Earlier this week SB 1580, the bill that moves the establishment of Coordinated Care Organizations forward, passed the Oregon Senate on a bi-partisan vote of 18-12. The next step is a vote of the House of Representatives some time between now and the end of the 2012 legislative session, which is scheduled to last only through the month.
Meanwhile, the Governor and lawmakers have begun the budget discussions that tackle the very difficult reality of funding state services with limited resources. As is always the case, we will not know all the details until the final budget is completed and I will share more information as we have it.
These two legislative realities leave us in an interesting place at OHA. On the one hand we are working toward exciting changes in our health care system that could improve the lives of Oregonians in fundamental ways while saving public dollars that can be reinvested in care, in education, or in other services. It’s a new model of care, a new model of delivering services, and it will be driven by a new model of how we work here at OHA – promoting and stimulating innovation. This is the future we are all driving toward.
On the other hand, we have to deal with the present, where we are still paying the price of uncoordinated care that costs more than the resources available.
Meeting these two challenges has required extraordinary effort on the part of everyone who works at OHA. From Oregon State Hospital to the Public Health Division to PEBB and OEBB to Oregon Private Health Partnerships and DMAP and AMH. We all do our part to push for a better future while managing our present realities. As I have been meeting with front line employees and work teams, every day I can see our relatively new agency becoming more aligned, more focused, and more determined for success. It is both inspiring and humbling. I know I say this frequently but I cannot say it enough: Thank you for all you do.