-minute adjustment that requires the CCOs to monitor the follow-up care for children who receive drugs for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Regence Regains its Lead While Losing Individual Members

At the same time, Regence is the only nonprofit insurer in Oregon not participating in coordinated care organizations, which provide services to people on Medicaid

January 2, 2013 -- Regence BlueCross BlueShield took back its spot as Oregon’s top provider of health insurance, though its ongoing battle for market dominance remains a near-tie with previous leader Kaiser Permanente. Oregon’s health reform efforts played a major role pulling Kaiser down from the top position.

New Public Health Center to Help CCOs

Behind-the-scenes work is key to promoting public health, according to its director Dr. Tom Eversole

Dec. 19, 2012 -- The new Center for Public Health Practice (CPHP) should be viewed as part of the “operating system” that keeps the machinery of public health running, its new director told The Lund Report.

Dr. Tom Eversole, a veterinarian-turned public health professional, heads the new organization, which is designed to support public health in six sectors, with a special emphasis on communicable diseases, including epidemiology, laboratory testing and immunization.

Oregon Gives CCOs Financial Incentives for Quality Care

A portion of the state’s increase in federal Medicaid funding will go to coordinated care organizations that show improvement in key areas

December 18, 2012 -- The Oregon Health Authority wants to give financial bonuses to the new coordinated care organizations if they can show good healthcare access as well as emphasize preventive practices such as mental health screening and good maternal healthcare.

Tension Mounts in Klamath County Over CCO

Cascade Health Alliance, which has been certified as the CCO, cannot move forward because of an impasse with county commissioners over mental health services

November 21, 2012 -- The movement to create coordinated care organizations throughout Oregon is riddled with tension in Klamath County where its commissioners are embroiled in a dispute with Cascade Health Alliance over who should be responsible for mental health services.

Naturopaths Given Reprieve by Oregon Health Authority

But patients who want to start seeing naturopathic doctors through the Oregon Health Plan are still out of luck

November 16, 2012 -- Naturopathic doctors are “cautiously optimistic” that they will have a place within Oregon’s coordinated care organizations (CCOs) after officials threatened to cut them out of the primary-care system and seemingly ignore non-discrimination language in Senate Bill 1509.

People on Medicaid Struggle with Mental Health, Substance Abuse Problems

Health Share of Oregon board members rely on their prior experiences to help bridge the gap between physical and mental health

November 8, 2012 – There’s a very high preponderance of people on the Oregon Health Plan who have a mental health or substance abuse problem, according to Mary Monnat, president and CEO of LifeWorks NW. In the Portland metropolitan area, such problems affect 70 percent of that population.

Healthcare Leaders Stress Need for Diversity Among CCOs

Since racial and ethnic minorities represent a disproportionate share of the uninsured, there was a call for CCOs to become more inclusive

November 8, 2012 -- As the state’s coordinated care organizations ramp up, healthcare experts agree that a major advance CCOs can bring to the table is the ability to custom-design healthcare priorities based on the needs of a specific community.

But that won’t necessarily be easy, experts speaking at a conference last week agreed.

Preparing for New Cost-Saving, Health-Enhancing Workers on the Care Team

While waiting for specific training and certification requirements from OHA, providers are making plans to hire and train the non-traditional health care workers Oregon law is bringing into the system to improve care and lower costs

October 16, 2012 -- A community health worker accompanies a heart patient to the supermarket to show him how to buy heart-healthy foods. A peer wellness specialist helps a troubled young woman navigate the mental health system and develop a tailor-made toolbox for recovery. A personal health navigator connects an elderly immigrant to a primary care physician who speaks her language and is sensitive to her fear of the formal healthcare system.


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