Senate Passes Bill to Help CCOs Deal with OHA

The Legislature is considering a number of bills to improve the operations of the Oregon Health Authority. SB 833 gives CCOs time to review contracts. HB 2950 allows CCOs to assist their members with re-enrollment. SB 7 requires better oversight of new IT projects at the agency.

The Senate passed a bill Thursday that serves as exhibit A into how badly things were going last year at the Oregon Health Authority, requiring the agency to give the coordinated care organizations at least a month to review contracts before the deadline to sign them.

Oregon to Get Help from Kentucky on Enrollment Website for Medicaid

The Oregon state government has cut the rest of its losses with Oracle and decided to implement Kentucky’s system for Medicaid signups, after another stumble to salvage the $240 million spent on technology from Oracle.

Kentucky, long the butt of many a joke, was the surprising success story during the rollout of the Affordable Care Act.

Goldberg’s Exit Shifts Medicaid Transformation into Uncertain Waters

Rep. Mitch Greenlick thinks it was a mistake for the governor to “scapegoat” Goldberg for Cover Oregon’s problems. The outgoing Oregon Health Authority director has been at the center of the state’s attempts to expand healthcare access and reform the delivery system for Medicaid. But others think his exit could be a chance to change a dysfunctional culture at the Oregon Health Authority.

The fallout from the Cover Oregon debacle will not be limited to the failed online insurance exchange and could have major repercussions throughout Oregon’s health system and the coordinated care organization reform efforts, largely due to the loss of longtime public servant Dr. Bruce Goldberg.

Last week, Gov. John Kitzhaber announced Goldberg’s resignation -- the health policy leader took responsibility for his role in the state’s failure to effectively manage lackluster web developer Oracle. While Goldberg headed up the Oregon Health Authority, the California technology giant sent Oregon a large infrastructure of bad codes rather than the functioning website it had promised, leaving Oregon as the only state where consumers cannot sign up for private health insurance online without assistance.

Cover Oregon Audit Released; Goldberg Out Atop Health Authority

Kitzhaber told reporters after the release of the Cover Oregon audit that he was asking Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum to review all legal options against hapless technology contractor Oracle. He said bad management of Oracle contributed to the crippling of the exchange. Cover Oregon debacle has cost one of the most recognizable leaders in state government his job.

Dr. Bruce Goldberg, who left his post as the director of the Oregon Health Authority in December to fill in atop Cover Oregon, will stay on at the insurance exchange until a permanent replacement is found next month, but he will not be returning in any form to the health authority when his work at the exchange is done, Gov. John Kitzhaber told reporters Thursday.

Cover Oregon Gives Up on Online Portal, Sticking to Improvised System

The state insurance exchange will not have its promised one-stop shop available to consumers by the end of open enrollment this month, relying instead on the help of insurance agents and the U.S. Postal Service to sign people up for private health plans. One insurance agent said he could get people signed up in as little as 15 minutes.

Cover Oregon has given up on having a fully functional website by the end of open enrollment on March 31.

“We do not intend to launch the portal this month,” said Aaron Karjala, the Cover Oregon chief information officer. “The runway to getting the enrollments is too short. We can’t be assured it will improve our performance to get us to maximum enrollment.”

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